This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Manda Lack 9 months ago.

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    Herr Doktor Jungling
    Monster Ranger

    Well, needed to get my medic satchel done and thought I’d share a few bits…

    I was going for sort of “Wasteland Chic” with this one, so I started out with an old canvas tarp I inherited from my grandfather that he’d been using since long before I was born.  Lots of stains, paint spatter, and filth, so I washed it well before starting out.  It is double layered and heavily sewn on the main body, the top flap was backstitched all the way around and two ring magnets were inserted to use as a magnetic clasp.  All of the stitching is #10 crochet thread that I usually use for tatting and doubled up in a surgeons loop the way I use ligature when suturing at work.  This is how it first came out:


    I realize that none of that part is all that interesting, but it is background for the staining.  I’ve “antiqued” wood previously using iron acetate and figured this would be a good time to try it out on the canvas.  Canvas does not contain the tannins necessary to react with the iron acetate, so I started out by soaking it in a bucket with strong tea and coffee along with two teaspoons of alum as a mordant.  Afterwards, I let it dry until it was just damp and then brushed the iron acetate solution on with a paintbrush.  After drying, it came to this:


    It was a nice start, but not dark enough, so I resoaked in another boiling hot strong tea bath.  The iron acetate still present reacted nicely with the tea and after an hour, I got this:


    My first reaction was panic… I wasn’t going for black.  I settled down, realizing that it really needed rinsing and washing to remove the excess iron, so I rinsed until the water ran clean and ran it through the washer and was pleasantly surprised to find just about exactly the old military look I wanted:


    Aaaand… finished attaching the strap securely and got my anchor patch in place:


    I’m thinking about a few finishing touches, but all in all, I’m happy.  The thing I wanted to share is the iron acetate and tea staining.  More applications would darken it more.  It is super simple to make… a quart jar with two fine steel wool pads, filled to the brim with vinegar, and placed in a boiling water bath for 75 minutes.  Let it stand until cool and it is useable.  Let it stand another week and remove the steel wool and it is very strong… maybe should be diluted a bit before use even.

    I’m a bit sleep deprived and rambling, but let me know your thoughts.



    Steam Crow

    Great work on making it old… it looks nice and mildewy.

    Thank you for sharing how you did it!


    LOVE THIS!!!!!


    Herr Doktor Jungling
    Monster Ranger

    Well, I’m making a second one for my boy… he’s finally decided he’s not too hip to have fun (the fact that I use the word “hip” proves that I’m not).  This time I’m not just winging it.  Planned it out with multiple pouches, two large zippered pockets, etc.  I’ll post here more of the actual sewing (although, I tend to “suture” rather than “sew”) and the full plans.  They are not patterns, exactly – just sketches with dimensions, notes, etc.  I’m a maker, not a tailor!!  I’m also doing garrison and field caps that I’ll be using the same canvas and staining technique on, so there’s that to look forward to.

    I’m also almost done with the detail work on mine – mainly aesthetic.  I did remove the magnetic clasps since I’m using this at work and always have my laptop in it.  I have to keep it a bit hidden if I’m coming or going while families are in the building, but it is so worth it.  I’ll post up images soon since I’m super excited about getting this ready before the DCC rally!  I know, breathe, act like an adult, etc… but it’s just too much fun!

    One thing I have noticed using it… because of the extra play on top and the general floppiness, it doesn’t always show off the front detail very well.  I know it’s purely aesthetic, but that was the point of everything done after I finished sewing!  Some interfacing to stiffen up the sides a bit might have been good, and less extra in the top flap (I left room to cover items that protruded).


    Monster Ranger

    Great job!!


    Herr Doktor Jungling
    Monster Ranger


    I think I’m finished with mine… Here’s how it ended up:


    Plenty of doom twine, keys to forbidden knowledge, and my very first attempt at embroidery for the label… I’m pretty happy.  Working on gas mask stuff right now, but I’m hoping to get on to the second satchel by next weekend.


    Manda Lack
    Monster Ranger

    That looks awesome! Great work!

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