Cheat Your Way to Yarny Goodness by Mixing Crafty Passions

Mock felted Chloe Handbag, Lazy Girl Designs #LGD120

Lazies, One of my all time favorite creations is this gorgeous mock-felted Chloe Handbag. Not only do I love the limey greens and earthy undertones of this delicately furry yarn, the whole thing is a big fat cheat. And I love a good cheat that bypasses convention. And today, I’m going to tell you how I did it. Be sure to download the tutorial later in this post.

Here we are at the end of what I think of as ‘yarn’ season. For me, crochet is a cold-weather craft because a project usually rests on me as I crochet, creating warmth that’s better suited for winter than summer.

At the end of yarn season I have leftovers, scraps, extras that were purchased as just-in-case or overages. What to do with all this yarny goodness? Mix crafts with small projects and build your embellishment stash.

Yummy mohair yarn begging to become something.

I love the look of felted bags 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 it’s 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.

Lazy Girl Designs Chloe Handbag #LGD120

2) Get some yummy yarn. Look at those colors! And the specks of gold, oh my! Thin or lightweight yarn is ideal for this technique.

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.

Use a second yard to create unique handle detail.

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.

A little yarn goes a long way, wrapped around these fabric handle tabs.

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.

Build an Embellishment Stash
Finally, every time I buy yarn, I cut off a yard or two to build a stash of beautiful fibers. I like the same color families and design elements in yarn, fabric, buttons, etc. I tend to buy things that go together. Start building your stash so you’ll always have that perfect bling on hand for every project.

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Click here for a printable version of this free tutorial.

Enjoy!
Joan

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9 Responses to “Cheat Your Way to Yarny Goodness by Mixing Crafty Passions”

  1. Sheila Perl — April 2, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    Trust you, Joan, to come up with such an easy and beautiful project!!
    Thank you! :)

  2. Annie Unrein — April 2, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    Oh, Joan, I love your attitude: Perfection IS overrated and sewing is supposed to be FUN. Thanks for always making me smile and for making sewing such a fun endeavor. Hope to see you at Market in KC.

    Annie

  3. Susan — April 2, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    this looks like fun……I watched a friend of mine knit three LARGE bags a couple of winters ago and then felt them…..it was waaaay too much work for my mind!

  4. leli — April 2, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    Nice project Will have to try felt first to do this project

  5. Brenda — April 2, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

    This is such a cute idea. Are the handles wood?

  6. dottie — April 3, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    Hi Joan,
    What a great idea but think I’ll take it a Lazy step farther and go to the local thrift shop to buy a sweater and then cut it to work with the LGD bag pattern.

    You continue to amaze with all your great ideas. Thanks for another one.

  7. joan — April 17, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

    Great look, really great. You said chating but looks a lot better than this. Regards.

  8. Lori — May 20, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    Joan,

    I’m having trouble finding purse handles lately. Can you recommend a source (either online or in Columbus, OH area).

  9. Brenda — June 18, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    Joan,
    I love projects with yarn. It is fun and exciting to see such projects as these