Monday, January 18, 2010

A wooly One Yard Wonders Folklore bag



Ever since I started amassing a mountain of felted sweaters in my craft room I've been thinking of making a bag from them, but I hadn't quite got round to it. I got the book One Yard Wonders just before Christmas and I've been watching all the beautiful projects people have been posting from it in the Flickr Group . I really liked all the versions of the Folklore Bag that were popping up so I decided to cut out the pattern for that one and give it a go with one of the sweaters I had.

The beauty of the One Yard Wonders book is that each pattern uses one yard or less, so with making the lining in a different fabric, I was able to fit all of the outer pattern pieces for the bag on one rather large felted dark grey cable-knit sweater. I cut the front and back and top band from the front of the sweater, the straps from the back, and the side piece was cut from the two arms sewn together to make one long piece. It was lucky that the sweater I had was very large so that I could try and match the cable patterns on the front and back of the bag. In retrospect it probably wasn't the best sweater to use for my first bag because it was so chunky, but I learnt a lot from it.



The pattern has pleats under the top band but I decided that this would not work too well with my chunky sweater so I used the lining pattern piece for the outside. Sewing the pieces together was a bit of a challenge for me, and my machine, but we managed it by taking it very slowly over the really thick bits, and I definitely had to baste it all together by hand first. I didn't overstitch the seams as the pattern suggests for cotton, that would have killed my machine I'm sure.

I decided the bag needed a home dec weight fabric for the lining to match the chunkiness of the knit so I opted for some plain green Ikea fabric I already had, but I did sneak a little bit of print onto the inside pocket, a green Dala horse. I chose to overstitch around the top of the bag by hand with a simple running stitch. This gave it some stability and I quite like the effect of the hand stitching. The bag is supposed to have a magnetic clasp but I didn't have one so decided to go without, at least for now.



Overall I'm pretty happy with this bag and I learnt a lot making it. It definitely won't be the last wool bag I make, or my last project from One Yard Wonders.

7 comments:

  1. LOVE this! I have two hand-knit sweaters that I was considering doing this to ... and I'm doing the One Yard Wonders sew along hosted by Finny Knits and Africankelli. I am SO going to make the folklore bag with at least one of those sweaters. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. Also, could you suggest a source for a simple tutorial on felting?

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  3. Thanks Sue. I don't have any tutorials bookmarked, although I'm sure there are some if you search, technically it's called fulling when you felt something already knitted, so maybe search for that? I do love Betz White's book Warm Fuzzies, she also has some great tutorials on her blog for once you've got your felt.

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  4. That's really smashing Gail. I think I must live in the land of acrylic because I never find any good woolly jumpers when I'm looking round the charity shops.

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  5. Thanks Ali, I love the thrift stores over here, they are huge compared to the ones in the UK. I think it's a bad day now if I don't find a cashmere jumper!

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  6. Awesome!! My sister and I were just talking about what to do with our growing piles of sweaters - the ones being saved for crafting, of course! And I have that book! Thanks for the inspiration!

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