Monday, 26 July 2010

Can you help? Sewing advice!!!

Today I've been working on my felt bag, making the strap and sides. I've made the strap and sides as one, rather than add an adjustable strap. Many hours have been spent today getting the shape just right and wet felting the flap part again in an attempt to make it come in sidewards so there wasn't any bulk around the strap area. It worked after an hour of elbow grease!!! I'm also really pleased i managed to felt the sides how i planned. I was worried just felt alone wouldn't be strong enough and so have encased material running right through the strap. Its really strong now!
So now I'm onto sewing. At the moment it's just pinned to get an idea of its look.
I'd like to sew the bag so the seams are visible but unsure what to sew the bag with.
If i do blanket stitch does anyone have any idea what i would use to do this with? It would need to be strong. I'm not sure what is generally used for blanket stitch?
My local wool shop is closed for two weeks, so i cant get advice there and will have to order whatever i need form ebay.
Hoping somebody is in the know.

Here's the bag so far. Ive also made a button hole (need to needle felt around this) and will make a button to match. Once I've sewn the bag together I'll needle felt a pattern on the strap too. Then i can finally add beads. Can't wait to wear it, lol.


  1. Cool bag, Nikki! You could use a number of things for the sewing, depending on the look you're going for. Embroidery thread comes in a million colors, is very strong, and is actually 6 threads twisted together, so you can use all 6 or pare it down if you don't want it so thick. Perl cotton is a single twisted strand, you can get it in a variety of sizes from fine to as thick as 6-strand embroidery thread. If you're going to sew by hand and want your stitching to show as an added detail on the bag, I'd probably go with one of those.

    - Grace

  2. Thank you Grace. That sounds perfect. I'll go to ebay and see if i can find both and see which i think is best.
    I do wnat the stitching to show to add further detail.
    Now i have to decide the colour, lol.
    Many thanks xxx

  3. Dear Nikki!
    If you would like to sew it together by machine, maybe the strong stich stype, which many machines have,could come in handy. It make a seam as we know it, but makes it double some places, like two steps ahead and one back. This way you get a very strong seam, and I don´t think it will be any damage to your work. But make a test first! Of course you can make this by hand too. I hope this can be of any help.
    Your bag is fantastic.
    Love, Susanne

  4. Susanne. My sewing machine is broken so have to stitch by hand, but i think the hand sewn look will be better.
    Hoping to get a new machine for my birthday.
    Thank you for your help and advice.
    Im just looking on ebay and trying to figure out whats what there.
    Nikki xxx

  5. Love your bag! I would sew a straight stitch along the seams and then do a blanket stitch.
    Can't wait to see what you do with the beads!

  6. Just had a good look on ebay at embroidery thread and the perl cotton. Its hard to tell because i want the thread to be quite thick. I'll keep looking for one that maybe gives a refernce to how thick it is.
    Maybe i'll have to go to hobbycraft and see for myself. I always makes mistakes and buy the worng things.
    You wouldnt think a bag could cause so many problems, lol.

  7. Kathi, is there a reason for sewing the straight stitch first? Would it help with strength? If i did would i just use a noral cotton for the straight stitch before i do the blanket stitch?
    Nikki xxx

  8. Kathi, thank you for your advice too.

  9. I agree with Kathi. I would just sew a straight seam first to keep it together (though machine would be better) and then do the blanket stitch. Somehow, I think actual wool might be better thn the perl cotton. I made a fleece jacket years ago and my mother blanket stitcheD it together and all around the edges and she is still wearing it.....

    The bag is fabulous! I love the colors. I think making the strap part of the bag is a great idea for long term use. It will be much sturdier.

  10. Nikki, I used to teach both needlepoint and crewel embroidery. More recently, I have done some knitted felting. It has been my experience that, since the bag is wool, it would be better to stick with wool thread for the stitching also. You could use either wool worsted, stranded crewel wool or tapestry wool. All three are thick and strong and would be more compatable with the wool roving that you used to felt the bag. The bag is amazing! You are doing a wonderful job on all of the pieces! Keep up the good work!

  11. That looks very nice! What about tacking parts with buttonhole thread? Very strong, and can double it. maybe tack in sections can add beads with it too, besides doing the embroidery thread? You don't want the handle to stretch once the bag gets heavy... Nice job!

  12. Nikki that bag is WONDERFUL, I love it. I agree with Casey. I used leather thonging on mine though LOL

    Lorra Luffies

    Debie xxxxxxxxx

  13. Thank you all for your help and advice. Ive been looking at the tapestry wool and think thats the right thing to use now. I just didnt know if it was strong or not so thank you Casey.
    I agree and wanted to keep it more wool like to match the bag. I'll take the blanket stitch right up the strap too.
    Chris, i fully lined the entire strap with a strong cotton so that the felt wouldnt stretch after lots of use.
    Glad you all like it so far. Hoping to go to hobbycraft tomorrow.
    Nikki xxx

  14. Nikki I can't help with sewing tips...had to ask on my blog for some the other day lol.

    But, I want to say that bad is just awesome. I love it to bits. Well done you.


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