I used a simple single crochet stitch and established the width of the purse first. It was slow going at first because as I said, the yarn (if you can call it that) was very fragile and kept tearing. But I found that just twisting the two ends together sufficiently repaired the breaks.
Crochet until the length is three times a long as you want the final piece to be, making sure to leave a button hole about half an inch from the edge. Do this by chaining four (more if your button is bigger) skip four stitches and single crochet in fifth stitch. continue single crochet to edge.
Next comes the felting. Felting is a process that shrinks the wool fibers creating a denser, stronger fabric. Generally only 100% wool fibers will work. Wool/acrylic blends are not the best choice yarn for a felting project. One way to felt is to put the piece in the washing machine on high heat with some towels thrown in to create the friction needed to complete the process. I, however, chose to felt by hand so that the individual stitches in the piece would still be visible.
What you will need:
- bucket or wash basin
- hot water
- liquid dish soap
- and a whole lot of elbow grease
Fill you bucket with enough hot water to completely cover your project. Add just a few drops of the liquid dish soap to the water and mix so that it gets nice and sudsy. Begin by swirling the fabric around the water making sure to completely saturate it. Rub it against your hands, the bottom of the bucket, and against itself. This is where the elbow grease comes in! It can take a while but be patient. With enough friction you will begin to see your fabric transform. It will begin to get denser and fuzzier and will even shrink a little bit. Felting it in the washing machine will cause even more shrinkage and a denser fabric.
How long you continue will determine the look of you final piece. The longer you felt, the more solid the fabric will look. I prefer to have more stitch definition so I stopped after about fifteen minutes of felting. When you are finished, rinse out the piece in clean water. Press out the excess water and lay on a towel to dry.
If you want your clutch to have a lining now is the time. Cut a piece of fabric to size and sew along the outside edges. But make sure not to cover up your button hole. When finished, fold up the bottom of the piece leaving about a third of the fabric left for the front flap. Sew along either edge. Attach a button for a closure. Make sure you line it up with the button hole on the flap and you're done!
I really love the way these came out and cant wait to try my hand a felting again! Good luck with all your felting endeavors!