Monday, 31 March 2014

Drawstring Felt Bag

My girlfriend bought me a bike a couple of months ago and a big sturdy lock for it. There's nowhere to attach the lock to the bike though, so I thought I'd make myself a drawstring bag just big enough for carrying the lock and a few tools. The first bag I made turned out a little too small and a bit thin on the bottom so I've put that to the side for now. I used a bigger template for the next one. I started working inside out and laid out some pieces of silk and cotton gauze in shades of black and white for the front. I was just going to use black Merino for the top layer, but compared to the black, the silk looked blueish so I used some dark 'midnight' blue Merino aswell. This is how the front turned out after felting:

On the back I started with a piece of black silk chiffon, I thought it'd help reduce pilling (bobbles) if the bag rubbed on my back while riding. It really sunk in and isn't really visible unless you look really hard! I used some grey merino with the black for the back.

I wanted to keep the natural top edges, but it seemed simpler to cut it straight across for adding the webbing I wanted to use as a channel for the cord. I cut the bag at the top at each side, slightly smaller than the width of the webbing I was using, then I sewed the webbing on with the machine, leaving each end open. You can see from this photo that I used some scrim for a lining on the bag.

I blanket stitched along the top edge to make it look nice.

I'd originally planned to use eyelets at the bottom for the cord to go through, but after looking online I had a choice of spending a small amount of money for a few eyelets and a little plastic kit, or a large amount of a money for a really sturdy metal looking kit and about 400 eyelets. I'm not planning on making that many bags, so I decided to just cut the holes I needed and blanket stitch around them :)

I attached the cords so that the shoulder straps were also the drawstring closure. I used spring toggles so that I can shorten the straps too in case the bag hangs low while riding.

And this is what it looks like closed. I must admit, I was surprised how well it turned out!

On The Felting and Fiber Studio, Ruth challenged us to make something inspired by Jackson Pollock. I thought of many things to do for this, one idea was to do wool and wire sculptures based on some sculptures Jackson Pollock dabbled with. I thought about 'action painting' some silk, but in the end, I thought I'd do something based on some works of his that weren't action paintings. They had large areas of coloured shapes, this is a good example. I thought I'd 'modernise' it a bit though and use brighter colours and silk and gauze pieces. And since I was enjoying making bags, I thought I'd use my idea and make a bag at the same time. The bag turned out great! The design though, was a little bit bright, and really, not in the slightest like a Jackson Pollock painting!

I need to get some nice webbing or braiding for the cord channel, but I'll show the full bag when it's finished


  1. Wow your black bike bag looks brilliant! Love your blanket stitching - it really does make a big design difference!
    Your Pollock inspired bag is fabulous too! Love the splashes of colours!
    Its great inspiration - I have been musing too...thanks for the suggestion!
    Ali x

    1. Thanks, Ali :)
      I didn't think the Pollock one would be to my taste, but I do really like it!

  2. the bag looks great. It looks black and white to me and looks like it's got a great texture

    1. Thanks, Wendy :)
      Yeah, I can't see any of the dark blue merino I used and the blue tint to the silk is only obvious close up.