Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Bags of Fun

image of handmade red felt bag
I received this lovely bag for my birthday from my sister-in-law. I love everything about it...the colour, size,  the materials (so soft and Eco-friendly) and the fact it's completely handmade. It really is a pretty, handy little bag to use.

Whilst on a recent visit to my local yarn shop I noticed a picture of a look-a-like bag on a leaflet advertising a felt bag workshop. An opportunity not to be missed...I booked myself in straight away!! So a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of creating one of these little beauties for myself. The workshop was run by a super-talented, friendly Yorkshire lass called Nicola. Go have a look at her website, Feltipedia, it's full of her wonderful, colourful felted creations. (Have a look at her Facebook page and you'll see me at work!).

Nicola started the session with some useful information about the materials, and the process of how the bag  was going to be put together. I was completely bamboozled by this, and couldn't work out in my head how it was all going to come together. The penny didn't drop till the last thirty minutes...how slow am I? Nicola had the patience of a saint.
I wanted my bag to be a complete contrast to the red one...a fun summery one full of colour. I'd already chosen blue in my head before I'd got there but when Nic presented me with a huge choice of coloured felting wool and embellishments...well I just wanted to use them all, but in the end I stuck with my original blue colour choice. Maybe a striped bag next time?

image of blue felting wool


The embellishment was applied first. Next came the felting wool which was built up in a fine mesh layer on both sides, and there are a LOT of layers to be worked. Just to complicate things I really wanted a contrast colour for the inside of the bag, so that colour had to be built up too.


image of application of first layer of felt
image of felt layers










 image of contrast blue felt

After each side was completed a generous sprinkle of soapy water was applied and worked into the fibres till superbly squidgy. 
image of working the soap layer

Once we got started there was no stopping us. The four hours whizzed by so fast, and I was having so much fun that I forgot to eat lunch (a thing I never EVER do). It is quite a labour intensive process, but it was a labour of love from start to finish. I really didn't think I was going to finish it at one point, it didn't look at all bag-like. Then it was sleeves up and the rolling commenced. This agitates the fibres and makes them knit together. It certainly got the blood pumping and I just couldn't wait to see what it looked like. Nicola handed me a knife and informed me I had to cut out the handle...I think I held my breath the whole time. I really didn't want to mess up now that I'd worked so hard to get to this stage. Once the handle was fashioned the bag could then be turned inside out...(or right way round-see what I mean-confusing for a beginner like me!). Once teased into shape the bag was given a generous rinse in water to wash away all the soap. Et voila! a new bag was born. I was delighted with my choice of colours, and so happy I hadn't botched it up. Yey success!! On cloud 9 when I came out of there-had to stop myself from skipping all the way to the car! So here they are in all their felty glory.....Ta-Dah!!!

image of finished felt bags

Nicola made the gorgeous pink one.

The rest of the embellishing and sewing was done at home. This took a while as I couldn't decide what to decorate it with. Finally I am glad to say that I have managed to finish it, so it's time to show it of. Drum roll please for a second Ta-Dah!...

image of two felt bags

image of back of bag

image of quirky key ring character

Fun and quirky don't you think? I'm really pleased with my new creation. Yes, it really was bags of fun...thanks so much Nicola xx



 

1 comment:

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    ReplyDelete

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