Basic Larp Pouch Design
Basic Design thoughts behind Darkblade larp pouches
Most of our pouch designs are based on a box. It’s an easy shape to make and it give good volumetric capacity for the amount of leather used. As my training was in engineering rivets were the fastening of choice, sewing is fine but I like hitting things with hammers.
All you need to do to make the pattern is lay the box out flat. The picture shows one of our patterns with the original constructions lines on it. The first thing to do is work out how wide and tall you want the box to be. Draw that on the card and you have the back of your box. Next add a rectangle that shows the depth of the box onto the bottom of back. That’s the back and the base of your box done so now add another rectangle the same size as the back to be the front of the box. The sides on this design meet in the middle so you you add half the depth to either side of the front and back. This will be the rivet line that the rivets go down so you have to add some extra material for the rivets to grip. I normally add 6mm per side.
To make sure theres no gap at the bottom I add a tab to the base which can fold in upwards to meet the folded sides. Rivet holes are marked on the rivet line on both sides with the one on the tab being on the centreline of the base.
This pouch has a separate flap which I prefer as it allows the flap to be made wider than the box is. This helps stop things falling out of the pouch when it’s squashed flat as it’s always in danger of being in Larp.
The Finished Pouch
As promised, below you can see a picture of the finished pouch. I’ve closed it using a strap and buckle set but other options are loop and toggle, a tongue and loop or there are any number of latches. I’ve gone for a chunky strap width as this pouch is made from 3.5mm thick leather so is quite solid and I think the fastening has to reflect that.
It’s mounted onto the belt via the two loops on the back. This setup holds the pouch close to the body which is great if you do a lot of running around as it doesn’t move but can get in the way a little when you sit down. The answer to that problem is to ususpend the pouch from straps but that just means it flaps about when your run. Best way of mounting the pouch does somewhat depend on what sort of character you’re playing, strolling and sitting, hanging straps, runnig around and going upside down then back loops.
You can also see from the back picture(which is actually a different pouch) that the fold at the side shows the exposed side so that looking from the front it’s nice and smooth. It’s only a small detail but makes a huge difference to the appearance.
Making a New Pouch Design
one of my irregular leather suppliers turned up with some heavy upholstery leather(1.2mm) in a golden yellow. It reminded me of a picture I’d seen of a medieval pouch so I set out to make my own version. This was primarily intended for Empire where a medieval pouch of that design would fit with a number of national briefs.
It’s based on our existing bollock pouch design where the belt loops are formed by folding part of the pouch over rather than having separate straps.
For this version I decided to have the pouch body in the golden yellow upholstery while the flap and belt loops would be in a medium weight leather(2mm). First up was the pouch body, picture 1 shows the half pattern for the body. I start with a half pattern when I’ve drawn free hand as it means things will be symmetrical when it’s flipped. Picture 2 is the two pouch body sections before sewing. Picture 3 is the pouch body finished, note that the top edge has been rolled and stitched. This is to reinforce the opening and give it some stiffness.
The pattern for the flap and belt loops is in picture 4. In this case I was designing to go over a 2” wide belt, you can see how it folds in later pictures. The flap part is just slightly wider than the belt loop section to make sure it covers the pouch body fully as the pouch body will be stitched to the bottom of the belt loops as seen in picture 5. Picture 6 shows the flap folded over to create the belt loops. If you unpicked and unfolded that and looked at the two lines of stitch holes, that’s the distance you would adjust to alter the belt width the loops are designed to fit over.
Picture 7 is the first version finished with strap and buckle and decorative metalwork. If you look you can see it’s off centre. This was caused as I didn’t leave enough space between the bottom of the belt loop section and the fold stitching so the foot of the sewing machine was nudged by the pouch body which was of course sewn to the bottom of the belt loop section. This was sorted with some minor tinkering with the pattern and the creation of versions 2 and 3 before the finished pattern was arrived at with version 4 which is in picture 8