The Rampton Bag gave me fits as I was finishing it up. I went through all kinds of phases: I loved it, I hated it, I thought it was awesome, I thought it sucked so badly... I thought the weaving had let the spinning down; I thought the spinning was badly suited to the woven cloth; I thought the making up was letting the weaving down!
I hadn't really thought too hard about how I was going to sew the seams up, and I certainly didn't make the fabric wider at the edges to allow for a regular seam allowance (duh!!). I ended up making an overcast edge, sewn up by hand with the very yarn used to weave the fabric:
Originally, I intended to have the overcast edges turned to the inside, but the stitches looked too visible 'in the ditch', even in the same colour as the warp, so I decided to keep the ridges on the outside. Then, I decided it would be fun to have each seam stitched up in a different colour:
The jury's still out on this idea. I think all the same, low-contrast colour would have been good, or possibly, all different, high-contrast colours. Given that the first seam was supposed to blend in, having the others be contrast-y probably didn't give it an ideal balance!I will admit to some concern that if I ever wash this bag, the sewing thread will be very keen to full and the seams will pucker.
The silk lining was sewn up in the same way, and the two layers are held together by more overcasting all the way round the strap:
I'd learned my lesson by this time, and used the warp colour for the overcasting along each edge!
The lining was cut just a little shorter than the main fabric, so that the edge of the lining could be enclosed in a folded over edge of the body fabric:
I originally meant to fold the edge twice, but I decided that this would be too bulky in the end, so I'm just hoping the wool fabric is fulled well enough that it won't fray too badly.
I thought about adding a button and loop closure to help the bag stay closed, but it doesn't really hang right for that, so I didn't!
Knowing how this bag would be constructed, as a single strip folded back and forth, I wanted the horizontal colour bands to match up at the seams so they would run right round the bag without interruptions. To do this, I figured out where the strip would be folded, and reversed the order of the weft colours at those points:
I wove each colour band to have the same number of picks (weft throws), and tried really, really hard to keep the beat the same throughout. It worked!!
I am *very* smug that this aspect of my fabric design worked as well as it did. I didn't dare mention this whilst I was weaving it, for fear I'd jinx it, but it all worked out fine in the end.
And after finishing and pressing, I can happily say I *love* this little bag!
I actually have quite a lot of the yarn left, so I will be knitting some happy, stranded fingerless gloves or something. The weaving might have worked out fine in the end, but I think this yarn will work really well for a knitted fabric, too.