Monday, June 20, 2011

Music Bag

Darling daughter has been ferrying her music between piano lessons, violin lessons and choir in a succession of grotty plastic bags for ages, and they fall apart easily when pointy book corners poke through the plastic! We decided that action was necessary and a couple of weekends ago we spent a pleasant (if cold...) afternoon on the verandah felting this bag.

I bought an open-weave men's cotton shirt from the Op Shop to use as a base, cutting it into the front, back and handles and - bravely! - deciding NOT to stitch the cotton backing together before felting on the basis that the multiple layers of wool should be enough to hold it in one piece by the time I'd finished... This is typical me: I've not really done any nuno felting before, so I take a quick look at a book or two, assemble the materials and have a go, while vaguely trying to remember all the injunctions about how to lay out seems around a resist that I was taught a couple of years ago.

Anyway, with a bit of effort it seems to have worked! The "seams" are very strong (probably because they've got 4 layers of fleece them plus turn-overs holding the cotton backing together down the sides and along the bottom), the top edges are straight and the wool is properly felted. Daughter and I laid it all out together, which took an hour or so, and then she made the straps while I battled with the bag. We used the bubble-wrap and rolling pin method which saved some time. I then blanket-stitched the top edge in a contrasting colour, using the same embroidery thread to sew on the handles. And last weekend we finished it off by making the lining (complete with pen-holders and an internal pocket!) from some old sari fabric on the sewing machine. Darling daughter chose the lining material, helped to cut out the pattern, stipulated the placement of pockets etc., and sewed it on my machine, and then I hemmed it in place and reinforced where the handles are attached.