Crafts and Art: Cloth, Paint, Leather, Food, and More…

Jester Halloween Costume


A jester’s costume is supposed to be eye catching, but it also has to be flexible in nature. That might be hanging out at a Halloween Party, or it might be doing handstands and back handsprings, or both. Whatever you’ll be doing should be kept in mind as you create anything that’s meant to be worn!

Durability, comfort, and (of course!) appearance are all factors that need to be considered. I chose a stretchy fabric, which is good for flexibility, but more difficult to sew, or at least require more patience. For women’s size 10-12, I used 1 yard of red, 1/2 yard orange, and 1 1/3 yards yellow fabric, costing about $15 (US). I should note that I used pretty cheap fabric because that’s what was available and affordable, but I always regret it because it breaks down so fast. This was just a Halloween costume, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but I was sad when it started to tear apart around the seams.

Patterning always (I think anyway) starts with measuring. Just to keep my measurements organized and quick to refer to, I lettered them

A: Waist circumference = ________inches

B: Hip circumference (______inches) + 12 inches (for gathering) = ______inches

C: Skirt length (waist to end of skirt) = _______inches

D: B divided by 12 = ______inches


The skirt is made in twelve identical sections of alternating color. The pattern for these sections is a rectangle with a triangle on the end. I made a pattern of newspaper, then add on the triangle to one end. I added a half inch for seam allowance around all the edges. The skirt lining is exactly the same size and shape as the skirt, but I cut this piece out in two pieces instead of twelve because its a solid color and its less sewing if you use bigger pieces.

For the waist band, I made a rectangle is A inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide.

E: Neck circumference + breathing room = ______inches

F: Wrist circumference divided by four = ______inches

Picture of Pattern Making - Collar and Cuffscollar.tiff

The frilly part of the collar is six diamonds with the ends cut off. The neck band was cut at five inches wide, but got folded over in the end.

I used a pattern from another dress to make the basic shape of the bodice of this dress.


I sewed the skirt outer pieces together along the long seams, adding one piece at a time until all were together. I then sewed this to the lining inside out. I turned it right side out and top stitched the lower edge to keep the edge creased in the right place. I then sewed the waist band to the skirt, because it was stretchy, I didn’t have to worry bout gathering the skirt.


Next, I pieced together the bodice, and marked where I wanted the skirt to attach.


I sewed the cuff and collar frills together inside out and then turned them. The cuffs have no band and just get sewn to themselves, but the collar was sewn to the neck band and closed with a snap.


I liked the idea of small golden bells on the ends of the frills, but I didn’t like the idea of jingling as I walked, so I got a package of jingle bells, pried open one of the sides, removed the jingle inside, and closed the side again. I then sewed these on to the ends of the flaps.

Picture of Synthesis

I sewed the skirt to the bodice and put a zipper up the back. I also sewed on the collar.

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Halloween fun!



Simple Buckskin Dress

hidedress13I have always wanted to be able to wear buckskin clothing. Buckskin is soft and fluffy, but also very durable. Buckskins have been worn as clothes and made into bags, shoes, and so much more for millennia. This dress is a very straight forward design, only requiring two deer hides (in fact, the dress is only two pieces). Luckily my hides were just big enough to get a dress out of. I was definitely on the edge of not having a large enough set of hides. Unless you have really big hides, any dress that will be larger than a size 8-10 would probably need at least one more hide (but more on that in the next step). All seams are laced together with buckskin lacing.


I began with a dress. For a pattern, I used a fabric dress that I had made from an old scarf. Around the edges on the sides, I left about an inch for seam allowance. I left the necklines very high and cut them down to shape later. Something to remember when sewing buckskin is that there’s no need to leave a hem allowance because the edge won’t fray like fabric, although binding the edge can be a very nice touch. To cut the hides, I used a very sharp scissors that I keep for cutting fabric and leather.

