I have just finished my latest felt handbag, so thought I would share it with you. I wet felted it a couple of weeks ago but had to hold off finishing it until I had found the right items. When I make any item I usually have a picture in my head of how I would like it to look and then have to try and find the right materials.
With this bag, I knew I wanted it to be in shades of brown with buttons appliqued along the top edge and also saw in my mind leather handles instead of felt ones. Belts are really useful for handles, so it was a case of trying to source a belt that was the right colour and also width. It needed to be quite a thin belt as a wider one wouldn't be comfortable to hold in your hand.
Having trawled a number of local charity shops, I finally found a synthetic leather belt which was a chocolate brown. The belt was made up of three interwoven thin lengths which were the perfect width. All I need to do was cut the belt with a pair of scissors to create each handle. I made small cuts in the body of the bag to thread the handles through which were knotted on the end.
The vintage buttons came from my button tin which is full of all sorts of buttons. I tend to look out for job lots of buttons in charity shops and car boot sales. A large number of them I bought at an antiques sale in Leipzig, Germany, when I was on holiday there a few years ago. Despite having a large tin of buttons, I often find I still don't have the right colour, size or shape!
The bag lining was a small fabric sample which a friend gave to me a few months ago. It is a chiffon type fabric embroidered with flowers and leaves. As the felt bag is seemless, it does not necessarily need to be lined. However, adding a lining does add strength to the overall bag and I think it finishes the bag off. A brown ribbon was sewn to the top edge of the fabric to hide the raw edge and then the lining was machine sewn into the bag to keep it secure.
The finished bag is approximately 22cm wide and 19cm long. A magnetic clasp holds the top of the bag closed. I am pleased with the overall result, as it has turned out pretty much the same as the idea I had in my head. I have already got the next two bags made in my mind, so just need to try and get them made now!