Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fuzzy Felty Flex Frame Purses

So the flex frames have been a bit of a hit... but the most commonly asked question is "How do you use them?".... This afternoon I pulled out a scrap of pattern card and did this.
The bottom shape was just drawn freehand. You could make it any shape you want - oblong, square, completely abstract... as long as the top section is 4.5 x 8.4mm (give or take a mm). Fold the card in half and cut the shape out.

Cut 2 pieces of felt from this shape.

When I made the scarlet purse (in the top picture) I used beautiful Winterwood wool felt, so I only needed these outside purse pieces. With this burgundy purse I wanted to test cheap acrylic felt squares (from Spotlight). This felt is weak and thin, so I folded down the top 2.5cm of the pattern piece and cut two lining pieces in a contrast colour.

Using basting spray, stick the lining to the outside purse pieces.

Do some simple embellishment...

As simple as you like...

And as quick as you like...

Using the top of the lining as a folding edge, turn the top of the purse over. Give it a gentle press with steam so that it sits very flat.
Stitch the turning down to create an open-ended casing at the top of each purse piece. The backtacking at each end must be very secure here.

The two pieces are then stitched together (right side out) about 4mm from the edge - again with super-secure backtacking.

You can then either trim the edges with straight scissors (so that all the layers are level) or use pinking shears.
Alternatively, this could all be lovingly handstitched - or blanket-stitched by machine - and there would be no need to trim edges at all.

Thread the frame through the casings at the top of the purse.
Line up the open end pieces and push the hinge pin in....

...and fold over the ends of the hinge to hold the pin in place. Use pliers, the sides of your scissors or whatever works to fold these ends over. (I'm yet to find my ultimate hinge-closing tool!).

Admire your purse....

...and squeeze it to open and close it.

Cute huh? And really quick. Quicker than it took me to write this tutorial.

...
A quick note on the frames: We've had to add a little packing surcharge on the single frames (it's those itty-bitty pins that take all the time!). The single frames are now $3.90 each (CODE: FLEX90) or a packet of 5 for $18.15 (CODE: FLEX90/5).

26 comments:

sewjourn said...

Purses look great - lets hope no-one tries to sell this generous tutorial as their 'own' pattern!!!! Well done again Nic

Liam's Mummy said...

They are so cute! I love the embellishments!

Liesl (Hoppo Bumpo) said...

The purses are really sweet. Thank you for the tutorial. I can't wait to use my new flex frames ... which of course arrived in super fast time!

Northside Makers said...

They look so much better than the lame attempt I came up with! pout! I love the colour combinations.

Andi said...

Super cute.
Thanks for the great little tute!!

Gina said...

Oh great, thanks Nikki... I have a few flex frames languishing in my notions stash because I'd forgotten how to use them! But I love using them, and I'm so glad you supply them now too, perfect.
I really love your little embellishments on the purse. Super cute.

CurlyPops said...

Thanks for the tute...I can't wait to test out my flex frames!

emma said...

Beautiful Nikki - your an ideas chick! em

Roma C. said...

Thanks Nikki....
Really look forward to adding these to my stash.

littlechrissy said...

These are amazing. I LOVE the idea of using flex frames. I'm going to have a go at making one of these.

Nikki Cardigan said...

I love you just do "stuff" and that you share it with everyone. You are very generous with what's in your head.

Handmade said...

extremely cute

thehardings said...

Nikki you are AMAZING. Love the purses. Thanks for sharing your creativity. Sally :)

Cathy (tinniegirl) said...

So cute. Right down to the gorgeous embellishments.

méri said...

Beautiful, Nikki!
Thanks for the tutorial! Surely I'll give it a try and let you know!
(i'm already thinking of some Christmas gifts... :)

Melanie said...

I have always wondered exactly how they work. Excellent! Thanks Nikki :)th

Tania said...

I am constantly blown away by the generosity of the crafty bloggy world and I reckon you pretty much top the list!

Jenni said...

That's so cool!

I've nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award, so if you like you can pop by and pick up the badge for your blog, tell us 7 things we don't know about you, then pass on the love to 7 more...

SkitzoLeezra said...

That shape would be great for a goldfish bowl motif with fish and water fern embellishment.

Nancy Ward said...

Hi!

Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your lettng me know if that's OK.

Thanks,

Nancy Ward
http://paperfriendly.blogspot.com

Felt-o-rama said...

Your purses are just BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for sharing this fun tutorial :)

Leslie said...

Hi there! I found this through FB and just want to say "thanks" for this amazing FREE pattern! I've got 3 daughters who would love to have one of these. You rock!

Meredith said...

Hey Nikki - I just love these purses! I had a question about your flex frames though - do they SNAP shut very forcefully? I am thinking of making some of these for my neices (ages 3-6) and I don't want to hurt any little fingers. Thanks so much!

Molly said...

Wonderful! I am dying to work on these!

Molly
http://mollylee.etsy.com/
http://mollyleecards.blogspot.com/

Sil said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas. Many congratulations for your creations.
Memory whenever God bless you.
Hugs.

woolywoman said...

I hand embroidered so i lined mine after said effort. hid all the little knots and such nicely! Thanks!