Lazies, I love the look of felted bags, don’t you? But, honestly, the whole ‘make it big then shrink it’ concept leaves me feeling like there is some magic formula or expertise I must have in order to do it right. I’m sure that making a felted bag is easy, but it intimidates me. So, here is my quick and easy Lazy Girl way to make a yarn covered bag without knowing anything about felting.
To make a Lazy ‘felted’ bag, follow these simple steps to combine crocheting or knitting along with sewing to make what appears to be a purse constructed of yarn.
1) Find a fabric bag style or design you want to make. Simple is better in order to showcase the yarn. This sample uses our Chloe Handbag pattern. The cover is one rectangular piece that wraps from the front of the bag, across the bottom and back up the other side.
3) Crochet or knit the yarn into a rectangle a bit bigger than the cover of the purse. It doesn’t have to be accurate along the edges so don’t worry if you drop or add stitches.
4) Use a piece of fusible web (Steam-A-Seam, Wonder Under, etc) to fuse the yarn rectangle to the cover fabric. Then cut the pattern piece from the yarn/fabric creation and treat it as one piece of material and assemble the bag from there. You may want to stay stitch along the edges where the yarn is cut to secure the lose fibers while completing the project.
5) Easily add details with a second yarn that coordinates with your first yummy yarn. Here we’ve wrapped the handle tabs and the center top of the handles (handles by Clover, item #6324) for a bit of flair and interest.
Click on the image of the completed purse above to enlarge so you can see the following details. The crochet stitches are loose enough that there is space between the stitches and you can see the fabric behind the yarn. The fusible web is almost transparent after fusing, but not quite. I used a ‘Fossil Fern’ fabric from Benartex in green that closely matched the yarn. Since it’s a light colored fabric, the ‘film’ of the fusible goes undetected and merely lightens the green a bit. This would look quite different on a black piece of fabric.
This is a technique that could be used for so many things. In this bag sample the yarn was made stable and sturdy by building up behind it with the fusible and fabric. There is no need for you to crochet perfectly, the edges of the rectangle will be sewn into the seam allowances, or cut off. As long as the rows look straight from side to side when fusing, it looks good. And that’s what we’re going for here.
Our goal is the illusion of perfection in the absence of actual perfection. Perfection is highly overrated and too darned hard to achieve in my Lazy Girl world.
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PS: I made this bag for my friend Nancy. I borrowed it back from her several times during the following year so I could take it to trade shows and my trip to teach in Japan. That bag is well traveled and I’m happy to report it’s back in Nancy’s possession. I told her I wouldn’t dare ask to borrow it again. So far, so good.
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