Thursday, May 17, 2012

Blue Dandelion Felted Bag, a Clare Youngs Design

I finished making the "blue dandelion felted bag" in Clare Youngs book "Scandinavian Needlecraft." I'm pretty pleased, although I did make a few changes.
The embroidery was pretty straight forward. I used Dritz Tracing Paper to transfer the design on to a piece of felt. I then embroidered it with navy blue DMC embroidery floss. The embroidery design calls for using bullion knots, daisy stitch,whipped backstitch, detached chain stitch, chain stitch and backstitch. Instructions for all of the stitches used can be found in the book.

The bag is not rectangular in nature. It's a trapezoid.  Prior to embroidering the dandelion I drew my initial pattern on a piece of freezer paper, ironed it to the fabric and then cut it out. I was worried about my symmetry and things not lining up. To combat that I used my initial piece of embroidered fabric as a template. I just stacked everything up, set the first piece of felt on top and then used a rotary cutter to cut them out.  

When it comes to sewing, I'm a novice. This is the first bag that I've made that included a lining and handles. I'm pleased with how it came out but as usual I did make a few changes. These are the changes that I made.
  The pattern calls for two 19x1.5 inch pieces of blue suede for the handles. I have no idea where to shop for suede so instead I used some navy ultrasuede. Ultrasuede is expensive so I purchased the smallest amount that I could. 1/8 yard. Fortunately it was a long piece of fabric. I cut the appropriate pieces for the bag but I did not at all like how it stitched together. Instead, I folded what was left in half (wrong sides together) so that I had a crease along the center of the strip. I opened it up and then folded the edges (also wrong sides together) towards the center so that the edges met in the middle along the crease. I then folded it half again so that the center crease was along one edge and the folded edges were along the opposite edge. I was unable to pin it, so I held it together with clothes pins until I could get it stitched down both sides. I have fabric to make a second bag and I'll try to have the forethought to get pictures of that step the next go round.
  The result was a nice thick, suede like handle. I didn't have enough fabric to make the handles as long as the pattern indicated. My handles are also thinner, but I think it worked out ok.
  For the liner, the pattern calls for folding over a small double hem and then slip stitching the lining into place. Instead, I followed the instructions for the stortotget bag on the following page. I then top stitched around the top edge.

This is going to be one of my project bags. I've always got a handful of "works in progress" projects lying around the house. Now I have someplace cute to store one of them!

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