Sunday, May 19, 2013

Felted Tote

Felting.  It’s everywhere you look and now it’s on An Artistic Bent as well.  That’s right, I have finally gone and made my first felted item.  I’ve been looking at felted purses, pillows, blankets, etc. for the past couple years online.  It wasn’t even intentional, I just kept coming across them as I surfed and so I finally decided enough was enough and I was going to try it myself.

A couple months ago I took a trip to my local Value Village and searched through the racks for 100% wool sweaters.  I found quite a few and at anywhere from $3.99 to $7.99 a piece plus a 30% discount that day, it was turning out to be a very cheap investment. 


I took them home and ran them through the hottest setting on the washer and dryer a few times until they came out ‘felted’ and then laid them out on my table for inspiration.  One of my favourite Pins was a tote bag that a woman made from a beautiful turquoise sweater and I thought I would try something like that.  Hers was gorgeous but I wasn’t sure if I could do as good a job with the decorative flowers.  Plus my sweaters were darker with more autumn & winter tones, not vibrant like hers.  But I was going to give it a try anyway.

The first sweater I used was lightweight dark grey.  It has a nice texture to it but in the end I found it a bit too floppy.  It’s just not as solid as I would like a tote to be.  So on to the next.

One night after a games night with some girlfriends I decided I wanted to do something crafty.  Now usually I only have one glass of wine on games night but that night I think I was on my third when I stepped into the craft room.  Tipsy and looking to craft, things could have gone one of two ways...turns out I’m a good drunk crafter.  ;)

As I looked at my burnt orange felted sweater I knew exactly what I was going to do.  A couple of years ago I downloaded a pattern for a quilted tote from but had never got around to using it.  After about 10 minutes of searching through patterns I found it!  It was a simple design that would work well with the felted fabric.  I set to work putting the pattern together on some printer paper, taped them all together and then cut it out.  Perfect.

Next step was to cut a pocket for the inside and then sew it all together.   Done!  I couldn’t believe how fast I was able to go from sweater to tote.  The only thing left I wanted to do was add some embellishment to the outside.  The turquoise tote I had seen on pinterest had some lovely felted roses on it so I thought I would give felted flowers a try as well, but I was going to save that for another night.  It wasn’t going to push my luck.

In the end it took a couple nights to get the flowers all done, mostly because I was figuring out how to do them myself.  There are a lot of great pictures online for felt flowers but no one seems to give instructions.  Oh well, I finally figured it out my way, probably not the easiest or most efficient but it worked.   And in the end I think it turned out pretty good.  Not really a summery tote but it will be good for the winter.

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