Cutting and sewing buckskin is not like cutting and sewing fabric. Buckskin is very three dimensional and varies in thickness. This is all very important to keep in mind when cutting because if you cut your pieces out of the edges of a hide where it’s wavy and thin it will result in a final garment that is not as strong as it should be, is difficult to sew because of the thickness, and will not lay smoothly on the body. It is worth not squeezing every possible inch out of the hide and just using the good thick consistent part.


The sides of this dress are laced. Lace is made but cutting a thin piece off an edge of a hide. In simple terms, lace is leather string. I used an awl to punch holes along the side of the dress and threaded the lace through. It’s just like sewing fabric, but on a much larger scale.


To check the fit, I tried the dress on, cutting a slit in the neck line to fit my head through. I discover that the dress needed a dart in the front and the back on the arm holes because there was a loose wrinkle as the shoulders curve into the arms. I also cut the neck to shape. The lower edges that I had left rough at the bottom, I cut smooth. The back laces, to shape the back without making darts, are threaded though the side lacing. I considered darting the back to fit the curve of the lower back, but then the waist would have been too small for my shoulders to get through without adding an opening and buttons.


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“Buckskin is more than just a beautiful leather and an amazing clothing material, it is also part of the evolutionary history of the human species.” –Woniya Thibeault Buckskin Revolution


Bacon Pancake Poppers

Picture of Bacon Pancake Poppers

These are at deep fried bite of bacon deliciousness. They’re great finger food for breakfast (or any other meal). The sweet fluffy fried pancake batter (almost the texture of a funnel cake) is perfectly contrasted by the salty crunchy bacon center.


  • 8 slices of bacon, halved
  • jelly/jam (optional)

For the pancake batter:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cooking equipment (beyond the usual):

  • Deep fryer (or a sauce pan filled with cooking oil)
  • skewers
  • a cookie sheet



Preheat oven to 375o

Roll each piece of bacon and pierce with a skewer. I put as many as I can on a skewer, but make sure there’s at least a half inch or so between each bacon roll so they can cook evenly.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so. Watch for bacon grease overflow.

When the bacon is done to your satisfaction, remove from skewers. I find that crispy holds up better during battering and frying.

Picture of The Pancake

Beat the egg until it’s fluffy, and then add the remaining ingredients.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Picture of Jelly (Optional)
Some people really like jelly with bacon. It’s not my favorite, but my mom loves it. To add jelly, take the bacon off the skewer scoop a small spoonful of jelly into to the center.

Picture of Deep FryingDSCN2844.JPG

Heat the oil to about 335o.

Gently drop the the battered bacon into the oil, and cook until golden brown. I enjoy them with some maple syrup.

The left over batter can be poured into the oil like a funnel cake and fried to a golden brown. (Really, it tastes just like a funnel cake.)

Picture of Bacon Pancake Poppers

18th Century Stay (Reversible)

Picture of 18th Century Stay (Reversible)

The stay is supportive and versatile as a stand alone bodice or under a dress. I don’t know if reversibility is historically accurate, but as a modern woman I find it a nice feature, especially since stays are rather time consuming to make. I sewed this one by hand.


A few words on the stay in general (feel free to skip): The stay was a staple garment in the wardrobe of a woman in the western world from the late 17th century right up until the early 20th century. I call this one an 18th century stay, but really the design was similar from the 17th century on. The stay was not worn as underwear per se, but rather over a shift (linen/cotton under-gown) which was the all-in-one women’s underwear. The stay was worn under nice dresses or as a bodice on its own (depending on time period and economic status) to provide support and to give shape. The stay is the equivalent of the modern day sports bra and lifting belt combined, providing support both in front and to the back. I am not quite clear on exact distinctions between a stay and a corset, but in my experience stays tend to have tabs at the bottom, no busk in front, and sometimes shoulder straps unlike most corsets. I am also given to understand that the stay has an English origin while the corset has more French influence. The first garment that truly resembles either of these was apparently first worn in early 16th century Spain and was simply wooden lathes held together by linen tape, so be it stay or corset, it has to be more comfortable than that.


