Closures for felt pouches – the results of all our thinking!!!

Thanks so much Deb, Linda, Elizabeth, Lyn, Mary, Heather, Shirley, Ellen, Irene, Kirsten, Chrissie, Terrie, Carole, Karen, Dawn, Sharon, Juiliane and all my FB friends for enthusiastically entering into the debate after I posed the question about a closure for my little starburst pouch. In the same post I also posed a question about photographing certain colours, again thanks for all the helpful replies! I needed a little time to mull over the closure response and finally I think that I have assessed the answers and can give you my own thoughts on the suggestions offered. Do please bear in mind that I an not an experienced or  happy sewing gal, I really appreciate the beautiful added dimension stitching may lend to felt but in selecting an option for one of my own pouches I want something that is practical, looks good and doesn’t mean I lose pints of sweat (on second thoughts maybe that would be a good idea too!)!!! Here is a recap of the various ideas suggested, hopefully I haven’t left any out! In no particular order …..

  • Velcro – circles or possibly strips.  Since Velcro can be difficult to sew Heather suggested stitching the strip to another piece of felt and then stitching this to the pouch
  • Press studs/poppers
  • Magnetic clasps sewn or punched into the felt, alternatively felted in at the layout stage
  • Felt tie closure
  • Slashed cut and toggle closure
  • Tie and toggle
  • Loop and button, I liked Irene’s idea of using a hair elastic for the loop because I have TONNES of them in my stash!
  • Felt rope combined with a toggle, possibility of adding glass beads to the toggle
  • Grommets
  • Upcycled closure, possibly cut from bicycle tyres (again in my stash!)
  • Braided leather
  • Glass buttons

and finally an idea from Hilary Williams on FB, adding the traditional button and button hole to the pouch under the flap. If I understand this suggestion correctly it would mean sewing the button to the inside back of the pouch and making the slash in the front piece as you would be viewing it when you lift up the flap.

Now for the main potential problems identified …..

  • Velcro is difficult to stitch and can get fuzzed up with felt
  • Magnets may effect the battery life of certain mobile devices (although in my internet research this seems to have been almost eliminated as a problem by now with most makes of device)
  • Press studs or poppers often prove difficult to open and might tear away from the felt

All in all Hilary’s suggestion is probably the best solution for me with the starburst pouch, the stitching on the front flap has compressed the felt so much that it would be pretty difficult to sew any of the other suggested closures onto it and I don’t want to do anything that spoils the starburst effect.  Obviously by using Hilary’s method the actual usable size inside the pouch is reduced slightly but that’s OK, I’m going to try and have a go at it anyway first thing tomorrow morning and I’ll post pictures of the results then!

The rest of today is going to be spent continuing with my studio clear out and reorganisation. I may get to do some felting (as a reward obviously!!!) although I might not have the time, I do intend to put some felting kits together however combining wool, silk and mohair off cuts.  After all my hard work yesterday (updated via FB) I can now actually see my first felting table and walk unimpeded into the room, today I want to clear out and restock one of my supply cupboards as well as try to sort storage for some of my many embellishing fibres. For now I’m going to leave you with a picture of another piece of highly textured felt awaiting stitching, this pouch is felted from a combination of black NZ merino and ruched pieces of floral fabric.

Detail from another wet felted pouch

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2 thoughts on “Closures for felt pouches – the results of all our thinking!!!

  1. Good morning Nicola,

    Isn’t it wonderful? Ask for suggestions and you receive so many helpful tips. Will look forward to seeing Hilary’s version when you post the photo…sounds like a great solution.

    And, I do believe that you’ve been bitten by the sewing bug!!! Won’t be surprised if your next book diverts completely from felting and focuses entirely on proper stitching techniques;-)))

    Hope you’re having a fantastic day.

    Hugs,
    Dawn

  2. Here is where it starts to get interesting. Instead of lifting the cover flap up, like on most magazine pouches, the Zulu mag pouch must be pulled down, eliminating that irritating floppy cover flap. Once pulled down it secures itself in place with velcro. More on this later.

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