Two steps back
Thanks, you guys, for the rooting you're doing for the felted bag. Will it keep for a couple days? I ripped everything I'd done and reblocked the bag last night:
Before, it looked fine - even on close inspection - but it just wasn't even. Blocking it over a form made the shape right, but the seams kind of wandered, and it was annoying to sew the straps on and feel like I was fudging for symmetry's sake. Besides, I think I ironed the wrong side of the interfacing - rather than staying patiently put, it was flapping and flopping around every time I moved the bag. I picked up some more interfacing, and the bag has been pinned to painstakingly precise right angles.
Are you getting the feeling yet that I maybe didn't plan this out very well? You would be right. Observe:
That's the reverse of the latigo saddle straps I'm using here. Ugly - that's the, uh, cow side of the skin. The body of the bag covered it up, of course, on the strap portions, but I didn't have a plan for the handle part - I tried lining it with the pink shantung, with mixed (pretty, but irredeemably wrinkly) success. I thought about lining it with another strip of leather, but that might have made it too thick.
What do all of my handbags do for leather straps? Why did it take me so long to figure out what to do? Bah. It does look pretty though, very finished and polished. There won't be any buckles on these straps - turns out that sewing them in would be way beyond my skills or patience - and this treatment will polish the look, I think, just as well as hardware would have done.
So, two steps back. Still, it's not a total loss. I went shopping last night and am now armed with everything else I need: zippers, magnetic clasps, feet, glover's needles, a thimble(!) - and most importantly, the beginnings of a glimmering of a clue as to what I'm doing. Bring it.