Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wet felted purse, and an inkle woven band

I took some time today and finished up the red and black felt containers that my son and I made the other day. Well, yesterday he sewed the button and loop on his own, stuck his camera in it, and put it in his pocket. I think it has been there since, except when he is proudly showing it off. But I did the other two today.

The middle sized one is a great size for a blackberry. I sewed a fingerloop braid on it, and it will be going to its new owner tomorrow.

The big one, pictured above, took some thinking. I decided that it would make a good size for a casual little purse. The interior is 3" x 1" x 4 3/4", which is just the right size for some keys, money, ID, and a few other necessities. But I had to figure out what I wanted to do for a strap. I like my purses to hang over the shoulder and reach about to my waist. I haven't figure out how to do a finger loop braid quite that long. (I'll do a tutorial on finger loop braiding in a while, when I can get someone else to take pictures of my hands.)

My first thought was to weave an inkle band for the strap. So I grabbed some red and black cotton thread, made up a pattern, and warped up my loom. I'm liking how the band is turning out! is taking several hours to create the band. Longer than the body of the purse took, actually. If I were making this for myself, I might continue on. But I'd like to put this in the Etsy shop, and I'm thinking that nobody is going to want to more than double the price of the purse in order to have a hand woven strap. (If I'm wrong, I'd happily take custom orders!) So instead, I spun up some two ply yarn out of the same roving that I did the felting with, and then cabled three strands of it together. That did the trick. I hand sewed the cord onto the purse. It hangs 16" down from knot to purse, which puts it at just the right length for me.

I'll still finish up the inkle band, but I'll end up either using it for a different project (trim on a historical costume?), or I might list it in the Etsy shop on its own. I'll see how it turns out.


  1. Nice job! The twisted strap suits the bag well, I think. It is amazing to me that you could spin a two ply yarn and cable it up faster than you could weave the band on the inkle loom.
    One day I would like to learn to spin.

  2. It may be a product of what you are more practiced with. But I could spin, ply, and cable this much cording in about an hour. It takes me longer than that to warp and weave a strap, especially since I was using 10/2 weaving cotton instead of the crochet cotton I usually use.

    Go for spinning! I warn you though--it gets addictive. :)