Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In the bag!

I had to drag the sewing machine downstairs in order to sew the binding to the Firebird quilt (yes! I'm done! Pics Friday!), so while I had it set up, I figured I might as well put the handspun/handwoven cotton bag together, even though I really had no idea what kind of bag I wanted to make, or how to make it.

 I knew I was going to have to line the handwoven fabric because though it's pretty, it is also flimsy. It would never hold up to any kind of use without a sturdy underlining. I dug through my stuff (I have lots of stuff, trust me), and came up with a blank, strapless canvas bag- part of a bulk order I got back when I was designing projects for I Heart Felt.
 I didn't want to just sew a shell to put over the canvas bag body, so I mulled on it for a bit.
I decided to take the bag seams out so I could sew the handspun cloth directly to the canvas. I thought that would anchor the cloth to the backing pretty well.
 It was obviously meant to be- the shortest woven section fit the bag length perfectly. This was my very first woven cloth (the strap doesn't qualify- though I suppose it's cloth too), so the color sections aren't straight or even. That will matter later. Or maybe it doesn't matter, but the crookedness does come into play. I sewed the plaid strip to the center of the bag, and then trimmed off the excess warp (the knots).
 Then I cut some stripey woven cloth, pieced the sections (stripe selvedge to plaid selvedge) and zig-zagged them in place, and trimmed the excess. I also zig-zagged along the center brown section, just to keep the fabric from slipping around. After that, I sewed one side seam.
 I pinned and sewed a section of the strap fabric to the upper edge of the bag- both to add strength and stability and because it looks pretty (and I had a lot- 102"- of that strap fabric). The rest of the sewing was a snap- I sewed the other side seam, and then the bottom miters. I forgot to take pictures of the strap assembly, but... well... I sewed straps in place.
 How's this for cool? The stripey sides match perfectly to the creases.
 The plaid front looks good too, even though the crookedness in the weaving is the first (and last) thing that I see. I don't know for sure what I'll put in the bag- it's fairly deep, so it would work as a spindle bag. Or maybe a wine bottle carrier.
Not bad, for a first weaving project, eh?

I have about a yard of the fabric left (some plaid, some striped), and some strap. It's not enough for another bag this size, so I don't know what I'll make with it. Whatever it ends up being, it won't happen this week. I've already put the sewing machine away.


Chery said...

Neat Bag! I love the softness of the colors. Easy construction.... you are a winner. Enjoy your bag with whatever you stuff it with.

Marlyn Beebe said...

Wow! is all I can say.

Mary Keenan said...

Oh Kathi - so COOL!

Fabric Works said...

That reminds me! I have some hand woven fabric around, as well as some handwoven garments I could refashion! Thanks for the inspiration. I would love to weave if someone would warp my loom! Have fun.