i am really pleased with this. it’s a bit bulgy towards the bottom corners, with slightly concave sides, i think mostly that’s down to not trimming enough from the seams at those corners, and possibly something to do with the knit fabric? a couple of stitches that hold the handles on have snuck through to the underside of the fashion fabric i.e. you can’t see a stitch but you can see a dimple where the stitch has caught inside. oh and one of the handles is fractionally longer than the other. but apart from that it’s perfect :P

the inspiration came from a pair of jamas i picked up in a charity shop. they looked dreadful on but i thought they’d make the ideal lining for a green felt bag

the jumper came from ebay, super cheap as the seller said it had shrunk in the wash. unfortunately for me that was about as much as it wanted to shrink, it thickened a little and lost about 1-2” over the whole jumper, but you can still clearly see the stitches, though it is fairly ravel-free.

the pink felt is much better, scraps left over from the interminable blanket project. given the roses on the lining i couldn’t come up with a better plan than to make roses for the outside. i started off thinking of flat applique but i liked the idea of using the 3 dimensional possibilities of felt. i used these instructions and was more than happy with the result, although the whole thing is maybe a bit traditional for my taste

the button is made of tagua nut (aka vegetable ivory), from near sea naturals from a set that i’d indulgently stashed without any plan beyond to own them :D the button works really well with the other materials, better than a magnetic snap i reckon. oh and now i’m getting random thoughts about making a bag from a button front cardigan, keeping the buttons and buttonholes in situ for fastening…

i used the same construction technique as bag 1, just omitting the piping as a) it had given me so much trouble the first time, b) it’s quicker to leave it off and c) i didn’t think it would work well with the felt. i used nymo thread for all of the construction as i’d bought a variety of colours along with my curved beading needles. the thread is reasuringly sturdy and nice and smooth to work with.

the handles were supposed to be felted around a plastic clothes line (a bank holiday substitution for some kind of thick cord i’d have ideally used). unfortunately since there wasn’t much felting to be had out of the jumper they may as well just have been sewn and threaded, but i think it’s still a great idea for something that was inclined to felt. the button loop is made from a section of my first failed attempt at handles (that i’d used metal-cored line for but which had been shredded by the metal wires poking out the cut ends). i’ve been hanging the bag with weights in it to remove the kinks in the washing line from where it was coiled up and it’s straightening out nicely.

some random thoughts - bottom right is where i automatically put the roses, but when i wear the bag on my right shoulder, as i naturally do, that corner wants to tuck under my arm, so for best visibility and keeping out of the way they might have been better bottom left. the colours and fabrics make it a wintery kind of bag, but there isn’t an awful lot of spare room in the handles to allow for it to go on the shoulder over winter clothes/coat. a bag that has to be carried is completely out for me. we were recommended not to go smaller than 6” for the opening, this one is 7” and i certainly wouldn’t want any smaller than that. oh and also the colours are very washed out in the pix, which were the best i could do to show the details. the green is a much richer olivey colour.

i’ll have to work out a grand price total for the materials, it took 2 days working on and off. if i’d been child-free i might have managed it in 1.