My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


In the Sculpture Garden

Yesterday afternoon I finally sucked it up and did all the finishing on my “In the Sculpture Garden” Noni bag.

The first thing I did was to put brass feet on the bottom of the bag.


You can buy little purse feet many places — I got mine off eBay. They have little prongs sticking up from the feet. You poke them through the fabric of the bag, and then flatten them out on the inside of the bag to hold the feet in place.

Then I cut a length of the lining material and folded it triple and pressed it and stitched it into loops to attach the handles to the bag.


I machine stitched the ends of the loops to the inside of the bag in two places — no small feat, stitching through the felted bag. The machine stitching really doesn’t show hardly at all on the outside of the bag, I’m pleased to say.


I then sewed a flower and a couple of leaves on the outside. I decided on just one flower on one side of the bag, accented by two leaves.


Then I cut a piece of cardboard the size of the bottom of the bag, covered it in the lining material, and shoved it inside the bag.


I cut lining to fit around the inside of the bag and pinned it in place, then hand sewed it in place to the top of the bag, and to the edges of the bottom piece of lining covering the cardboard.


While I was sewing the lining in place, I attached a magnetic snap closure to each side. The magnetic snap is similar in construction to the brass feet — same little prongs that you fold out flat after poking them through the fabric. In this case, I had to carefully pre-poke a hole in the lining with the point of my scissors before sticking the prongs through.


As I sewed the lining down to the edge of the bag, I carefully stitched (using tiny stitches) all the way around the snap all the way through the side of the felted bag to the outside, to anchor the snap securely in place. I did take little tiny stitches so they don’t show on the right side of the bag.

So there you have it — a finished Noni bag.


While doing this, I was reminded that I really loathe sewing. The Noni bags are extraordinarily cute and the knitting is fun, but man oh man, do I ever hate the finishing bits!

I got my zipper for the Noni baguette in the mail over the weekend, so I suppose at some point in the near future I’ll suck it up and do the finishing on that bag as well.

As you can see, Lucy is jazzed!



  1. Very pretty!

  2. Lucy wants another belly rub! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The Noni bag looks great — I’m amazed at all the trouble you took with the finishing. More power to ya!

  3. adorable!

  4. Your bag looks great. I am just finishing my first bag. I am doing the baguette. I choose knitpicks yarn and I did it in maple syrup, chambray, cloud, and rain. It was Wool of the Andes. Your posts about your bag have helped me alot. Thanks!!

  5. Fantastic bag! I love the green so much you’ve just given me the urge to make one for myself. Considering you dislike sewing so much, you have done a fantastic job.

  6. That bag is incredibly beautiful and you are SO talented it makes me sick. Well not really, but you get the idea. Lucy … such a party animal.

  7. Very cute, and worth the fiddly bits for the end result. Just be careful not to let your ATM or credit cards come near the magnetized snap or they will be wiped out. Ask me how I know.

  8. That was an awful lot of finishing. If I ever want one, I know who to suck up to. Oh, wait, I don’t suck up well, do it?

    Cold, hard cash, maybe?

  9. I’ve enjoyed watching your Noni bag take shape. I have to admit to being hesitant at first about the felted flower, but now that it’s attached and the bag is all done I love it!

  10. Fantastic bag,beautifully finished.

  11. *drool* That bag looks gorgeous, and very much like something you buy at a dept store! I <3 it.

    Lucy’s a cutie!

  12. Just gorgeous, Wendy.

  13. Divine bag…….and major applause re finishing……now all you need are pink girlie girl heels…….ta dah!

  14. Wow, the bag looks great!
    Congratulations for not going completely nuts with all that putzy sewing! Ugh. I couldn’t do it.

  15. Love the bag! I am anxious to work on mine. I really appreciated your close-ups and detailed directions in finishing. I hate that part too. (And I can’t imagine what I used to find entertaining about sewing. I am so over that…)

  16. Awesome!

  17. The bag came out great and like you I hate sewing. You certainly go all the way to finish it though. I don’t think I would have done half of what you did. But it was well worth the trouble, the bad really does like fantastic.

  18. Beautiful . . . well worth the effort of sewing!

  19. Kate Spade, look out!

  20. Wendy, where did you buy your magnetic snaps? I cannot seam (get it? haha!) to find them anywhere… I’ve tried specialty sewing stores (big ones!) and hobby-type stores and no one I’ve talked to knows what I’m talking about. At least now I know I’m not imagining their existence!

    I like the single flower by the way.

