archive for 'bag class'
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
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 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 b 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.
my first mistake was being so keen to get started i didn’t check my pattern pieces properly. i’d cut all the fashion fabric and interlining out from the wrong pattern piece before i noticed. so the finished bag is now the size that the lining should have been. it’s made the whole thing a little narrower and a fair bit shorter than intended.
the front and back of the bag are completed seperately before being hand stitched together. you can see how badly different my 2 pieces were…
still i thought i’d sew them together anyway to practise using a curved needle. you can see it’s given an ‘interesting’ ruffle to the bottom of the bag but it’s still usable and would almost pass the 3 foot test if held at a slight angle
kenneth’s given us a way to avoid the mismatch involving cunning use of a manila envelope, which i’ll definitely try next time. i’ll also thread trace the seam line onto the fashion fabric so i can be more accurate on the positioning of the piping.
the piping itself is baggy in places, especially round the corners, but not dreadfully so. because i used rounded corners i had to join the piping at the bottom. i wasn’t confident i’d get the length right if i joined by machine so i pinned the piping in place, then joined by hand in situ. the seam itself isn’t too bad, though not a patch on my joining seams in the piping which are near enough invisible. next time i’ll pin the cord before i trim it as there’s a gap between the ends now.
handbag history here
next up is a day bag for me out of my fabulous purple floral. must have room for all the toddler stuff plus at least one (zipped?) pocket for keys etc. i want compartments inside to keep stuff seperate and bottles upright. wider than high is more practical for carrying more stuff, even though i’m rather wedded to the a-line thing. this one will have a shoulder strap and a flap over the top.
some ideas for compartments here.
lack of recent blog activity recently doesn’t entirely reflect lack of sewing activity. my fulling frenzy has been ongoing but a decent size blanket will take many more jumpers than i expected. i have 6 jumpers fulled and cut, but i’m only about 2/3 of the way there. it’s the ones that just don’t felt that have slowed me down, i’ve had 4 failures so far, but i’m narrowing down the criteria for successful fulling: up to 20% nylon isn’t a problem, as long as the care label says to hand wash. hand wash gently in cold inside out is what i really like to see.
all isn’t lost for the non-felters though, i’m going to turn them into bags, as then they don’t need the tight structure to support a butted seam. the bag class is going great, i’m full of ideas and i actually got to do some sewing over the weekend (after being ambushed all week by things that had to be done first). the first one is done save the lining, it’s pretty wonky but should come in handy for keeping reels of thread in (i’ll add velcro closures). the second one has some obvious faults but i’m still delighted with it, it’s very very cute. will post pix and blow-by-blows hopefully tonight.
trekked around all our local charity shops today. we’re blessed with a whole streetfull, a bonus addition to the streetfull of fabric shops on the other side, if only they weren’t mostly home dec, though there’s a handful of sari shops to make up for it. found plenty of woolly jumpers for fulling, but nothing suitable for the bag project (was hoping to find a wool blanket or similar, don’t think i’ll get enough from a jumper). in the very last shop i spotted my perfect bag fabric, a rather lurid pink/purple/green 70’s flowered curtain fabric. my immediate thought was to find a purple lining and lo and behold there was a piece of decent quality purple lining hanging on the rail above. the main fabric is loosely woven, fairly thin (thin enough to need a pale coloured felt underneath) and stiff but seems to have softened up slightly after a soak. i’ve stuck a swatch in the wash to see how it copes. the burn test suggests acrylic with melting, acrid black smoke and a sputtering flame.
the fabrics were Â£3 the lot which made up for the extortionate price of the jumpers. couldn’t find anything decent for under Â£3, so the fulling (was hoping to do a blanket) is definitely not going to be the cheapo thrill i was expecting. glad i bought a plunger for the bathtub method as my machine’s a front loader which can’t be checked and stopped through the process and there’s no chance i’m leaving my expensive jumpers’ fate in the hands of the washing machine gods. i’m itching to have a try but i’ve got a meeting tonight and my coding to do later in the week so won’t be able to start till next week
the a-line ones halfways down this page look like a good start. prolly want to make the handle longer though.
since i’ve started hanging out at glitter and signed up for a handbag class at pr it looks like i might be heading down the slippery slope to fibre arts it makes sense to me to still keep everything in the same place, but it looks like it won’t be just making for madam for long (unless she reveals a hitherto undisclosed need for couture handbags ).
on the search for class materials i found there was bugger all chance i’ll be paying Â£36/m for wool felt so i’m on the track of instructions for felting woollen wovens and knits. turns out this process is known as fulling, not felting as elucidated here (magnifying glass at the ready…). fuzzygalore also has a blog that has its fair share of sewing too.