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Thread: New sporran mod

  1. #1
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    New sporran mod

    While I never quite understood the logic that an all-leather sporran is considered daywear no matter how ornate, I nonetheless wanted something a little dressier now that my Murray of Tullibardine Muted kilt is complete (which I will post pics of eventually, as soon as I get a brightly overcast day...or at least one where none of my neighbors insist on parking right in the middle of that shady spot by the brick wall that I often use ). I've noticed that tweed seems to be an acceptable alternative for those of us who aren't crazy about fur, but most tweed sporrans that caught my fancy were a bit out of my price range. So just like before, the most logical course of action was to buy a less-expensive one and modify it to my liking.

    I chose a decent-looking budget hunting sporran on eBay, particularly because the seller had pics of the actual sporran rather than a stock photo, but what I received was the other one she had for sale:

    Upon realizing it'd be easier for what I planned to do, I contacted her and let her know what happened, and offered to pay the difference. However, she was extremely apologetic for sending me the wrong one, and insisted I owe her nothing. So I made a point of leaving feedback that was technically true without letting on what happened ("Even nicer than shown..." ).

    In addition to the tweed semi-dress sporrans and the hunting sporran I'd originally planned to use, I found myself inspired by the sporrans of the Atholl Highlanders as well after seeing one featured in another thread here on X Marks:


    I started by removing both the tassels and the studs holding the false flap in place (it opens at the top), and cutting a piece of wood veneer the shape of the front panel. Behind them is the fabric I chose, a poly-rayon-cotton blend from JoAnn's remnant bin that's not quite tweed, but "tweedy" enough for my liking:


    I came up with the idea for three double "leaves" from the six tassels on the AH sporran above, which I drew on graph paper to create symmetrical tracing templates. As you can see, it took me a few tries to get the positioning right:


    Meanwhile, I noticed that the embossing was rather shallow and thus hard to see. I decided to paint it with acrylic to make it stand out better, and experimented with the makers logo on the back with black (HER) and dark grey (ITA) before opting for the grey:

    In case anyone was wondering, I looked up Heritage Highland Clothing only to learn that they went out of business a few years ago.

    I made wood versions of the templates to cut out the leather leaves, and cut the holes in the wood and bored corresponding holes in the leather with my woodburning pen:


    Then one last test-fit before gluing the fabric to the wood and painting the knotwork:


    Finally, I glued everything together, with the studs added for reinforcement as well as decoration, and reinstalled the studs holding the flap in place. I'd originally planned to affix a small Art Pewter badge like the one on my sgian, i.e. a cufflink or lapel pin, but meanwhile discovered that the badge on my other sporran was broken. I was able to salvage the mermaid, though, and put her there instead...again, emulating the look of the demi-savage on the Atholl Highlanders' sporran:

    Note to those who might give me guff about the badgeless crest: the Lord Lyon approved the 10th Duke of Atholl's decision that the demi-savage, rather than the mermaid, be his official crest, back in 1993. Besides, heraldic images of a mermaid in her vanity are far from exclusive to Clan Murray.

    For those who want a before-and-after comparison but don't feel like scrolling up and down this admittedly sizable post:


    And here's one of the finished sporran with the various designs that inspired it:
    Last edited by Dollander; 24th March 18 at 07:10 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Fine job, Looks great!

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  5. #3
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    Handsome sporran

    A very nice conversion. Well done.
    I love the tartan as well should look very nice.
    I had it in my mind to order A MacLeod of Tullibardine in the ancient hues a while back but have not pulled the trigger yet.
    Nice Job.

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  7. #4
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    Very clever.

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  9. #5
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    Fabulous! How did you attach the cloth to the wood? Did you wrap it behind? (In which case it usually shows wrinkles around the edges.) O, did you cut it to fit precisely, then glue it to the front? (In which case one can usually see edges and even fraying of the cloth, which I don't see on your great looking work!)

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  11. #6
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    Looks good. I have considered doing something similar on multiple occasions as I am not a big fan of sporran tassels.

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  13. #7
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    As always, thank you all.

    Quote Originally Posted by jose995 View Post
    Fabulous! How did you attach the cloth to the wood? Did you wrap it behind? (In which case it usually shows wrinkles around the edges.) O, did you cut it to fit precisely, then glue it to the front? (In which case one can usually see edges and even fraying of the cloth, which I don't see on your great looking work!)
    Yeah, I did forget to document that part. And it's not as if I just got caught up in the process, as there was plenty of time to do so while the glue dried. I do have one webcam image, from when I showed a friend via Skype what I was doing instead of getting ready for bed (hence my expression):
    insteadofsleeping.jpg
    I glued the wood to the fabric first (E6000, in case you were wondering). Then I cut it to a half inch or so from the edge, added the notches, and folded and glued them with binder clips to hold them in place. I should note that it's upholstery fabric so it had a backing, whereas I don't know if E6000 would work with real garment-quality tweed as the glue might seep through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinenotburn View Post
    A very nice conversion. Well done.
    I love the tartan as well should look very nice.
    I had it in my mind to order A MacLeod of Tullibardine in the ancient hues a while back but have not pulled the trigger yet.
    Nice Job.
    Considering that tartan is only available as a custom weave from Dalgliesh, I certainly understand your hesitancy; that's one expensive trigger.

    And, the kilt is finished, I just don't have any pics I'd consider good enough to give it a proper debut on the forum. As I mentioned, the brightly overcast days (i.e. "nature's softbox") ideal for my crappy camera haven't coincided with my free time, and my attempts to adjust the exposure on pics taken in the shade tend to mess with the color. Plus, it wasn't 'til after I took them that I realized the underapron was showing, and while I thought I'd have to alter it, turns out all I needed to do was loosen the apron strap a notch:
    okayphoto.jpg
    It's the same overall medium-apron RevK design as my other kilts, except full-rise rather than mid-rise with a slope, and higher yardage so I could pleat it to sett.

    By the way, it was right after I took this that I discovered the badge on my sporran was broken. No doubt being affixed to a semi-flexible piece of leather put undue stress on it, though I'm sure spending the bulk of the last 25+ years pinned to a balmoral that was in turn stuffed in a bag of old clothes didn't help much. At least the mermaid badge is still in production so I can replace it, though I'll be sure to reinforce it this time.
    brokenbadge.jpg
    Last edited by Dollander; 27th March 18 at 02:04 AM.

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