I love bags, any kind of bags! And didn’t I promise to share a product of my sweater fulling (felting) experiment? Well, here it is! The Wooly Crossbody Bag.
Skill Level: Intermediate Time: 3-4 hours (plus sweater felting time)
This cross body bag is a simple pattern and comes together in a snap. My choice of fabric – made from a beautiful men’s cable knit merino wool sweater -feels so soft and celebrates the sweater-wearing season! I like these smaller bags when I head out shopping, wine tasting or taking in a movie. Young women especially love cross body bags to carry their smartphone, credit cards and lip gloss.
Tutorial: No sense in repeating, since Vicky Myers has a great tutorial, which can be found here.
I made my bag with felted wool from a sweater (see Steps to Felting), the lining with pre-washed cotton print, and the strap with duck fabric.
- Piece of paper as a template – 8.25″ x 11.25″ plus a seam allowance (1/4″ – 1/2″)
- Fabric for main bag plus seam allowance (I used the front of the sweater here)
- Fabric for the lining plus seam allowance (pre-washed quilting cotton)
- Heavy weight iron-on interfacing
- Fusible fleece (only needed for outside lightweight outside fabric, not wool)
- Magnetic snap
- Zipper, 7″ or longer
- Fabric for back pocket 8.6″ x 8.1″ (I used same as lining fabric)
- 2″ x 50″ fabric for the handle, lined with heavy weight interfacing (if you use heavy-weight cotton duck, as I suggest, it needs no interfacing.)
Tips & Tricks:
- The pattern size is described in the tutorial as A4, which is a UK paper size. The pattern is 8.27″ x 11.69″ PLUS SEAM ALLOWANCES.
- Using a walking foot on your machine works well when sewing a thick fabric, like wool.
- When attaching the magnetic closure, be sure to secure it well. Place a piece of heavy non-fusible interfacing between the closure piece and the main body. When the closure is secured, place another fusible piece on top to hold it.
- When sewing the zipper, use masking tape or medical paper tape to hold it in place. It makes for a smoother sewing surface, resulting in a straighter end-result. You will see here that I used pins, so mine is not as nice as I would have liked it. (Next time!)
- Finally, when making the strap, use the blind hem foot on your machine, moving the needle to the left-hand position to produce a stitch close to the edge. It will give you a nice even stitch, especially if you guide it with your trusty index finger!
I may make one of these for every season, trying different fabrics and textures. I may even add a few felt flowers on the flap of the next one. I hope you try whatever strikes your fancy!
Until next time, stay warm and cozy as you enjoy the holidays! 🎄