I love working with color and texture in simple form, and art yarn lends itself well to this formula. Knit Collage has some great yarns with amazing color and texture! It is handspun by women in India so it also supports a great cause. For this bag, I chose Pixie Dust in Azalea Boom for the weft, which is a core spun thick and thin with glitz, and Maharani silk in Firework for the warp and the strap. It is bright, luscious, and happy.
Warping the loom: Warp the full width of an 8 dent reed on a 10” Cricket loom (80 ends). Using the warp yarn, weave a 1 1/2″ hem, then move on to the thick and thin using a firm beat. End the piece with another 1 1/2″ hem. Including the hems, the finished length is about 30” making the measured warp about 60” long – this accounts for loom waste and take-up.
Detail of the thick and thin weft
The strap of the bag is an inkle band woven with the Maharani Silk in Firework for both the warp and weft. The set-up is 35 warp threads, starting and ending with heddled warp threads. The finished band measures approximately 3.5 feet long.
Detail of the inkle band strap.
Construction of the bag: Fold the hems in twice and tack the edge down with a whip stitch in a coordinating color of sewing thread. Fold the bottom edge up about 7.5″ and whip stitch along the sides to join. Using some fabric, sew a small liner to fit inside this newly formed cavity. Whip stitch the fabric to the woven piece.
Detail of front of bag attachment of the strap Detail of back of bag attachment of the strap
To attach the inkle strap, fold the raw end of the strap under itself, and line up the folded edge with the flap of the purse. Position this strap approximately 1″ away from the side edge of the flap. Sew this strap down by stitching the sides down into the woven fabric, again with a whip stitch. Where the strap meets the top of the flap, straight stitch three lines to help secure and fortify the connection. The other end of the strap can be attached about inch down on the back side of the purse using three rows of straight stitch.