Picture of Tools and Patterns


  • I used less than a yard of each of my two fabrics and of the canvas interfacing.
  • All the usual sewing things: thread, needle, scissors, etc.
  • Boning: Store bought boning is hugely expensive (or at least I  think it is for what I get), so I used (and would recommend) plastic cable ties. The extra long cable ties found in the electrical department of the hardware store are almost identical to the imitation whalebone boning from the fabric stores. I got about 16 yards of cable tie (in 2 foot lengths) for the same price one yard of boning from the fabric store would have cost.
  • Wire cutters or strong scissors for cutting the cable tie
  • Ribbon or cord for lacing: I used about two yards for the back and two six inch pieces for the shoulder straps.


I based my stay off a Butterick pattern. My first stay was exactly off the pattern, but it was ill fitting and unwieldy because it was too thick, heavy, and it didn’t line up on my waist line which caused to pull in uncomfortably against my rib cage. For this one, I modified the pattern to line up with my waist, as well as a few other adjustments based off of some research. I found the books A History of Costume by Carl Kohler and Whatever Shall I Wear? by Mara Riley to be instructive. Also, this website was quite inspirational. Something that took me a while to figure out in my own mind was that the apex of the cuts that make the tabs is the waist line. The laces can only pull in the waist down to that point, and the tabs below this line open out to follow the natural widening on the hips below the waist line (more on this later).

Picture of Construction


I cut one of each piece of the pattern from the main fabric (blue), the lining (red), and the canvas interfacing. After this I sewed the canvas to the main fabric, and then pieced the interfaced pieces together.

Picture of Channeling and Boning

The channels are formed by sewing the interfacing to the fabric. I sketched on the boning channels on the back of the interfacing with a pencil, and then ran a running stitch down each line to make a channel between the interfacing and main fabric. Boning channel placement was really somewhat arbitrary. The only stipulation based on historical examples is that the bones be within about forty-five degrees of vertical. Based on problems I had with my first stay, I made sure to extend the bones that extend into the tabs up past the top of the tabs. Otherwise they folded out, were uncomfortable and looked terrible.

At this point I cut the slits from the lower hem the the waist line to make the tab. I found it important to remember that the height the tabs are cut to becomes the waist line because the tabs make the bottom open out for the hips.


To make bones, I cut off the tie part of the cable tie, leaving a square end. I then cut the corners off with a wire cutters and filed the end round. I then laid the bone on the channel I was filling with the rounded end lined up with the end of the channel, and made a mark on the tie in line with the other end of the channel. Following which I repeated the end rounding process, starting by cutting the tie on the mark I had just made to make a square end.


After both ends of the bone that was now the correct length were rounded, I inserted the bone in the channel.

I made sure to leave the bones in channels that touch the edge of the fabric about a quarter inch short for hemming allowance. I also made all the longest bones first so that I could use the excess from making these to bone the smaller channels.

Picture of Finishing and Lacing

After boning, I switched gears and made the lining (which for clarity is what I’m calling the reverse side). The lining is the exact same set of pieces, sewed together with the exact same seam allowance, so that the lining comes out the exact same size as the other piece (in theory, mine didn’t, but it was close enough that it worked fine with just a little trimming). The lining just lays right on the main piece and is connected by the hemming/binding on the edge.


I think traditionally the edges of stays were bound with quarter inch binding, but in pursuit of reversibility with two very different colors, I folded the edges under and whip stitched the edge to finish. I like it because its inconspicuous and binds the edges strongly.

I used a leather hole punch to cut the lace holes along the back. The holes start at the top of the back and continue down the waist line at about one and half inch intervals except the last one which was at about a half inch. I don’t particularly like metal eyelets for things like this, but they are an alternative to hand finishing the eyelets like I did. Note: The waist line is also the top of the tap slits and the lace holes need to end here so that the back tabs don’t pull together too much. It took me a while to realize this.


