Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Handbags are Art

I recently took a workshop at Needlework & Textile Guild of Michigan.  The instructor was Kathleen Shanteau of http://originalsbyyarnpaintings.com/default.aspx.  Her bags are sold at fiber art shows and she teaches the technique to make them.  These bags are similar in construction to the "free form" knit/crochet bags.  However, these bags are made using felted sweaters, with whatever you wish to use to further embellish them.  There are flowers made from the felted sweaters, knitted and crocheted pieces, beads, jewelry, etc.

The bags start with a plastic canvas base.  Here is mine, with goodies inside.



The base is then covered with pieces of felted sweater.  Done BY HAND, the sweater pieces are sewn on wrong sides together.  The seams become part of the embellishment and texture.  Here is my bag with it's slipcover on.  She's ready to be embellished.


Doesn't look  like much right now, does it?  The pocket I decided I didn't want on the front, so I moved it to the side before beginning covering the bag with fru fru.  And speaking of fru fru, here's mine. Oh, and look at those gorgeous handles.  Kathy makes those handles.  Every one is different.  Aren't they beautiful?  This is only a small portion of "stuff" that I'm putting on my bag.



My bag is quite far along now, and I'll post photos when it is finished.  But, here is a picture of one of Kathy's bags.  THIS BAG IS NOT MINE, but shows how these artsy bags look when finished:


The bags are done by hand, stitching every embellishment securely.  They are lined and the handles sewn on.  Lots of work.  But, I am having a blast making mine.  In fact, I bought two kits--the one you see above in rusts and pinks, and another in red.  I start working on it and get lost in time.  A good place to be!

More to come.  As it progresses.




11 Talk to me:

Bunny said...

These look fabulous, Gwen. Can't wait to see yours complete.

Corrine said...

what a great artsy bag. your embellishments look very interesting.

Ann said...

What unique bags. It looks so interesting and I can hardly wait to see what yours looks like when completed.

shams said...

Wow, what an interesting process and a beautiful result!

MushyWear said...

I am not sure I would have the patience for this, but I sure do admire you for making one of these, and it will certainly be worth all the effort. The finished bags are gorgeous. Can't wait to see yours. I really like the colors in your kit.

Linda said...

Very unique purses. They somewhat remind me of needle felted bags.

Kyle said...

I don't think I've ever seen anything like that! You take the most interesting classes!
How are your tests going? How are you feeling?

Irene said...

This looks like so much fun! I can understand how you could get "lost" in it. Can't wait to see the end result.

Sister said...

Very cool bag - and one of a kind!

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black hobo bag said...

Very cute handbag.

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