This project involves weaving, crocheting, and sewing. I gathered up some yarn that I had left over from other projects, some scrap fabric, and two buttons. I selected colors that I thought would go together nicely for a fall theme. The end result is a new fall tote bag.
Step 1: Gather Materials and Equipment
- Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom
- Two 7.5 DPI Rigid Heddles
- Two Stick Shuttles
- Warping Peg
- Sewing Machine
- Sewing Needle
- Crochet Hook (size 8)
- Variety of different yarns
- Cotton printed fabric
- Two buttons
Step 2: Warp Your Loom
- Calculate the length needed for your warp.
- I know that I want to weave a finished fabric measuring 15 inches wide and 45 inch long
- My average yarn waste on my loom is 12 inches
- Adding the length of my project (45 inches) to my average yarn waste (12 inches) gives me my warp length (57 inches). For this project I rounded up to 60 inches.
- Calculate the warp ends per inch
- I will be using two 7.5 dpi heddles for this project, giving me a total of 15 dpi (dpi=dents per inch)
- To get a finished fabric 15 inches wide I need to multiply that by my total dpi (15x15=225)
- I need to warp 225 ends
- Warp your loom
- You can make your warp using a warping board
- I choose to use a direct warp method using a warping peg (see video)
Step 3: Threading Your Heddles
- Threading the back heddle or the second heddle
When using two heddles, always start threading with the back heddle first
Insert 3 warp ends into each slot opening and 1 warp end into each eye
- Threading the front heddle or the first heddle
- When threading the next heddle, be sure the move the warp ends over one slot to avoid crossing the yarns between the heddles
Take 1 warp end from a slot opening in the back heddle and insert it through an eye on the front heddle
Take then remaining 2 warp ends from the slot opening in the back heddle, and the warp end from the eye in the back heddle, and insert them through a slot opening in the front heddle
- For Further information on threading a second heddle, see the PDF file below
Step 4: Weaving
- Tie on your warp
- Start weaving. I used a variety of different patterns and colors to make an interesting fabric. Be creative here and have fun!
Step 5: Weave a Strap
- Weave a strap for your bag that will be about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long
- Calculate your warp length based on your average yarn waste plus the length of the project. For this project I want a strap about 12 inches long and I have an average of 12 inches of yarn waste so my warp length should be 24 inches
- Calculate your warp ends based on the dpi of your heddle. For this strap I will only use one 7.5 dpi heddle, so for a strap 3 inches wide I will need 23 warp ends. I rounded up to 24 warp ends because I don't like odd numbers.
- Start weaving your strap! This part of the project would be improved by using an inkle loom to make the strap, but I work with what I have, so I used my same rigid heddle loom. I wove my strap in a simple plain weave, but feel free to do what you want for your strap!
Step 6: Construct the Bag
- Fold and Sew
- fold your woven rectangle into thirds, or about every 15 inches.
- refer to diagram above and sew side A to side B and side C to side D
- Pull Open
- Pull at the corners (not sewn to another side)
- Open into bag shape (see diagram)
- Attach Strap
Once I have a finished strap I attached it to the corners of my bag. allowing the corners of the bag to overlap my strap
I sewed the strap in place and crocheted a border on the edges with a single crochet stitch.
Step 7: Making the Liner
- Measure a piece of fabric 15" by 45" and add 1/2 inch for seams
- Sew the fabric wrong side up just like you did for the bag in the previous step
- Sew a hem along any unfinished edges
- Insert liner into bag (see image). The right side of the fabric should appear when you open the bag.
- Sew liner to the bag (I recommend you do this AFTER you sew in any buttons)
Step 8: Finishing Touches
- Add buttons to the bag.
- Crochet a chain into a loop to go around the button and close the bag. (see image)
- Add a single stitch crochet boarder around the edges of the bag
- Add a few crochet chains at decorative fringe to the bag (see image)
Step 9: Enjoy!
Once finished, now its time to enjoy your new bag!