It was at this point that I also attached the shoulders, which I made long on purpose so that I could fit the length now when rest was more or less finished. I laced myself in and found the right length, cutting two holes here in the shoulder strap and two matching holes in the shoulder strap attachment place on the top of the front. A short section of ribbon threads through the holes holding the strap on.

From what I’ve seen of historical examples, its more historically correct to lace in a zig-zag rather than a criss-cross pattern, but I prefer the standard modern criss-cross because it make the lacing pull in evenly. They are also laced in almost all historical examples from the bottom to the top.


Front lacing stays are infinitely easier to get yourself in and out than back lacing stay, but it is possible to get yourself in and out of a back lacing stay. It takes me about ten minutes to get in on my own, but if you have a buddy (or in the old days a servant) to help, it takes much less time. To get in on your own it helps to lace the stay about one third or one half way up with the shoulder straps untied, and then pull it on backwards. From here you can finish lacing it in the front and then turn the stay the right way round, holding on to the lace ends and continuing to tighten with the stay the right way round. If I’m on my own and can’t get the lace tied at top I pull the lace down and around under my arms and tie it in front, tucking the lace under the edge of the top of the stay. Then I retie the shoulder straps. You can fully lace the stay first and pull it on the right way round, but this requires a very long lace to make it wide enough to get over your shoulders or hips. I tried this and it took me about six and a half yards of lace to squeeze in fully laced, as opposed to the two yards pictured. Two yards leaves quite enough extra to tuck in at the end, six yards was down to the floor when I was fully laced in.


The rest is really up to personal taste or exact historic time period representation.


Making Buckskin (Brain Tanning Deer Hides in 12 Steps)


Buckskin is truly amazing material. It’s soft, breathable, strong, durable, and pest repellent in nature. It’s qualities have been tested and proven for millennia. It takes a lot of manual labor to make real brain tanned buckskin. For this reason good buckskin usually costs at least ten, if not fifteen, dollars per square foot from a professional tanner. There are cheaper commercially tanned hides available, but these are not processed the same. They don’t breathe. So commercially tanned is fine for bags and accessories, but it doesn’t wear anywhere near as well home tanned buckskin. If the word brain has caused anxiety, it is not necessary to use brain, a hide can certainly be traditionally tanned using other natural softeners (I often use eggs and olive oil instead of brain). I am by no means particularly accomplished at hide tanning. This is only my ninth hide. I first learned about hide tanning from professional hide tanners at the Winter Count skills gathering. For further instruction/discussion/etc., I would recommend, Buckskin Revolution, or


First things first, hide acquisition. Hunting and taking the hide is the most obvious course, but time, place, etc. for hunting can be difficult to manage, so alternatives… Road kill (fresh) is a good place to get hides, or finding a hunter who doesn’t use the hide (which is many modern hunters) and offering some money for a cleanly skinned hide is good source for hides. As few holes as possible makes everything easier during the tanning proccess and results in a better final product. When I get a hide (from a roadkill or a friend who hunts), it may not be an opportune time to tan it, so preservation is usually the next step.

A hide can be saved almost indefinitely in a freezer. If at any point in the process I need to stop for a few days or months for whatever reason, the hide can simply be thrown into the freezer. The point of freezing is to prevent the hide from decaying. If a hide starts to rot, it is firstly not going to make good buckskin because bacteria will weaken the internal structure of the hide, and secondly is really gross and can make the tanner ill. If the hide is balled up, perhaps bundled into a trash bag, fresh, at room temperature, and with the hair still on, the hair will insulate the inside of the hide, allowing bacteria to thrive for several days before the hide is frozen through. So to prevent this, de-hairing the hide first makes putting the hide bundled up in a bag in the freezer possible without fear of rot.

