Do you ever go up in your attic or dig into your stash and find something you don’t remember having and wonder where it came from? That’s the feeling I had about 3 weeks ago when I happened upon some old posts on our website that were all titled “Bag of the Month.” I found a few that were created in 2007 and others from 2008. I did a little more digging and eventually found a whole year’s worth, as in 12. As a result of moving from the old website to HandwovenMagazine.com, the posts had lost some of their important parts, but what wasn’t lost were the free PDF downloads.
With some help from our intern, Elliot, I was able to refresh and clean up the 12 posts, which meant adding headers and short descriptions. The selection of bags is incredible: They run the gamut from tiny to large, from simple to complicated, rigid-heddle plain weave to 8-shaft intricate patterns. There are a couple woven on peg looms, one that is woven shibori, and still another one that is woven Saori-style.
I’ll start with the first three and work my way through the whole shebang, three at a time. All of these patterns are available as free downloads. Take your pick or pick all 12. Follow the links to the posts with the downloads.
- Marie Kawano used a peg loom to weave her shoulder bag, but you could also use a multishaft loom.
- Patricia Springer wove her bag and scarf on the same pearl cotton warp in 8-shaft deflected doubleweave.
- Diane Ferguson used thin wire to weave her coin purses on a 4-shaft loom in 3/1 twill.
- Rosalie Neilson, who is known for her rep weaving and kumihimo expertise, used both in her small bag woven on 4 shafts.
- Patricia Springer‘s second bag in this series uses a 4-shaft monk‘s belt pattern to create woven shibori patterns in indigo.
- Barbara Nielsen wove small stash-busting purses that can be done on rigid-heddle or multishaft looms.
- Marie Cristina Capellotto used a 10" peg loom to weave 5 squares of fabric to construct her patchwork bag.
- Diane Carpentier created small clutches using sturdy 8-shaft swivel fabric.
- Intrigued by a paper yarn, Virginia Reisner used it on her 4-shaft loom to weave a herringbone twill for her small shoulder bag.
- Plarn cut from plastic bags plays a big role in Anne McKenzie‘s shopping totes.
- Dinah Rose expressed her creativity using rags and clasped weft for her plain-weave bags woven on 2 or 4 shafts.
- In yet another version of using plarn for bags, Virginia Balch dressed hers up with a colorful warp. The bag can be woven on rigid-heddle, 2-, or 4-shaft looms.
A lot has happened since 2008, so I can’t guarantee that the yarns specified in the patterns are still available, but I can assure you that with a little searching and perhaps some sampling on your part, you’ll be weaving fabric for bags in no time.