Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Process

The "Faux-rragamo" Handbag
I've had a few questions about how I went about making my Faux Ferragamo handbag. The bag was brought to my attention by a fellow knitster at my daytime SnB here at work. Marilyn is a newbie to knitting but has really embraced the art. She's made scarves, handbags, belts, etc. She's very creative. She showed me a photo of the bag in a fashion magazine. That very day, I received an e-mail notice from Berroco about a few new handbag patterns. One of the bags, called "Lorraine" was very similar to the Ferragamo in the fashion mag. At the end of the day, Lisi from The Stitch Cafe in Valley Village sent out a notice that she had just figured out a pattern she called the "Ferragamo-Like" Purse.
Synergy....the planets aligning....creative people hit with all of the same pop-culture and fashion images at the same time....that's what happened. I took the parts of each pattern that I liked, put them together and with my own experience and knowledge of making purses over the past 15 years, came up with my version of the handbag. The original bag, shown at left can be purchased at Neiman-Marcus for $1,650. My bag cost about $20 in materials, about 15 hours to create.
Specifications: I used Lisi's pattern for the body of the bag, Bernat Cottontots yarn on size 8 knitting needles. I knit two sides and whip-stitched them together. Then, while crocheting in the round, I added the top section using Lion Brand Suede yarn, size "G" hook in a basketweave stitch. I crocheted the very top edge in a crab-stitch or reverse single crochet. I didn't like the look of how the basketweave joined with the knitted section of the bag, so I top-stitched two rows of single crochet around this border. I added the curlie-cues at the bottom of the bag using a size "F" crochet hook. For the handles, I crocheted 3 long chains, 2 with dark brown soutache (from my stash) and one with the Lion Brand Suede. After chaining these strands, I braided them together for a very strong handle. I made two of these and sewed them to the non-public side of the crocheted lining. I crocheted a lining out of some old acrylic yarn and some of the leftover Lion Brand suede, adding a cellphone pocket. Lady Linoleum gave me the idea to crochet a bag lining...it's very sturdy and easy to do. I stitched the lining to the bag, added buttons and voila', the bag was complete! The Bernat Cottontots has a tendency to shed, so I threw the whole bag into the dryer with a damp kitchen towel and most of the fluff came off.
I like the bag so much, that I'm thinking of making another one in a darker color. Complicated stitch patterns show off much better in light colors, but this off-white bag is going to get filthy after some use. Maybe a soft grey or wheat color would work....we'll see.



At 4:02 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Ellen!!!
Can't wait to see it up close and purse-onal on thurs.


At 5:47 PM PDT, Blogger Bri Ana said...

Oh no, Ellen - I'm going to have to learn to knit! But I held out so long...

That purse is smashing.

At 7:56 PM PDT, Blogger Julie said...

A++ work Ellen. Fab bag!

At 6:45 AM PDT, Blogger mj said...

Incredible!!! You are my hero!
Thanks for the photo. I am famous.
I won't make it this Thursday, but please give my regrets. I have a doctor's appointment, believe it or not. But I'll be there next week FOR SURE!
Finished my socks and am starting another pair. Could I be turning into a "socker"?

At 12:03 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow... your fauxregamo is awesome! i love that you made it look like the original but added your own special touch. can't wait to see it in person!

At 3:34 PM PDT, Blogger LadyLinoleum said...

That bag is freakin' awesome! Oh, did I tell you that my birthday is in May??? I bet if your fingers work really hard you could drum up another one of those in a jiffy...LOL Don't worry I'm just kidding!

At 6:56 AM PDT, Blogger xyz said...

Very cute.

I just started one myself, check out my blog :)

At 8:46 PM PST, Blogger Unknown said...

Just wondering if you're willing to share your pattern??? Did you have one for crocheters as well???
I'm in love with this bag!!!


At 10:54 AM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hey Monica,
I do have the knit pattern for this bag. I will give it to you if you e-mail me privately.

At 10:16 AM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Anyone interested in making this bag can check out the free Lionbrand.com pattern #60402 for the knitted part of the bag. The crocheted top of the bag is improvised. You'll just have to figure that out on your own!

At 12:24 PM PST, Blogger Emilia said...

Hi, I love this purse u made, is there any way you could share the pattern with me? I found the purse on knitlit, but can't find the patten, but yours is beautiful too. My email is emojko2008@hotmail.com
Thank you very much.


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