I found a fabulous Norwegian money pouch tutorial online, which had been inspired by a Swedish reproduction. The original is in a museum in Bergen, Norway, and is dated from the late 13th to the early 14th century. I have been making round leather pouches for many years, but had never seen the gathering stitch used on one before. This I had to try!
Cathrin provides very clear instructions and a pattern in her tutorial, so there is no need to recreate them here. I did look up how to cut lacing, and by cutting a 1/2 cm wide spiral from a 10 cm circle of suede I ended up with 120 cm of lacing. That was a neat trick!
Wrapping the lacing around the gathering so that it would lay just right was challenging, but the effect was well worth it.
Also, suede doesn’t slide open as easily as smooth leather might. I thought this was detrimental, but it was pointed out by some SCA friends that it might be a good thing, as nimble fingers would not be able to slip a pouch open as easily, should they wish to help themselves to the contents! And a medieval journal entry was mentioned, in which a person had saved 5 crowns on a purchase because it had taken them so long to get their pouch open (the merchant must have continued to haggle, thinking the buyer was stalling!) I’ll have to see if that works next time I go shopping in Merchant’s Row!