My First Woven Bag

I’ve recently been interested in learning more about weaving, and last month my mom helped  that interest along by giving me a rigid heddle weaving loom as a birthday gift.  I’ve enjoyed making a few little sample things, figuring out how to warp it without looking back at the instructions and generally just getting comfortable and familiar with it.  I decided it was time to make an actual project, but limited myself to what I had here.  Since I also knit and crochet, there does tend to be plenty of yarn around here already :).

I had previously only tried working in plain weave, and wanted to try something new.  I found a youtube video showing how to do  a pattern called Brooks Bouquet and decided I wanted to try it.  It’s here if you’d like to see it:

The yarn I used was from a cone of some hemp-wool blend that I have had around for awhile.  I started out with 6 rows of plain weave and then began the Brooks Bouquet pattern.  I repeated the pattern 10 times then wove 3 inches of plain weave for the bottom of the bag, then ten more repeats of Brooks Bouquet, ending with 6 more plain rows.  Here’s a picture of it in progress on the loom:

After taking it off the loom, I finished both ends with a couple of rows of zig-zag stitching on my sewing machine.

I then made the long strap that became the sides and handle as a 3-inch wide strip of plain weave.  I hemmed it on the sewing machine, as well:

I hand-sewed the edge the strap to the body of the bag.  I left the very top part of the bag un-sewn and left the sewing yarn there to finish stitching up after adding the lining:

I then started working on the lining.  I was given some really nice wool wool fabric that was sort of a gray color.  I over-dyed it deep orange.  Here’s a picture of the before and after:

To create the lining, I measured across the bag:

I added two inches for seam allowances and added several inches to the height:

I then pulled up the bottom corners and measured  a triangle that was 3 inches across (my strap/bottom width) up the side edge.  I sewed across this triangle and trimmed the corners:

I inserted the lining into the bag and hand-tacked the bottom corners.  I then folded the  lining over the top edge and carefully pinned it to make sure I was catching all of it as I sewed.  I machine stitched all around the top 3/4″ down.  I then pulled that fabric back over itself to the inside of the bag and pinned it down well.  I machine stitched this from the front side of the bag very close to the lining through all of the layers- sort of the stitch-in-the-ditch thing often used in quilting.  I didn’t take pictures of that part, so I hope this sort of makes sense :).

When finishing the top, I also sewed in a crocheted loop to serve as a button hole.  I finished hand-stitching up the last bit of the sides, sewed on a hand-made button and here is the finished bag:

I think that the finishing part took at least as long- maybe even longer- than the weaving part :).