Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Several years ago, I had bought a bunch of 100% wool sweaters to full (intentionally shrink in the washing machine on hot)
in order to make a pieced wool lap blanket.
This WIP is still languishing in a tote here in my sewing room, but I used a piece of it as a 'pre-felt' to make a purse.
I cut the pattern out of paper first, to check for shape and size. It appears to me that fulled wool will not really shrink much during wet-felting, so take that into consideration when sizing.
I needle-felted colored bands onto the wool...wrapping around the edges well...then wet-felted it. I made a rolled handle with purple roving by using a sushi mat. It works very well to help shrink the cord-like fiber into an even cylinder.
My special tip? Put thin twill tape on the inside of the fiber handle before rolling it, for strength!
When it was all dry, I knotted the cord and machine sewed the purse edges together, leaving a small hole on either side for the handle.
I hand-embroidered all around the edges for interest, and made a hand-cut buttonhole (again with hand embroidery) for
the large button. I ended up making the handle twice, since it turns out that the purse is large and looks better worn across the body like a messenger bag.