Sunday, 26 April 2009

In The Frame

I have decided to expand my horizons and try my hand at using metal frames in some of my bags. They come in a huge range of shapes, sizes and colours, so the possibilities are endless. I did have a few problems locating supplies, so if anyone knows where I can buy frames from, please let me know!

Anyway, I finally tracked down a few frames at a reasonable price so set about transforming a piece of fabric taken from an old sari which I purchased recently from Louise, at Catwalk Creative. Designing the bag was the easy bit, trust me! Constructing the actual bag was no different to any other lined bag and I used the frame as a template to sketch out a paper pattern for it.

The tricky bit was attaching the bag to the frame. You can get frames that you either glue to the bag or sew to the bag. I opted for the gluing version as I thought that would be easier. Hmm! I'm not so sure now. The problems started when I took the lid off the tube of textile glue. It is really runny and I had obviously been applying pressure to the closed tube, as it promptly erupted like a volcano all over my fingers. I had real problems just getting the tube of glue under control before I even approached the bag frame.

The idea is to place an even trail of glue along the channel on each side of the frame. Sounds easy enough. Wrong! Trying to apply even pressure all the way along seemed beyond me for some reason, so some areas were a bit sparse and others had too much glue. As I was using a curved frame, the glue at the ends insisted on running towards the middle. It is worth pointing out that you should only tackle one side at a time.

Timing is everything when gluing. If the glue is too wet it oozes out all over the fabric, if it is too dry the fabric won't stick anyway. I left the glue to dry for about 5 minutes and then tried to insert the edge of the bag. Getting them in was a bit fiddly to say the least. I also realised that having pools of glue in places really wasn't helpful as some seeped out onto the fabric. Thankfully, once dry, I was able to pick most of the glue off again.

I am quite pleased with the finished bag even though it isn't perfect. I won't be putting this one up for sale and will keep it for myself to use instead. It has been an interesting project and I will definitely have another go with other frames I have bought. Hopefully, practice will make perfect and the future framed bags will be as pretty as a picture!

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