A few years ago I made a leather sporran for a friend for our annual found family reunion, fondly referred to as The Scottish Party, as it involves whiskey, a fire pit, a dressup opportunity, which appeals to men and women, boys and girls of all ages, and a caber toss and axe throwing contest just because we can. (Performed sober, whiskey to follow.) It’s a weekend spent around the fire, with good food and good friends, and it has happened once a year for 25 years. Last year almost didn’t happen, but we made some adjustments, and made it happen, masked and hug-less though it was. It’s one of my favorite things. Another friend asked if I could make him a sporran too, and I’m pleased to say he’ll be kitted out while he’s kilted up this weekend!
I love that my friends wear kilts, even if many of them only don theirs once a year. It afgords me excellent opportunities for Crafting For Dudes. (Which I doubt I am alone in feeling oft-frustrated by. They can be such finicky creatures.) Three pairs of kilt hose and two sporrans, and I get to give that particular gift of my affection, something handmade, to the men in my life.
This one was made for a guy who has a degree in environmental studies, and so all the leather except the lacing is salvaged from thrifted handbags.
I ALSO made up the pattern in Silhouette studio, complete with sewing guides and hole punches, in the most satisfyingly precise detail, so I could cut it on my cameo out of 12"x12" cardstock. The leather required for these bags is too heavy to cut IT on the cameo, but having an unlimited supply of pattern pieces will be amazing the next time I make one.
Whoa. This project is a wonder from start to finish! The end product is amazing, straight up AND then the story of who it is for and the found family reunion and all that PLUS reclaimed materials. WOW! And then that you’ve made yourself a great pattern that you can renew at will. Dang!
Also, it’s great to hear how this wonderful group of friends also gives you an easier time crafting for dudes which can be HARD.
@Bunny1kenobi More men should for sure wear kilts. I have a number of friends that wear them regularly, and at least one who really just doesn’t even wear pants anymore anywhere. I LOVE making kilt hose, and while I’m new to this type of leatherworking, I have really enjoyed the sporran-making too!
@TheMistressT Thank you! I just really love my friends. Most of us have kids who have grown up coming out to Scottish Party from infancy, many of whom are now old enough to have an adult beverage these days. It’s crazy. It will look different again this year, with masks and vaccines and less communal food and a wider circle around the fire, and in fact it traditionally happens toward the end of April, but we moved it to September the last two years for safety reasons. But we all need some time alone together in the woods, for sure.
I wish I could share the pattern. Making it IN Silhouette Studio was perhaps a mistake, but it was a good way to learn more about the software. Thus far I’ve really only imported PNGs (or downloaded/added the odd purchased items), and building something from scratch was really useful. But I only have the Design version of the software, and can only save in Studio’s proprietary file type. But just in case anyone with a Silhouette wants it, here’s the StudioV3 file.
Main pattern pieces are a purple cut line. The pattern piece labeling is a red dashed cut line. The stitch line marking is the dashed black cut line. Not included is the gusset, which should be a piece about 2.5" wide and just over the length of the curved edge of the Main body pattern piece. Instructions can be provided if anyone actually is interested in making a bag like this. I was thinking of making one for myself out of some thrifted wool tweed and leather scraps I have about.
A general idea of how the pieces go together is shown here. Then you just sew both pieces to the gusset.
Have you tried Inkscape? I have downloaded it but haven’t played with it a lot. I have been mainly doing my designs in Cricut Design Space as well just in the interest of time but hoping to play around with Inkscape soon. I just bought some leathers to play with as well.
You may want to consider picking up some of the Dollar Tree Chopping Mats (in the kitchen section - come in a 2pk) as they are easy to cut with scissors but hold up well as patterns. (I do think some have cut with Cricut but unsure on that.)
I haven’t played much with Inkscape yet, though I plan to. But I may also end up upgrading my studio software again, and translate the file to PDF.
As to the pattern piece media: That’s a good idea for the future. I have seen lots of people who cut stencils and such out of lightweight plastic items like folders and binder dividers. But for this specific purpose, I actually prefer paper. That way you can actually use the pattern piece lines to with the chisel for the stitch lines.
I found something online that allowed me to convert a PDF to an SVG, so you may want to try that. It was independent of any cutting software. I did that early on though and haven’t played with that pattern a lot since then. I need to try it again since I’ve gotten a little better with it!
I could have built the pattern another piece of software and imported it no problem, and then it would have been more shareable. In this case, I used Studio on purpose in order to learn the functionality of the tools, and sharing the file was an afterthought. Studio will save as PDF if one has an upgraded version from the one I use. For the next one i will probably try to use Inkscape and save as an SVG.