hides003After the hide is thawed, the first thing to do is scrape or cut (whichever is easier) any meat that has remained on the hide after skinning. During the fleshing, graining, and rinsing, I make a point of wearing leather gloves over rubber gloves to thoroughly protect my hands. Hiding tanning is dangerous in that even a tiny cut can get blood poisoning if you work with bare hands. A lot of people do it no problem with bare hands (I have), but in the long run it’s just safer to wear a protective layer, particularly over open wounds, even just a paper cut.

hides004Lye is a strong base (opposite of an acid) and is sold at ordinary hardware stores as a drain opener. The only ingredient should be lye (not just any drain opener). Lye makes a hide swell and shrink temporarily. It loosens the hair, allowing it to come off easily, and the grain (the outer layer of skin) to come off more easily as well. To lye a hide, I get a tub of water (a five gallon bucket at the smallest) and add lye until the water is slippery to the touch (although really its not good to touch lye too much for fear of burns and one has to be wary of the fumes). Lye is a dangerous chemical if used without caution, so use common sense and read the label. I generally leave a hide to soak for a day or so. Changing the water at least once a day helps keep the hide fresh.hides005Making a work surface suited to scraping a hide is not too difficult. There are two common methods; an upright beam and a waist beam. The upright beam (the one I use) is a log or half a log (perhaps 4 to eight inches in diameter or a piece of drain pipe of the same size and almost as long a the tanner is tall) leaning up against a tree with the hide draped over the top. The other is a log or pipe of the same dimensions with two legs at one end so that one end rests on the ground and the other is held up to waist height by the legs. Each method uses different muscles when scraping, so it’s really up to whichever one feels best. I like upright because I don’t have to bend over to scrape (for which my back is always thankful for after a long day of de-hairing and graining).



After a hide has been soaked in the lye and has become rather thick and rubbery, it’s time to de-hair. The hair should come right off, even if you just run a hand over it, assuming the hide has been soaked in the lye solution long enough. I find the back of a knife or drawknife will lift the hair right off.



To grain a hide, the best tool (in my opinion) is a dull drawknife. To be more traditional, a piece of wood with one sharp edge, a bone with one sharp edge, or a rock with a moderately sharp edge will also get the job done. The goal is to scrape off the outer layer of skin without damaging the under layers, so the draw knife should be just dull enough that if one runs one’s finger over the blade, it will not create a cut. Use common sense, if you test a blade this way, make sure it really is dull first. The hardest part on the animal to grain is usually the back of the neck and the very edges. Sometimes its better to cut you losses (literally) by cutting off a difficult edge. Deciding whether to put the effort into a difficult part is about weighing the effort you’re putting into the hide and the quality of material you’ll be getting out. If it’s a difficult spot in the center it’s best to power through and scrape it thoroughly, but if it’s the last inch on a thin jagged edge it’s probably better just to trim it off.


After all the grain has been scraped off, its time to rinse. I place the hide in a bath of plain water, changing it several times throughout a day to allow the lye to soak out. When the hide is white and flexible like wet cloth, as apposed to yellowish and rubbery, it’s probably ready to move on.


Wringing out the rinse water helps the hide become dry enough, without drying, to absorb the brain solution more thoroughly. I learned to wring using a very specific technique that has worked very well for me. A good thorough wringing requires a smooth, sturdy, and (mostly) horizontal bar or branch and a small separate bar, branch or dowel. It begins by laying the hide membrane side up on a horizontal bar. Smoother is better for the wringing bar because rough spots can tear the hide. Take the edge that hangs farther down and lay it up on the bar, wrapping the hide around the bar loosely. Beginning at either side, roll the edge of the hide up until the middle is reached and then start again on the other side. The small independent pole threads through the bottom parallel to the main bar. This can now be used to twist the hide, wringing out the water. For a thorough wring, repeat this at least three to four times.


