Let me start by introducing you to my newest and bestest friend…
Isn’t she a beauty? I finally saved and caved and bought myself a nice basic machine that should see me through many many years of happy sewing, senility and altering. It’s already taught me a trick or two! I grew up using a Singer with a hand wheel and have never used a foot pedal before so this is a HUGE leap into the future for me. I’m still getting used to it and hope to use it for all the fancy functions it has built in, in due time. For now I am just thrilled watching the bobbin fill up with no snags or bunching. Talk about TECHNOLOGY!
The very first thing I did with it was shorten my manly man’s tunic sleeves. The second thing I did with it was a little more complicated.
As I mentioned in my previous post, they don’t make industrial grade felt in pretty colours. However, it is with pretty colours alone that I wanted to make my next purse. I had said pretty colours in thinner felt fabric and so decided to club two pretty, but thin fabrics together to make a durable, double sided fabric. This led to the idea of a double sided or reversible purse and the various complications that come with trying to make both sides presentable and seamless.
I started by simply cutting two pieces of felt of the same size, one purple and one green and sewing them together along the longer edges to make a single, double sided piece.
I left the shorter ends open because thereafter I turned the whole thing inside out, thus giving me a seamless dual sided fabric.
I then folded in and pinned the two raw edges on either side of the piece, which would make the top hems of the purse and sewed them down.
I then simply folded the whole piece in half and sewed the side seams together, using black thread on what would become the outside or right side of the purple side of the purse. When turned inside out, the green side had a different look with hidden seams.
After this point, the actual chronology goes a bit wonky. To keep myself interested and also to satisfy my IMMEDIATE need to work on things the minute they occur to me, I digressed and worked on embellishments and things around this time. Also, newly bought pretty coloured felt distracted me. SHINY!
However for the sake of continuity and in the interest of keeping your interest, if in fact you had any interest in the first place, I will continue in what seems to be a logical course of events.
To make the handles I cut out four strips of off white felt, two for each. I rounded off the edges, stacked two of them and sewed two parallel lines to hold them together, leaving the rounded edges free for no specific purpose, yet.
From here on in, I went back to hand sewing for all the finishing work and embellishments.
At this point, or at some point I will call ‘this point’ I realised that I needed to dress up the ugly black stitching on the top hems of the green side, ugly only due to contrast. Although I don’t have a clear picture of it, you will see in time, that I took a thin strip of off white felt and hot glued it onto the top edge, almost like a piping, but not quite. Hot gluing things is my favourite part of non-garment sewing. Efficient, clean, deadly. And just like a bullet, it too comes from a gun. 😀
To attach the handles I took some thick, durable thread and just went at it, going right through 4 layers of felt, doing two lines of simple running stitch and double backing over it to make it strong and cabable of some load bearing.
To hide any uglies and add some pretty details, I cut out small felt ‘buttons’, brown for the green side, and off white and green for the purple side and hot glued them on right over the point where the handles were stitched on. I also glued down the open ends of the rounded edges of the handles and hot glued other free ends to make a solid joint.
For embellishments, I knew I wanted big, pretty spring time flowers and I knew they had to be somewhat 3D and gorgeous. They also had to be detachable, since if they were to stay attached, you’d have big flowers INSIDE your purse. So I decided they had to be brooch like.
My first attempt at white daisy like flowers, although successful, did not suit the purpose of this purse perfectly. They were a bit bulky, and too heavy for the it. They turned out to be gorgeous brooches though, which I will save for a mini post later.
Since I initially thought I was done with the white daisies for the purple side, I started working on some yellow flowers for the green side. I pulled out another flower concept from thin air and was successful on my very first attempt.
Quite simply, I cut out a thin strip of bright yellow felt. I ran a simple running gather stitch through it, pulled and gathered the material into a circular shape and roughly but tightly sewed it together for it to hold. Looking to some of my existing store bought brooches for ideas, I made a small round backing and put a safety pin through it. I then hot glued the little backing to the back of the flower and added a little brown core to the flower and there they were, beaming back it me. I could not have been more pleased when they turned out so pretty!
Hereafter, I went back to solving my white daisy problem. After some hard thinking and chai drinking, I quickly adapted my yellow flower method to the daisy as well, cutting out a long white strip and then cutting tassles into the strip, for the ‘petals’.
I then followed the same method I used for the yellow flowers, gathering up the strip with a running stitch and sewing it together to hold. I repeated the backing method and added a little yellow core. I covered the black embroidery you see in the centre with little green felt dots as the black did not gel well. This worked extremely well and figuring out a way to make non-bulky, light weight daisy like flowers gave me much satisfaction and many more ideas.
Hereafter I decided where exactly I wanted the flowers to go and cut out small round shapes of purple and green, similar to the brooch backings. I carefully hot glued them to those chosen spots, making sure the glue remained around the edges and did not spill over to the centre, where I had cut small slits. The convoluted though practical purpose of doing this was suggested by the manly man, so that the removal and re-pinning of the brooches would not make unnecessary or unsightly holes on the actual body of the fabric. I thought the idea was smart and incorporated it into the purse, as durability is a prime concern for me.
And that was it. I pinned on the flowers and VOILA!
One bag. Two looks. What a wonderful world!