I’ve been making a few of these lately, for myself, as gifts, and as stock for sale at Birka in January. I have a decent pattern now, scaled up a bit from historical artifacts, to make it more useful holding modern smartphones, wallets, and wads of keys.

Here’s mine, done with a heavy brown cowhide, thin blue garment leather for edging, and gold-plated hardware from Armour & Castings in the Ukraine:


Figuring out how best to do the edging was the hardest part. The best way I’ve found is to cut the edging pieces like 2″ wide. I use a buttload of masking tape to make nice clean glue lines on the edging pieces and the pouch parts, glue it all up, then wrap the edging on with a TON of overlap, front and back (after applying even more glue to the glued-up edges of the pouch). Then I sew it all up, and use my leather shears to trim off the excess edging, being careful to maintain as consistent a distance from the stitching line as I can.

Here’s a picture of mine on my belt, with my seax, to give you an idea of size:


Recently, I was involved with Team Norse, a small group of artisans in Æthelmearc that worked together to craft period Viking Age garments, head to toe, for Gareth and Juliana, Rex et Regina. My tasks were a belt, pouch, and winingas for Himself, and a Hedeby bag for Herself. Here is the tarsoly I did. White and red cowhide, and bronze hardware from Armour & Castings again.


Here’s a picture with a banana inside it for scale, to give an idea of size:


And a picture of it on the belt I made for the project. Both the belt and the tarsoly hardware are replicas of artifacts from Birka grave finds in Sweden.


This is a simpler one, also with replica Birka hardware. Silver plated, from Armour & Castings.


This one is for sale at my shop, Æthelmart, at Market Day at Birka, an East Kingdom event in January: http://birka.eastkingdom.org/wordpress/

Finally, here is the documentation I did for Team Norse’s project page: The-Tarsoly

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