Sunday, 19 January 2014

Fibre of the Month - PROJECT


Black Shetland outside, white Shetland inside,
design drawn on with white Shetland

I decided to make a seamless tote with 2 integral pockets:

Laying fibre for the pockets
Placing pocket resists
1st layer of fibre going down.. white Shetland.
Having a layer of white inside will lighten it up and make it easier to see inside
1st layer of black Shetland going down
Starting on side 2.
I use a total of 6 fibre layers on each side

I remembered my lesson from the sample and was very careful not to let it stretch!  I wet around the edges first and worked my way in.. then rubbed the edges first and worked my way in.  It certainly worked.. it stayed snug to the resist and the final shrinkage was nice and even.  

My inspiration for this bag was a pin I spotted on Pinterest, showing these gorgeous petroglyphs!  As soon as I saw them I fell in love and knew they would find their way into my work soon :)

Native American petroglyphs at Lake Ozette
Side 1 - The Watchers
Side 2 - The Whales
Part way through felting
Removing the resist
Removing pocket resists
I've cut the top into a neater, more symmetrical shape
Using tailors chalk to draw round a template of the carrying hole
Easiest way I've found for getting the handles neat   
And to line up I use the 1st hole as template for the 2nd hole,
drawing onto the inside of the bag for the 2nd.

I 'heal' all the edges as I go.. 

I carried on working the felt.. fulling it 'till it had shrunk as much as it would go.  Then rinsed, spun, and stuffed it with tea towels to round the bottom out as it dried.

I like to reinforce the handle area of my totes.. especially the big ones.  I know I'd be tempted to fill it (even overload it :)  and sometimes this can cause distortion at the top of the bag.  
I had this gorgeous woven Navajo wool/cotton fabric which was just right

Being quite loosely woven I used iron on interfacing to stabilise the fabric (so the edges didn't fray) before sewing a hem around it to match the shape of the top of the bag ... then by hand blanket stitched it into place with teal silk thread.

I'm really happy with this bag!  The Shetland has made a very cosy, tactile felt with loads of character.  It shrunk evenly and well.  The finished felt is nice and tight, with the design incorporating really nicely; it felted in easily without trying to distort. I will definitely be using Shetland more often in the future!


For comparison to sampling data

Weight of the finished bag is 360grams
Finished size = 54cm x 36cm at longest and widest point
Resist size was 71cm x 48cm
Shrinkage is 24%/25%

I'm not surprised that the shrinkage is less than 30% (as achieved in the sample).  The sample used 3 fibre layers and the bag was 6 layers each side.. more fibre = less shrinkage.



Ellie Foster said...

Dear Deborah
I love the bag! I have some Shetland wool which I have not used, so these posts have been very useful - thank you. I haven't done any felting for ages - something I need to put right.
Best wishes and happy felting!

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Ellie :) Glad you are finding it interesting.. Yes, crack that Shetland out and get some felting fun :)

Heather Woollove said...

Love this bag, Deborah! The way you reinforce your tote handles is so stylish and elegant!

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Heather :)

Lyn said...

I like the way you re-inforced the handle area. It's pretty as well as practical - the fabric pattern is very complementary.
Pinterest is a good inspiration tool - those petroglyphs suit the style and colour of the bag.

Terriea Kwong said...

Thank you so much for the sharing and the reference of weight, size.... and the reinforce of the handle is great.

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you Lyn & Terrie :)