So, I want to make some leather needlecases for the rest of my Creative Meme projects.  Here’s the documentation, as I do the design.  I need to make one to give to Isabeau Jehanne for her prize for Queen’s Prize.  It was a gift that wasn’t there, for a entrant that wasn’t there.  She’s in my local group, so delivery won’t be a problem.

I started with an image from Bildindex, which is a wonderful digital source for photos taken of items in a variety of German museums.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to allow perma-links to individual images, which makes it much harder.  If Google offers to translate, you might want to choose that.

So, start by going to Bildindex, and in the drop down box choose  "aufnahme-NR".  Then insert "RBA 007 176" in the space below that.

Other photos that include this needlecase are "RBA 168 516" and "RBA 168 517".

In every case, once you’ve found the photos, if you click on the icon under the photo that looks like a bunch of lines (mouse-over title is "datenblatt anzeigen" and you will get some more details about the photo, and any related photos.

If you choose the icon that looks like the standard "mail" button, it isn’t to mail the image or information to yourself, but to order a photo.

They will send you a photo, they won’t mention until 4-6 weeks after it arrives that you owe money, and they don’t take credit or do paypal, but give you bank transfer information, and expect you to understand.  I didn’t.  But the photo was really nice and detailed, even if I had no clue I was ordering.  I thought they would let me know how much it would cost.

Ok, so this needlecase is not very big, but not too small.  In the images where 3 leather items are shown, there is, very faintly, a measurement scale in cm on the lower right bottom.  The lower decorated portion of the needlecase appears to be about 48mm.  The lower portion AND the lining appears to be 70mm, a 22mm difference, and the lid portion of the needlecase appears to be about 29mm.  Thus, the thickness at the end of the needlecase can’t be more than 7mm, and probably is less.

Moving on to other examples – there is one printed in the Museum of London – Dress Accessories book.  It’s 58mm long, and missing the cap.  The decoration is much less refined – as in, sort of looks like my 10yo did it.  It is dated to the late 13th to 14th century, so equivalent to the german example.

I also talked to Baroness Kajsa, who has done quite a bit of assorted leatherwork.  She admitted it may be a challenge to do without visible stitches.  The German example doesn’t seem to have any visible stitches, but the one from the Dress accessories book appears to have visible stitching across the bottom of the case.

I got some fairly thin calf leather from Tandy, plus some really, really thin leather scraps, and a curved awl tip, in order to try to do "edge-flesh" stitching to invisibly join the tube.  I will have to sew it loosely, and then tighten it up around the inner lining.  The inner lining not going to worry about, and the stitching will be visible.  I’ve got some plastic oval tubing which is roughly the correct size and shape, and can we shortened to any length.  (It was part of a vinyl roll-up window shade.)  I will stitch the lining together, tighten it around the tube, then drop it into some simmering water to help shape and harden it.  Then I plan to use some hide glue, when I am ready to tighten the tooled outer part of the case around the lining.  In that case, the outer case will be immersed, and then wrapped on quite damp.  The cap will have to be wrapped on as well, over the lining, but no glue, otherwise the case won’t fit right.  I will cut the slits for the fingerlooped cord before the imersion, and force them open with a toothpick, and leave it there until it’s dry.

Once it’s dry, I’ll re-tool as necessary, and then apply some warmed wax to further harden and waterproof the project.

Anyone seen other examples, or have tried this type of thing before?

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