Braining: the word that tends to throw people off. At this point you could take a deer’s head, pull out the brain and rub into the hide. It is a good and traditional method, but if you don’t hunt your own deer, they can be difficult to find. There are a lot recipes for softening hides, many of which do not call for brain. Different tanners will swear by their recipes, but it comes down to permeating the hide with emulsified oils (that is oils that can mix with water). The brain is filled with emulsified oils, so boiled (to kill bacteria), blended (preferably not with the kitchen blender), and then mixed with a little water (to give it enough volume to cover a hide in a bucket) is one of the most well known basic recipes, and probably one of the oldest. Eggs, or rather egg yolks, is a good natural non-brain method. Grated ivory soap with mixed with almost any oil will work as well. Basically, an emulsified oil or an emulsifier mixed with an oil will soften a hide. The tanner I learned from used brain or grated ivory soap mixed with grape seed oil, sometimes both together. I’ve taken to using egg yolks mixed with olive oil because those are things I have at home anyway, and that’s more or less the same solution my dad taught me to use ages ago.



After the hide is wrung, I let it soak in brain until the hide has absorbed as much as possible. Then wring again, soak again, and wring again (not necessary, but it helps). Now to soften…


Softening is not difficult, just time consuming. In essence, softening is continually stretching the hide until it dries. If not stretched, the hide will harden back to rawhide. The two methods of this that I have seen are stretching the hide over a post that has been set vertically in the ground at about waist height, or stretching a hide across a metal cable of between a quarter and an eighth inch diameter hung from head height to the ground. Both of these allow the use of body weight to stretch the hide as opposed to just sitting down and trying to stretch the hide with bare hands alone, which is fine, but only for those with strong hands.

When the hide is dry, the hide should be soft and fluffy. If it’s not, re-braining and softening is a good course of action. To expedite this process, smoking and then re-processing helps. If you start without smoking, all softening progress is lost, where as smoking freezes the hides at its current level of softness on which re-softening will build. If you soften a hide, don’t smoke it, and then get it wet it will return to rawhide. Smoking also makes buckskin repellent to pests that would otherwise want to eat the hide.

The first thing to do when smoking a hide is to sew it into a bag with an opening left at the neck to attach to a sleeve. The sleeve should be at least a six inches, preferably more, long and not narrower than the average pant leg. Usually the sleeve some kind of canvas or denim, but it doesn’t really matter. Old cut off pant legs work well.


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For an stove, I use a cinder block sunk into the ground with a hole under it connecting the two chambers (see pictures). On one side I attach the hide sleeve, and on the other I keep a lid with which to access the fire. It’s easier to use a small wood stove with a short stove pipe and attach the sleeve to the stove pipe, but that requires the wood stove that I don’t have. To go really low tech, a hole in the ground will do, but the risk of scorching the hide is much greater this way. The most convenient way I have ever heard of is to use a smoke house (the kind used to smoke meat). This way hides can be simply hung in the smoke house and left with no worries about scorching or sewing them into a bag. Returning to smoking a hide with some kind of stove, the key is to not scorch the hide. This will ruin a hide very easily and quickly (believe me, I know and it’s a dreadful feeling to see all that hard work go to waste).

I learned to smoke hides by making a small bed of hot coals (by burning down some charcoal or small chunks of hardwood) and then adding small pieces of wood, preferably rotten and dried, to keep the fire as smoky as possible. It can be difficult, after a life time of striving for clean burning smokeless fires for heating and cooking, to maintain a smoky fire. When I smoke a hide, I have to attend the fire constantly to maintain it’s smokiness. There should never be flames during hide smoking because this usually means the fire is not producing maximum smoke and flames can burn the hide. Using wood that smells good, or at least not bad, is also something to keep in mind during smoking. The smoke smell fades over time, but it doesn’t really go away. Also, it should be common sense to not use things like poison oak or poison ivy for hide smoking.

It’s time to turn the hides inside out to smoke the outside when the smoky brown color begins to bleed through to the outside. After the color begins to bleed through, leaving a hide to smoke longer is just about getting the desired color. Some people like the pale color and some like the dark, but as long as the smoke has penetrated through the whole hide, it’s essentially all the same.


