These two bags were sent to two great women: Korallin
. I can't say enough great things about these two. Korallin left the first comment on my blog and has been a hilarious and steadfast friend ever since. Marietta and I clicked right away. She sent me a super-cool stash of felt after exchanging only a couple of emails with me. They are both exuberant, kick ass women. And I wanted to send them both a kick ass present.
I've been on a mission to make a totally awesome crochet bag. The first step was designing a bag with no seams. This bag is a smooth, solid, strong, single crochet bag - even the handles are integrated.
The second step was making a great lining. The bottom is squared off and reinforced with thick iron-on interfacing, which helps keep the bottom of the bag flat, even when it's loaded down.
I was worried that the top edge of the bag would buckle around the snap when it was full and you picked it up by the handles. As reinforcement, I added boning along the top edges. The boning is light-weight, but still strong enough to keep the crisp line across the top of the bag when it's snapped shut.
The bird embellishments are inspired by the lining fabric and are pretty much embroidered freehand. The embroidered "handmade by futuregirl" tags are created by printing out the letters on paper using the font from my blog. Then I trace it onto see-through tear-away stabilizer, embroider over that, and then (kinda) tear it away. Be warned: tear-away stabilizer is meant to be on the back of machine embroidery, not the front of hand embroidery. The labels in these purses were done with one strand of brown floss. I almost ripped them right out of the fabric when I tried to tear away the stabilizer. My heart fucking stopped. Ugh! Luckily just a couple of the stitches had been pulled funny and that was easily fixed. Now I carefully use my manicure scissors and tweezers to remove the stabilizer.
One of my favorite parts of the whole process is sewing the lining into the
bag. First I pin the lining in, then I hand stitch around one single crochet stitch, bring the needle in and out of the top fold of the lining (so the thread is inside the folded top edge of the lining), then around the next stitch, etc. It comes out looking so nice and smooth - like it was machine sewn. The stitches don't even pull when you unsnap the purse - they are super sturdy and secure. And, of course, I have my handy dandy snap tool to do the snaps now.
It's a great feeling to have done all this work and end up with a bag that I'm really proud of. It's an even better feeling to have people to share them with. :)