  21. The bag is super pretty and so professionally done. All that finishing would drive me around the bend I’m afraid!

  22. I am so very impressed with your finishing techniques! The bag is stunning!

  23. That is the cutest bag I’ve ever seen! And how clever of you to think of the little feet for the bottom and the magnetic snap closure. How do I get on your holiday gift list? I want a bag just like yours!!!

  24. Oh, wow, I am so thrilled to see your finished Noni bag. Good Lord, though the gawd awful finishing. I don’t know if I’ll be able to tough it our to that extent. Thanks for the fab motivation, though!

  25. Very, very cool bag. It looks wonderful.

  26. The bag looks wonderful but that is WAY too much finishing for me. I love knitting. I love the process of knitting. I love starting new projects. I love finishing projects. I don’t love “finishing” projects, but I do it so I can love the finished project. I loathe sewing. I don’t think a beautiful Noni bag is in my future. But yours is fantastic and I can enjoy it vicariously.

  27. Oh heck! I’ve got too many handbags already! that one looks really great Must-not-cat-on-another-project!

  28. marjorie says:

    The bag looks fantastic. I’m surprised you don’t like to sew because you have done such a careful and elegant job of the finishing. Did you consider using grosgrain ribbon to attach the handles? It would require less sewing because the ends are finished.

    Thanks for your tip about custom zippers in an earlier post. I googled for “custom zippers” and found a wonderful site (ZipperSource) for getting all kinds of zippers (large plastic teeth, in particular) that I didn’t know existed.

  29. Wow – looks great. Maybe this will inspire me to finish mine… maybe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. That’s a terrific tutorial on construction techniques! What a gorgeous bag…

  31. Good Gawd Almighty! Now I have to make one! I’m more of a backpack person, but that is just so girly, I have to have one. That’s just dang cute.

  32. niiiice

  33. The bag looks great. I think more than one flower would have been overwhelming.

  34. Ann in CT says:

    Holy smokes. Now I will never be able to make a Noni bag because you have set the bar WAY to high. Your bag is awesome and I know none of my skills come anywhere near yours so I will never be able to duplicate it. sigh.

  35. So cute! I am a huge sucker for cute bags and may just have to make me one now.

  36. Thanks for sharing – such a beautiful bag – love the flower! All the Best and Love to Lucy!

  37. Another thing to try on purse interiors is plastic canvas in lieu of the cardboard. It holds up much better. I think you did a wonderful job on your bag!

  38. Well, that does it– I have to go and buy a Noni bag — too bad you aren’t getting commission –because I am sure they are selling scads of them now.

  39. Beautiful!

  40. I’m mad for the Noni patterns and your bag is divine. But do you think it really requires lining? (Like you, I loathe picking up a needle and thread.)

  41. haven’t been feeling the knitting for a while… but man that is one CUTE bag!!

  42. It is your painstaking attention to the details that produces such an incredible result. I admire your persistence and skill. That bag would sell for a lot of money, I’ll bet.

  43. A beautiful bag. You’re an Artist with the details also. Bravo!

  44. Due to a terrible HomeEc trauma in 7th grade (no really!), I’m terrified of sewing in all its forms. It makes finishing things a real bitch.

  45. I really like the bag, your flower and the finishing details. In fact, I think the details are what really does it. Congratulations

  46. Thank you for showing us how you constructed your bag. It’s really helpful to have what amounts to an online tutorial when you know you have a similar challenge to face. The bag is gorgeous too; well worth the work.

  47. Do you make anything that isn’t absolutely adorable?

  48. DING,DANG, ADORABLE!!! Bravo!!

  49. That looks beautiful!

  50. I was sitting here this evening, finishing off the bottom panel of my very first Noni bag (the moss & pistachio) and decided to call it a night. Before bed, I decided to catch up on your blog — and, lo and behold, there was YOUR bag. Gorgeous! Meticulously finished! Lovingly detailed! You put me to shame…and make me realize just what I’ll need to accomplish to rise to the occassion and be happy about MY Noni. Good thing Xmas is still a few months off… Hugs to you and the furbaby! Sue

  51. Wendy- any idea if you can use a machine to sew lining into an unfelted bag? I’ve been afraid to attempt it myself.

  52. MamaLana says:

    Thank you, Wendy, for your detailed Noni instructions. You are so good to us! Your bag is gorgeous, Lucy is gorgeous, and you are a marvel.


  53. Lovely bag!! And Lucy is pretty beautiful as well. Question – when making the flower, which I’m doing for a bag also, the directions say to “put the flower together, sewing through all layers, using the bobble as an anchor.” I’m confused on how to “put the flower together!” Advice? Thanks!