I’m not sure Lady Bracknell would approve

For sometime I have wanted to have a go at bag making , but wasn’t quite sure what materials I would need. I was delighted, therefore, to discover U-Handbag, a company that sells kits with all the necessary bits and bobs except the fabric. In the autumn I bought two kits, one for a handbag and one for a larger “carpet bag” (not made with carpet I hasten to add) as well as a couple of books.

I decided to start with the smaller bag and spent an afternoon cutting out the outer fabric, lining, interfacing and padding. There were quite a lot of pieces because of all the layers, but the instructions were clear and there was a full size pattern with all the pieces properly labelled.

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So many bits

I haven’t done much sewing for a while and some of the fiddly bits took quite a lot of concentration, but gradually it came together and started to look like a bag:

 In fact the trickiest part was gluing the frame on – almost the last step. I got some glue on the metal and haven’t quite managed to clean it all off yet. Nevertheless, I’m quite happy with the finished item and it has given me confidence to have a go at other designs. I now also feel better equipped to assess the suitability of various (repurposed) fabrics for the different layers that give a bag structure. My friend Rachel also pointed out that it may be possible to find bags with suitable frames in charity shops that could be cannibalised for future projects. In the mean time, though, I have the bigger one to make from the second kit, with a different sort of closure.

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A handbag!

-oOo-

Oh, and for those of you who don’t understand the title:

From “The importance of being Earnest”

I’ve got it pegged

The original felted peg bag

The original felted peg bag

Ages and ages ago I bought a felting kit for a peg bag. It seemed like a great idea and having a kit would give me a chance to practice my (then) recently acquired felting skills but with a safety net, so the speak. I made it up following the instructions and produced a lovely, fancy little felted bag… much more beautiful than I would have designed if left to my own devices. The problem was that the main way to describe it was ‘little’: it held about 12 pegs. I simply couldn’t fit all my pegs into it and so, however beautiful, it really wasn’t much use. Since I  completed it, it has been sitting on top of the washing machine, unused.

The new felted peg bag

The new felted peg bag

Last week, I decided that the time had come to make a more functional peg bag – one that would hold all my pegs and that would be good for years of use. I didn’t want to spend a huge amount of time on it, so I chose a single colour for the interior and three for the exterior, with no embellishments. All but the  purple wool, which is Merino, is British Blue-faced Leicester. I used a wire coat hanger for the hook and to help it to hold its shape inside and edged the hole with embroidery silk that I’ve had for about 35 years! It’s a bit more square than I would have liked – the pod-shape of the original appeals to me – but I’m quite pleased with it.

... and together for comparison

… and together for comparison

I may have gone to the other extreme in terms of size and it’s certainly not as fancy as the first one, but I’m really pleased with it and, other than the stitching, it only took a couple of hours to make. The tiny original, I’m going to hang up in my office and use if to keep little USB cables in because I’m always putting them down and forgetting where… I knew it wouldn’t go to waste.

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