At this point, a hide should be finished; soft, fluffy, and a rich beautiful golden brown. The doors now stand open for clothes, bags, anything you can think of…



Llano Estacado Elevation Map – Acrylic Finger Paint Wall Mural

I painted this mural for a small museum. This map is an elevation map of the land form the Llano Estacado in the southwestern United States.

Leather Belt Bag


quiver38This lovely little bag was made to match the Leather Quiver from last post. It functions as either a belt bag or as a quiver bag. It was made to be a quiver bag for the most part, but I have found myself wearing it as a trendy little purse alternative instead. At about six by six inches, it is perfect for a cell phone and wallet.



It began as six pieces. The front, the back (identical to the back), the closure flap (identical to the front and back except slightly shorter), the belt loops, and the sides and bottom strip. I began by sewing the belt loops to the back panel (saddle stitch as usual).

quiver31Next, I attached the closure flap to the back panel. The belt loop tops are sewn into the same seam as the closure flap.


The front and back panels were sewn to the sides and bottom strip inside out. I then turned the bag, hiding the seam and creating a more rounded look.


A button loop and antler button finish off the bag.

     quiver39 quiver40 quiver42 The bag can now be worn at the belt or it can be attached to the quiver by a small strap. The strap is narrow enough to fit under the side lace of the quiver to hold it securely in place. I considered using a small buckle on the strap, but I decided to go low tech. As an adjustable buckle alternative, I punched holes along the strap and then used a piece of lace to tie through the holes, holding the strap at the proper length.


Leather Quiver



I tried to make this quiver versatile for use in different environments. The top angle is meant to shed rain and natural forest debris as well as to protect the fletchings from general wear and tear. Since having the arrows totally covered is not as convenient when actually shooting, I decided to design for the top to be folded down for easier access when shooting. On a similar train of thought, I like to carrying a back quiver, but shooting from a belt quiver. So, I made sure to make straps that allow the quiver to be switched from one type of carry to the other quickly and easily.


A plan was, as always, the first step. Dimensions were next. My arrows are around 28 inches, so I made the apex of the top 30 inches to completely cover the arrows. The circumference of the bottom is about 10 inches.


I sketched out a cutting pattern on some big paper. The leather is oil tanned cow hide, which has a really nice color and texture.




For decoration I decided to applique a pattern on the outer surface. It is in no way functional, but I think it looks cool and adds some dimensionality. I cut out the decorative applique from the scraps around the edges. Because this is a repetitive pattern, I made a pattern for each of the five types pieces with the stitches marked so that they would all look the same.  After laying out the pattern on the main quiver piece, I lightly marked where each piece went and labeled each place and piece with a corresponding letter to ensure that each piece ended up where it was meant to be. Each piece was then saddle stitched down.


To close the sides, I punched a matching line holes along each edges and then laced the side up, tying the lace off at the top on the inside.



The bottom is a slightly squared oval. I made a paper model first, and then trimmed it down until it matched the bottom of the quiver. I then cut a leather version. The edge is once again held together with a saddle stitch. The sure up the side closure, I made sure to catch the end of the side lace in the seam at the bottom.

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The straps are one inch wide with a buckle to allow the length to be adjusted and clips on the ends to allow the strap to be remove easily. The clips strap attachments are a quarter inch narrower than strap, so the strap is tapered in to accommodate this. A small loop, about 6 inches around, is attached to the top clip of the shoulder strap. This is used to suspend the quiver from a belt. 

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To make the quiver shorter for shooting ease, the top shoulder strap clip is un-clipped, the top is folded down, the D-ring to which the shoulder strap clips is passed through a slit in the quiver top, and finally the clip is re-clipped creating a whole different style. Either style can be carried at the back or the belt.

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Matching belt bag coming soon…   

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