Beaded Bag

Bead Crochet Chatelaine Bag 

Completed bag.  Frame and chain installed.

Completed bag. Frame and chain installed.

Sometimes I work diligently on a project from start to finish, with nary a breath between.  Then there are other times that I let a project sit and wait for me to take it from one phase to the next.  Sometimes I do this because I want the project to continue, and I’m not ready for it to be over.  Other times, I haven’t figured out the next step or it’s not my favorite part.  With this bag it was both.  I loved making this bag, and would readily make another.  Then there’s the other part.  The purse frame that is called for seems to me to be a style that needed some finagling to get it to work.

Purse, frame, needles and thread, everything I need.

Purse, frame, needles and thread, everything I need.

This bag starts off with a gauge that I found difficult.  I had to change my hook and my normal tension.  If I make this bag again, it’ll be at a slightly different gauge.  The technique is very nice, it works its way in a spiral, and follows an easy chart.  The chart is easy because each line is in an easy to memorize pattern.  Watching the pattern of the beads take shape is one of the great joys this project offers.  When I get to the purse frame, I notice that it’s no longer available.  I contacted the supplier and he recommended another in similar fashion.  They’re shaped the same, but with a different decorative pattern on the face of the frame.  When the frame arrives it looks to me like there’s no way for it to work properly, and this project goes from the front burner to the back in a second flat.

The arms of this frame are too long.  This style frame is a poor choice for this shape (IMHO).  The hinges will by far down in the purse.  Marking center.

The arms of this frame are too long. This style frame is a poor choice for this shape (IMHO). The hinges will by far down in the purse. Marking center.

I realize that the “arms” of this frame are too long for the bag; looking at the picture of the finished piece, it’s obvious that the author inserted the arms into the bag and isn’t using much of them.  So I begin by placing the frame in the bag and sewing the purse to the frame through the holes provided.  I’m using the same crochet cotton that I used to create the bag.  I’ve chosen to fold over the rows of un-beaded crochet, because I felt to do otherwise would give the bag a sloppy appearance.  I began sewing this bag to the frame in the center.  I located the center hole and the center bead.  I stitched across and down one arm,then back and over to the other arm.  I repeated this on the other side.  I stitched as far down the arms as I could without interfering with the opening of the frame.  When I got to the sides of the purse, it seemed that it would bunch up.  When I enlarged the image of the original finished piece by more than 200% I noticed the same..

Place frame into bag and use holes to sew bag down.  I chose to roll un-beaded rows under.

Place frame into bag and use holes to sew bag down. I chose to roll un-beaded rows under.

 

I have this bag stitched to the frame and I think it looks good.  I love it.    There’s another purse frame that I saw on the website that I nearly purchased instead of this one.  I may have to buy it and make another bag.  It has much shorter “arms”; I would buy it before I start work on it, so I can finish the top to fit the frame perfectly.  I only wish that I had an easier time installing this frame, and the arms of the frame didn’t sit so far into the bag.  It now makes perfect sense why instructions for that are absent.  I haven’t attached the fringe yet, and I’ve not decided on whether I’ll do it at all.  The thought of counting out 70 beads 40 times, stringing them, twisting them and installing them one at a time with tiny knots just seems daunting.  

A website devoted to learning, sharing and teaching a wide range of fiber arts. Inkle, Tablet and Navajo style weaving, Spinning, Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Lace Making. Silver Work, Beading and Tool Making grace my bench as well.

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