Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Mermaid Adventure Bag

 I am so excited to finally be able to release the second of my adventure bags today, the Mermaid Adventure Bag.   Unlike the Horse Stable Bag, this adventure bag has been an evolving design as I created it, with much trial and error until I produced the final result you see today.   I knew I wanted to make something mermaid related as they are really 'in' at the moment and I knew I wanted to use the Adventure Bag concept again, but that was as far as I got.   I started off in Hobbycraft buying a load of cotton yarn in various colours I thought would suit an under sea theme and basically took them all home to create something.

I started off early on in the project knowing I wanted the bag to be a seashell shape almost as though the magical underwater world lay inside a seashell.   However, taking the idea from concept to practice was not as easy as it seemed.   I must have tried and frogged at least 10 different seashells before I found a design I was happy with.   I tried round shells, the spiral kind, long shells and the shell I ended up basing the bag on too.   I tried several methods of construction, including working in back loops, Tunisian crochet, increasing only in the centre of rows, but none of them worked how I wanted it to.   However, with perseverance I eventually created the shape the bag is now and once I had that the actual bag was fairly simple to construct.

The outside is made in Lily Sugar n Cream Violet Stripes and the inside is half yellow and a blue variegated yarn to represent the sea and sand within the

little world.    To construct the bag I made 4 seashells in different colours, and then 4 long rectangles which are attached around the edges of the shell to create the sides.   I added some plastic tapestry canvas inside the seashells to allow them to keep their shape when played with.   The bag is made in two halves and these are sewn together at the bottom to create the bag as a whole.    The two parts are held together with snaps around the edges of the seashell and to finish there is a handle made with a kumihimo disk and sewn to the sides.

Once I was happy with the outside of the shell, I needed to turn the inside into a magical world.   I started making some coral and sea kelp using the bright colours I had in the 4ply cottons.   Each piece of coral is basically made off a chain with several stitches in each chain to make it curly, these are then folded up randomly and sewn together to keep their shape.   The Sea Kelp is made in a similar manner, however, instead of twisting it into shapes, the top and bottom are sewn into the water section.   This allows the Sea Kelp to be more than just decorations, they can be used to hold any of the mermaids or sea creatures in so they look they are really swimming through the bag, or perhaps they could get trapped and need help to be rescued.

I also wanted to create a little clam shell with a pearl inside, to echo the seashell world inside the bag.   The shell is created in a similar manner to the bag although on a simpler and much smaller version.  The clam is only partly sewn together so it can open and close and I also made a removable pearl to go inside the clam shell.  If you are giving the bag to smaller children and worry about choking, you may wish to only create the shell without the pearl, or you could sew the pearl in the clam to prevent this.

No underwater world would be complete without sea creatures and so to join the mermaids I made a small turtle and dolphin.  These are the perfect creatures to play with the mermaids or to hide in the Sea Kelp bed, under the coral or they can all try and get to the pearl inside the seashell without it closing on them.   In addition there are three little fish in different colours that are also around to add more fun and play to the Adventure Bag.   The fish are quite small made in the 4ply yarn, so again, if making for younger children they can either be omitted, sewn to the bag or made larger using a larger thread.

I have made use of some sparkly silver thread throughout this bag to try and give a bit of shimmer and sparkle to this magical underwater world and this looks great on the mermaids and other sea creatures, and although it is not essential to the design it really does make it just a little more special.

The patterns for the Mermaid Adventure Bag are now available in my Etsy Store.   For every bundle pattern you purchase you will get 4 pdf files, one for the actual bag, one with the patterns for the coral, sea kelp and clam shell, one for the turtle, dolphin and fish and finally one for the mermaids.   Each pattern contains a list of materials required to make this bag as well as step by step instructions to help guide you through the patterns.   To celebrate the release of the Mermaid Adventure Bag I am offering a discount of 25% off the price of the patterns until midnight 04/09/18 using the code MERMAID so be sure to take advantage of this offer as it won't come around again.

I hope that you have enjoyed the release of the Mermaid Adventure Bag and if you do make this please feel free to post the pictures of your finished Bag on my social Media Channels.

See you next week with more nautical themed crochet.

Vicky x

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