Friday, October 24, 2008

Felted to the Finish Line

Four and a half hours of measuring, cutting, sewing, ripping, re-sewing and sore fingertips. And now I get to jump up and down with glee. You first saw the messenger bag ready for felting in this post.

My process for felting has an extra step. Boiling water in the washing machine. This was such a huge project that it took two kettles of actual boiling water for the magic to occur. Our hot water heater is set just hot enough for bathing and clean dishes. This is how it is set. Just two clicks past Warm. Thus, the shot of boiling water any time there is a felting project.

Snowy, the grandcat, enjoyed helping while I sewed lining. It is so easy to plot the lining for rectangles. Don't laugh, but the bottom of the bag is a sturdy 1/8" thick wood length from the craft store. The front panel and both sides are reinforced with two thickness of plastic mesh canvas. There is no reinforcement on the back side, because I wanted some flexibility to curve around the hip.

First, I cut the wood and plastic guts and fit them inside the bag. When those were exactly right, then I cut the lining fabric with seam allowances. The planning and thinking and fiddling all worked out. I was so very pleased when the whole thing was finished that I actually took time to put away the sewing machine and pick up all the bits of thread and clean the mess.

Look carefully at the top photo of the completed messenger bag. Only one grommet on the flap shows. I've added a second and when my patience returns, a third grommet will go in. Pure decoration and no practical purpose. Sure does look good.

1 comment:

  1. I think that your idea to use a piece of craft wood as the bottom is an excellent one! I struggled with lining material on another felted bag that I made and ended up using 2 thicknesses of very sturdy cardboard--works well unough but I like your solution so much better!