Sunday, 8 May 2011

Why didn't I start with a purse...?

I thought we were going to have rain all weekend, so I prepared myself for a bit of baking and craft. Then mid-morning Saturday, the sun came out and plans were changed!
So instead I shall tell you about the craft activities of last weekend.

I bought this book last summer...

and ever since I have been desperate to make a handbag. Gillian Harris is the owner of GillianGladRag and has some inspiring ideas and kits. Her tutorials are clear in the book but a few more step-bystep photos would be useful.
I wanted to build up my skills in wet felting before I embarked on such a big project. I can't bear the thought of wasting beautiful materials on experimenting, are you like this? I have some lovely craft materials but don't want to ruin them, so they often sit in a drawer or suchlike for a long time until I eventually get up the confidence to simply go for it!
That's what happened last weekend, I was ready to go for the handbag!
I decided to copy the original bag for my first attempt. So I laid out my tools and materials and started.

First layer laid out on template ready to prefelt.

Prefelting first layer.

Template turned over, edges folded in ready for first layer on other side.

Second layer, opposite direction, ready to prefelt.

This was the stage where I was thinking 'Why didn't I start with something smaller like a purse?' !

As before, I turned over, folded in edges, laid out second layer on that side and prefelted. All this repeated for third layer first side, but second side had a little extra - the flowers...

Ready to felt on final layer.

Silk fibre was added to my roses to give them extra shine.

First stage of of felting - soap, water and lots of rubbing.

Next stage, lots of rolling, 100 times then rotate felt 90 degrees. I rolled 600 times in total!

Rinsing and shocking with hot and cold water.

Snipping the top open to remove the template and reveal the amazing pink lining (getting very excited at this point!)

Yes, loving those colours!

After a little rubbing and rinsing of the snipped edges, the felt is left to dry.

I love, love, LOVE how it has progressed so far! The other side is plain green and I want to make a large felt flower brooch to pin to it.
I'm thinking of changing the style of the bag a little. I fancy sewing a panel of fabric above the felt but I need to find the right fabric to complement it. I found this bag while google searching and love the shape. 

I think it could work really well with my felt as the main part. There is a free pattern for this bag here and flickr has a group of pictures of bags made from this pattern which is called 'the wasp bag'! 

Hope you too have been having some making fun like me!
Becky x


  1. LOOOOOVE it Becky!
    The colours, and especially your beautiful shiny roses are great - glad you did a bag - more pink and more flowers!
    Your photos and explanation are brilliant and I was getting just as excited as you were by the end!!
    I completely identify with you on the stashing of materials in case you waste them...I have a hamperful of colourful tops bursting to be felted..I'm learning to be a bit more impulsive,to grab a handful and my needles when I have the creative time!
    Looking forward to more of your colourful felty creations...keep it up Becky.
    Ali x

  2. That bag is looking great Becky! I love those colour combinations; the green is the perfect backdrop for those zingy flowers! Liz x

  3. Wow I never knew there was so much work involved in felt making! It looks fantastic. I rather like the little bag as it is.I like to stash my pretty craft materials too and just get them out every so often to remind myself how lovely they are.Lovely post, love Linda x

  4. Wow - I wouldn't know where to start with felting - that is so impressive! Can't wait to see the finished bag!!

  5. Aw Becky so sorry you've had a rough day. You made me laugh with your comments though.Lets hope tomorrow is a cracker!Love Linda x

  6. Didn't know there were so many processes involved..your post made a very intersesting read...and your bag looks smashing!

  7. I loved your felt making post -it was so interesting and the result is beautiful! Some day I must try this too, it looks wonderful! Have a happy day.
    Helen x

  8. The bag is looking fantastic Becky! You have away with this felting for sure. I have never tried this, and it intrigues me that you can take woolly bits and create a fabric from them. It looks hard work though with the rolling and soaping and washing etc, but amazing results.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished bag.

    Gill xx

  9. Ah, well that has answered the question I asked on your other post! You use bubble wrap as a template

    Do you find it does the job well?


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