This time, Julia is sharing her experience making the Betty Boop Bag.
Following the instructions, knit the bag using two strands of 100% wool, and weave in ends to finish neatly. Pure wool felts the best, whereas cotton or synthetics do not felt at all. The bag will be considerably larger than the final felted version, so panic not.
|In its original, knitted state. Kleenex box is for size reference. Don't lose your keys!|
There are several ways to accomplish the felting process (which is a combination of shrinking and matting the fibres together - truly a process called "fulling"), but the simplest by far is to use your washing machine. Don't bother with your efficient, new, front-loading washer, as there's simply not enough water or agitation to be helpful. Find someone with a top-loader, and keep your eyes on your bag as you purposely shrink it with hot water and a small amount of detergent. As you know, there is no way to unshrink anything, so don't walk away, and pull it out frequently to check the size.
When you're satisfied with the size, shape the shrunken mass into something better resembling a purse, and let it air dry. This will take a couple of days, depending on the weather. Good time to pick up one of your projects you haven't quite finished...it'll keep you from obsessing about whether your Betty's ready yet.
After the bag is completely dry, sew in the purse frame. If you haven't already, knit the flowers (again, with good, solid 100% wool). These you can wet-felt by hand in a bowl with hot water and a bit of detergent. Fun!
|Felted flowers & soap...yum!|
Once those knit blossoms are down to the size you want, lay them out and let them dry. Find something to do, or place the soggy flowers somewhere clean and warm, with ventilation and circulation to hasten the drying.
Add the rhinestones to the flowers when they're all dry. Everything looks nice with a little bling! Using yarn, sew on the handles with flowers, and scatter more flowers over the purse front. Sew those pretties on with yarn. Sew on the purse flap and attach the turn key to the flap. On the inside of the purse, add the plastic canvas to add the needed shape and sturdiness. Sew it into place.
|Kleenex box switched for teacup - everything's smaller now!|
Take a picture of your new Betty Boop and your proud, smiling face and email it to us!
Betty Boop purse hardware kits are available in store: #79698 small; #79696 medium; #79697 large
Yarn used in the sample was Shepherd's Wool, in Lime Green #79864 (the number of skeins needed depends upon the size of bag you choose to make).
Our Swiss Miss Yarn Girl, Jacqueline also blogged about this bag. Read it here.