Morning Frost Drawstring Bag
Designed and woven by Sienna Bosch
I am fascinated by the ways weft color can affect pattern in handwoven fabric. We notice different aspects of the weaving right off the bat, because of the color choices the weaver made. When the warp and weft color are the same or similar, the pattern's texture takes over. If you look closely, you can begin to see the shapes and design; however, from a distance the color looks solid. With contrasting colors, you see the pattern right away. The texture is there, but it's no longer the first thing you notice. I love this about woven fabric.
For this project, I decided to dig deeper into color and pattern. A drawstring bag was perfect for this exploration: it is small and simple, handy for giving a gift or storing something special. The two sides of the bag swap weft colors, which adds something to the bag and gave me a chance to play with warp and weft interaction. We've had some cold days the past few weeks here in Colorado, which inspired my color choices for this project. The beautiful and subtle colors of winter have been all around me. A light gray and a dark blue felt right.
Weave structure: plain weave and bird's eye
Finished size: 5-1/2" wide x 6-1/2" tall
Width in reed: 6"
Total warp ends: 182 (with 2 floating selvedges)
Warp length: 45" (for one bag)
PPI: 24 (plain weave), 48 (bird's eye pattern)
What You'll Need
Euroflax 30/2 Linen
warp: 21 Cloud (color 21; pale gray), 250 yards
weft: Cloud and Marine Blue (color 56; dark blue), 40 yards each color
drawstring rope: Marine Blue, 20 yards
4+ shaft loom with at least a 10" weaving width—I used my 8-shaft Mighty Wolf
- 10 dent or 15 dent reed
- Incredible Rope Machine
- 2 boat shuttles and bobbins
- tapestry needle
- sewing machine and sewing thread to match fabric
- sewing pins or clips
- safety pin
- scissors or rotary cutter and mat (optional)
Wind a warp chain in Cloud, 182 ends including floating selvedges. Use your preferred waping method to warp the loom following the pattern draft. Sley the reed for 30 epi, centering the 6" weaving width in the reed.
Weave a header to spread the warp.
- Weave about 1" of plain weave with Cloud, leaving a tail that is 4 times the width of the weaving at the beginning. Hemstitch the start of the weaving with the weft tail—I went over 2 weft and 2 warp ends, but this edge will be hidden in the sewn bag. Continue weaving until you have a 5" section of plain weave with Cloud.
- Continue following the weaving schematic, changing weft color and pattern as shown.
- Hemstitch the end of your weaving. Cut the weaving off the loom.
- Note: Always measure under tension. Be careful to get the measurements exactly correct, so the stripes of pattern and plain weave line up on the sewn bag.
Use the Incredible Rope Machine to make a rope with 8 strands of Marine blue yarn coming from each hook (24 threads total). I made a 20" rope, placing my separator 30" from the rope machine. If you prefer to tighten the bag from both sides, make two ropes.
Hand wash the fabric in warm water with gentle soap. Let air dry.
- Trim the warp fringe to 1/4" with a rotary cutter or scissors.
- Fold the fabric in half, wrong side out, lining up the pattern and plain weave parts of the fabric with each other. Pin, clip, or baste the fabric.
- Make the casing for the drawstring: Fold the top down 1/2" and press, then fold down another 1/2" and press again. Pin, clip, or baste the fold in place. The bag's sides will not be stitched together at the casing.
- Starting just below the casing, stitch the bag sides together with a 1/8" seam allowance. (This is a very narrow seam allowance because the selvedges of the fabric won't unravel.) Backstitch at the top and bottom of each side seam for extra strength.
- Stitch along the casing's bottom separately on each side of the bag. There should be an opening at each edge of each casing for the drawstring.
- Turn the bag right side out. Press the fabric and side seams.
- Attach the safety pin to one end of the rope. Use the safety pin to run the rope through both casings. Tie the ends of the rope together with an overhand knot and trim the ends to 1/2".
- Pull the rope to close the bag. With one rope, pull on one side of the bag as shown here; if you made two, you can pull on both sides.
Davison, Marguerite Porter. A Handweaver's Pattern Book. Originally published by Marguerite P. Davison, 1944.