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Half Medallion Bag Crochet-Along: Lining the Bag

November 23rd, 2011

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Like many other crocheters, items that require sewing skills with needle and thread can be daunting to me. To find a no-sew way of lining this bag, I consulted my friend Leslie who is an expert sewer and finisher. She suggested the two items that make this lining easy: felt for the actual lining, and Stitch Witchery, which is a type of fusible interfacing, or, in plain English, a super thin material that melts into glue when heat is applied. Black felt comes in 9 x 12″ sheets at many craft stores. That size should work with this project. If your half bag is larger than the specified measurements, you can buy felt by the yard in many fabric stores. Stitch Witchery is also widely available. Here’s what you should do before making the lining of the bag.

Before making the flap for the handles, steam each half bag piece into its final shape and dimensions. This kind of blocking will work on wool, and even on acrylic in many cases. Remember not to directly touch your iron to the acrylic. I recommend this technique instead of wet blocking, as the latter may alter the bobbles and posts more than is desirable in this design.

Once you have the final shape, the next step is to cut the felt and Stitch Witchery into the same shape as half the bag. There are several ways this can be done. In the accompanying photos, you can see how the bag was pinned to the interfacing, and used as a guide for cutting it, then the interfacing was used as a guide to cut the felt.


Cutting felt

If you prefer, you can use chalk to trace the outline of one side of the bag on the black felt. Or, you can cut a piece of paper to match the bag and use that as a pattern to cut the felt to size. Any of these methods is fine, so use whichever you find easiest. After cutting the felt, trim it down by about 1/2″ all around. Then cut the same shape in the Stitch Witchery. You should end up with two half medallion pieces of black felt and two pieces of Stitch Witchery, all the same size.

The next step is to get your iron ready for steaming. Carefully place the Stitch Witchery between the felt and the bag.

Lining up Stitch Witchery

Apply steam slowly and carefully, allowing the Stitch Witchery to melt and the felt and bag to fuse. Keep in mind that too much heat and pressing will cause the bobbles and post stitches to flatten, so go slowly and gently until the fusing happens.

Fusing

After you’ve done this, you can puff up the bobbles and posts by hand. Follow this procedure for both sides of the bag. Once this is done, you can make the flap at the top of each half, for attaching the handles to the bag, which we’ll discuss next week.

Editor’s note: For those who would prefer a traditional sewn lining, please follow the directions in the pattern for tracing out your fabric lining and sewing it in.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-S-Williams/100001078443744 Jennifer S. Williams

    Thanks Dora for stepping it all out for us!  As a crocheter I will often rule out projects based on any sewing involved.  Knowing you had a no-sew alternative for us helped me stay the course!
    So all that big talking I did about custom-made handles and they aren’t done yet.  Read between the lines on this one, all of you with DH’s!  At any rate, I did have a pair of handles already that worked.  I really wanted to finish the project NOW!
    I can’t wait to see everybody else’s work.  If you have friends on Ravelry, head them over here to post their pics too!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Leete/591011265 Jessica Leete

      I love the handles you used, even if they aren’t your custom-made ones! :)  I am still waiting for my handles to come in the mail so I can finish my grey purse.  Haven’t sewn or added the lining to my blue purse yet, but hopefully will next week and will post pictures when I am done!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Hester

    a very good idea

  • Kathy B

    Jennifer, your bag is absolutely gorgeous.  Well done!

  • Sharon

    Now, why didn’t I think of that?  After struggling with making a lining for several bags this method is quick and easy and neater I think.  Thanks for reminding me that stitch witchery is around!

    • Anne

      I’m wondering about the seam at the bottom and along the sides.  Once its all together is there a gap at the join, or does the fabric overlap enough so this doesn’t matter?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-S-Williams/100001078443744 Jennifer S. Williams

        Hi Anne, mine has a very small gap.  The less space you leave when you iron it on, the less gap.  When I make another one I am going to try to iron the fabric on right up to the loops I will crochet into.  I suppose the only way to get the lining to ever be loss-proof would be to sew it.  

  • Carolee

        Jennifer what yarn did you use for your bag. I really like the way the color came out!!!! And the handles look great with the bobbles on the bag as well. !! My handles are getting the finishing touches this week. Looking farward to more photos. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-S-Williams/100001078443744 Jennifer S. Williams

      Hi Carolee, I used the Marthas Crafts soft wool in Lemon Chiffon.  I did like the yarn a lot.  The color looks very different in 2 different pictures ( see my Craftsy site http://www.craftsy.com/project/view/Half-Medallion-Bag/17895 ); the actual color is something in between.  Have we had the last post, or will there be a final instruction? 

      • Doraoh

        There will be 2 more posts in this CAL!

  • Pingback: Half Medallion Bag Crochet-Along: Adding Handles, Seaming, and Finishing the Bag | Lion Brand Notebook

  • Irishlass400

    where do you get the handles for the purse

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-S-Williams/100001078443744 Jennifer S. Williams

      I got the best handles from this site on etsy.  It took a while for them to ship, but the price and quality were really good.  
      http://www.etsy.com/shop/bagpurseframes

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  • Vincent Emilianowicz

    Thank you for the tip, I never thought of using that stuff to line bags.  I know that this thread is a few months old, but could you tell me if one must use felt for this or if I could use a nicer lining fabric?

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

      Since Stitch Witchery and other fusable interfacings need to be heated to melt and fuse, you should be able to use any fabrics that can take a pretty hot iron (so probably not fabrics that can only be ironed low). You may want to check the product’s website for more info. Hope that helps!