By Laura Bray
This month we are celebrating Earth Day! The best way to get in touch with nature, is to spend some time outside, getting to know your town’s natural spaces. I’ve created this lovely bag to sew with nature adventure in mind. Make one and bring it with you on your nature outing. You can fill it with notebooks, collect leaves and other nature bits and bobs in it, and maybe even bring a magnifying glass so you can get up close and personal with nature. Just a note though; when taking a nature collection walk, make sure you follow the rules and don’t collect anything you shouldn’t. Ask a park ranger or look for signs in the park about the local rules. If you are unsure it’s better to leave it.
The best part of this bag is that’s made from Kunin Felt, which is made from recycled bottles! I took my recycling even further by using an old, leather belt for the straps. Remember to Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle!
- Two (2) sheets of 12” x 18” Kunin Felt in Sandstone
- One (1) 9” x 12” piece of Kunin Felt Coordinates in Red & White Dot
- One (1) 9” x 12” piece of Kunin Felt Corduroy in White
- Nature Bag Pattern by Laura Bray: April 2018 Nature Bag Pattern
- Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
- Belt-any will do! Try to recycle an old one. Even if you don’t have one at home, check-out your local second hand store.
- Strong craft glue
1. Print out and then cut out the pattern pieces from the PDF.
2. Fold the 12” x 18” piece of felt in half, short sides together.
3. Pin the piece marked “bag” at the top, with the straight side on the fold.
4. Cut out the felt along the pattern. Take the small piece you cut out and save for another project. Unfold the large piece. The large piece is the front piece of the body of your bag! Very little felt is wasted in this project!
5. Repeat Steps 1-4 to create the back of the bag’s body.
6. Cut out the mushroom pieces from the pattern. The red and white dot felt should be used for the top of the mushroom, the white corduroy for the base of the mushroom.
7. Pin the pieces to the front piece of your bag. Embroider (or use a sewing machine) to stitch the pieces onto the bag. I placed the mushroom in the middle of the bag, but you can place it anywhere you choose. Or cut-out multiple mushrooms!
8. Place front and back bag pieces together, the piece with the mushroom should FACE the back piece of the bag.
9. Stitch around the outside of the bag, leaving the top side (where you cut out the pattern piece) open. Turn out bag.
10. If you want to put gussets into the bottom of the bag, you can see my tutorial for making gussets here.
11. To attach the belt handle, cut the belt in half. This will allow you to have the buckle at the top of the handle, making your nature bag’s strap adjustable.
12. Glue the cut ends of the belt, on both sides, and press into the top sides of the bag, on either side of the bag’s opening. Allow to dry completely. I used clothespins to ensure that the felt stayed firmly in place as the glue dried. Alternately, if you are a leather worker and have the tools, you can punch holes along the cut edge of the belt and stitch it into place.
You can now find an expanded color line of Kunin® Classicfelt; Kunin® Premiumfelt and Corduroy non-wovens fabrics in cut by the yard at your local Walmart; please inquire as to what is available in your area.
About Designer Laura Bray
Laura Bray lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their daughter, and a guinea pig named Oreo. She loves to create beautiful and functional projects with felt. To see more of her felt creations, visit her blog at www.laurabraydesigns.com. You can also find her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/laurakbray.