NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art

pattern pieces A & B pattern pieces C, D & E

Learning how to make
Puzzle Pouches

reproduction of a Potawatomi Puzzle Pouch

Pattern Pieces for a Puzzle Pouch
[click on the images for full size printable patterns].

pouch steps 1&2 1. Cut out the five pieces of the pattern A, B, C, D and E. Trace them onto leather and cut out the pieces. A softer hide works well for small pouches, deer hide being the best. Heavier elk hide might work well for larger pouches. 2. Line up and sew together pieces A & B (using either a whip stitch, a running stitch, or a blanket stitch - shown in this example). Sew along "seam 1" on the pattern (either sew with 'right sides' facing eachother and then turn right-side out afterwards... or sew with right sides facing out, your choice! *smile)
pouch steps 3&4 3. Cut small slits in piece C as shown on the pattern -- an exacto knife works well for this -- just be careful not to cut these slits too large! 4. Thread the thongs of piece A through the slits of piece C... (threading from the 'right side' to the 'wrong side') so that the wrong side of the flap C is laying face up against pattern picece A.
pouch steps 5. Now thread the thongs of piece A through the slits of piece D (threading from the 'wrong side' to the 'right side') so that a flap hangs over both each side of the pouch... one flap of piece D should hang with piece D... and the other flap of piece D should hang on the other side with the existing flap of Piece B. 6. Sew together piece C with the flap of the piece D along 'seam 2a' ... and continue sewing along 'seam 2b', atacheing the flap of piece B with the flap of piece D.
pouch steps 7. Gather together the ends of the thongs of piece A and sew them together... running the needle through the tip of each of the six thongs... Tie the ends of this trhead together or knot well on either sides of the thong tips.
pouch steps 8. Cover the gathered tips of the thongs of piece A with the 'hour glass shaped' piece E. Fold piece E in half at the narrowest point, and sew down one side of piece E, across the bottom (sewing through the fan of thongs from piece A), and up the last side of piece E.
the solution! ... and now... for the solution!! To open the puzzle pouch, Lift flap C/D and pinch piece A just underneath the flap with your fingers... holding flap C/D with one hand, pull on the thongs of piece A so that they slide through the slits... pull the thongs all the way through the slits, and you will be able to fit your fingers between the thongs and into the puzzle pouch!
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© 1994 - Tara Prindle
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