There are so many different types of weaving that you can do! One common type is to create yardage to be turned into other things.
We have talked about yardage before when we made a cushion for your weaving bench and also when we learned how to sew your handwoven fabric (and get over your fear of cutting and piecing your weavings together.)
So I think it is time to start on another handwoven fabric project!
We are making a handwoven bag to sit at your loom or to carry around your supplies.
The difference is in the size.
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Weaving the fabric
Yardage for this weaving project can be done on any loom that has an advancing warp.
A loom with an advancing warp is a loom that allows you to have a long warp that will roll upon itself and make way for more weaving! Floor looms, table looms, and rigid heddle looms are all examples of looms with advancing warps.
For this project I will be using a rigid heddle loom for no reason other than that is what I have available at the moment. You can use whatever loom you want!
I will also be recycling a pattern from a scarf pattern posted on the community page because I think it would make a great bag, but you can use any pattern you want.
If you want access to this pattern then make sure to become a member of the Warped Community. It is free and you get access to patterns, ebooks, course discounts, and more! You can sign up from my form above!
If you are using a rigid heddle loom then the pattern you choose will probably be plain weave.
Plain weave is also a great option for any bag that will be getting a lot of use. You will want to avoid using weaving patterns with a lot of floats because they will be more likely to get snagged onto things while the bag is in use.
As far as yarn goes, I am using Gist Mallo yarn in the colors Frost and Spice. This is a really sturdy cotton slub yarn that is perfect for this project. Slub yarn is always one of my favorites because visually it adds something extra to even just single colored areas of your weaving.
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Choosing your size
The size of your bag will depend on what you want to use it for and/or what size loom you have available to you. The great thing about making your own bag is that if you are wanting it for something specific then you have the option to tailor it exactly to that need!
Say you want a bag to be able to carry around your frame loom.
Measure your frame loom to get a rough idea of the size that you will need. Do not forget that you will probably want to make it a bit bigger to make sure it slides in and out easily, plus have room for extras like yarn, tapestry needles, and more.
If you are creating a bag for something that is larger than the weavable area of your loom then keep in mind that you can always sew panels of woven yardage together.
This, obviously, will change the look of your bag, but you can embrace and plan it if you are aware of the fact going into your project.
Since I am weaving a bag for my loom bench I measured the depth of my bench to get the parameters for my bag.
My loom bench has a depth of 9 inches.
I added an extra inch to my weaving to account for sewing seams so that the width of my weaving will be 10 inches.
For the depth of the bag, I decided to go for a depth of 11 inches, which is just over half the length of my longest flat shuttles. Again, I want to make sure there is enough for sewing seams so I will add an extra inch to my yardage length as well.
This means that the woven yardage will be 12″x10″.
Cutting your pattern pieces
If you have not already read through my post on how to sew your handwoven fabric then I recommend doing that before continuing with this project. We will be using the same interfacing that we used for our loom bench cushion to keep our woven fabric together as we cut into it and sew it up.
So make sure to attach your interfacing before you do anything else!
Once that is done, lay out your fabric and begin figuring out the pattern pieces.
Since we are doing a simple bag, everything is at 90-degree angles. This means you will not need to print out any special patterns to make this work – just use a tape measure!
You will also need the back of the bag – this will be the same size as the woven fabric and the inside fabric. The fabric for the inside of the bag will be almost the same width, just a half inch narrower. This will make everything match up better once we insert it. You will also need 2 of them that we will sew together.
While I am using a neutral muslin for the back and inside of my bag, you can have the entire outside of your back be woven if you want. Since my bag will live at my loom, this seemed unnecessary to hide handwoven fabric where you will barely see it.
Overall we will have:
handwoven fabric = 12″x10″
Back fabric = 12″x10″
Inside fabric = 2 panels 12″x9.5″
Fabric strap = 12 inches
Putting your handwoven bag together
The first thing we will need to do is put together the inner liner of the bag.
If your fabric has a right and a wrong side then make sure to put the right sides together before sewing. Then sew around the outside of the fabric on 3 sides – leaving one of the short sides open.
This will be the opening at the top of the bag.
I used a zig-zag stitch for this to make sure it is extra secure. A straight stitch can also work, though.
You may also notice I used a bright blue thread. I did this mostly so you could see the stitching on the fabric. You will not be able to see the blue in the finished project, though – so it works out! Feel free to use a neutral-colored thread or one that matches your colors for this instead.
Leave this part of your bag as-is! Do not turn it inside out.
Next, you will need to sew the front and back of your bag together. You should probably not use a crazy-colored thread for this one.
When sewing the outside of your bag you will need to put the right sides of your fabric together and sew around the same three sides.
Turn this part of your bag outside in when you are finished,
Fold down the top half-inch of both parts of your bag. The outside of the bag will be folded in and the inside of the bag will be folded out.
Do not forget to iron your edges to make sure your folds are nice and crisp!
Place your liner inside your outer bag and make sure that your side seams match up. Matching your seams first will make lining up the rest of your bag a lot easier. Insert pins around the bag to keep everything in place before you sew it up.
If you are adding your straps to the inside of your bag then this is the time to do it.
I am using this twill tape ribbon for my straps. In hindsight, I wish I had purchased a slightly wider ribbon for this, but the 3/8″ works fine. That is just a visual preference. You can find twill tape in many different widths and colors.
Insert your strap between the liner and the outside of your bag. Use a pin to keep it in place and this pin will also work to hold the 2 parts of the bag together.
Before you bring your bag to your machine, I recommend trying it out with the pins in it.
If you are using it for a frame loom then make sure the loom fits and the straps are the right lengths for what you want.
If you are using it on your bench then make sure it hangs as you want it to. This will allow you to make any necessary changes before you start sewing.
If you have a color thread that matches the colors of your bag then you can use that to do the final touches. If not you can probably get away with a neutral grey thread.
Sew around the top edge of your bag with a straight stitch. I recommend backstitching over your straps while you have it on your sewing machine. This will give it a little extra staying power in case you store heavy tools in your bag!
Make sure to snip any loose threads and you are good to go!
What will you be using your woven bag for? Let me know!