Although sewing is my true love, I love crafts of all descriptions, and you will often see me wearing hand made accessories alongside my me-made garments. Crochet is something that I really enjoy, it’s relaxing, cute, and easy to undo when you make a mistake!
I’m no crochet expert. Far from it. But I seem to be able to manage most of the basics and that’s pretty much all you need. I taught myself to crochet a few years back using YouTube videos ( I am very much a visual learner), when I decided that I wanted to make a crochet poppy brooch, and have never looked back.
This adorable bag is the ‘Floral Bag’ from the book ‘Cute and Easy Crochet with Flowers’ by Nicki Trench. I have a couple of Nicki’s crochet books and they are so pretty. This particular book comes with 35 different crochet projects to make and is split into three chapters, providing patterns for beginners in the first chapter, patterns for those with more confidence in the second and the third chapter gives you projects for a more advanced level of crochet. Pictured below is my copy of the book – but I have seen this book with a different cover picture. By the way I picked up this book and many other beautiful crochet and knitting books from The Works. If you are ever passing by one of these shops it is definitely worth making your way through to the craft book section in store every now and again, there are some real bargains to be found.
The bag basically comprises of over 200 flowers, in 8 different colours. It has taken me goodness knows how many hours to make all of the flowers, but has certainly been worth it. I can’t remember how many months ago that I started it, but the good thing about making all the flowers is that it is something that you can do at home in front of the tv, in the car, at the coffee shop etc. This really is one of the most wonderful things about crochet and knitting – it’s portable! I’m afraid I cannot remember where I bought the dk yarn, but it was online, and it was also when there was a good sale on! The colours I chose are quite Autumnal/Wintery I think, as I feel that this is the sort of bag I will reach for in those colder seasons.
I used the basic pattern instructions as a guide and then did a couple of things differently when it came to making up the bag… keep reading.
The instructions call for you to sew your flowers together in rows. This was a bit fiddly, so to help me I placed my flowers in a line in the order that I wanted to sew them in, and very roughly sewed them together from the front with each other with a normal needle and thread (in a bright colour that I could find to remove later). I then properly sewed them together with each other using a yarn needle and leftover yarn from the reverse side of the flowers. You can barely see these stitches from the front, unless you look really closely.
When I have a few rows sewn together roughly with the needle and thread, I would sew them together with yarn, a few rows at a time, and then remove the fine thread from the front side.
The version in the book has a shorter shoulder strap which is made from the lining fabric and also has crochet flowers stitched onto it. I wanted more of a cross-body version, so I bought a length of olive coloured webbing (5cm wide), and used this instead. I left off the flowers, as I wanted it to be a more practical strap. Strap length is a personal preference and depends on your height and taste, but my strap is just over 1m long.
I lined the bag in a gorgeous mustard floral cotton from Hobbycraft. I bought it from the bolt, and can’t find this online for you but you can see it features in one of their fat quarter sets here.
How to line the bag is discussed in the instructions, but I just measured the bag depth and width. Cut the relevant size allowing for seam allowances and the ‘turn over’ at the top and stitched this together. I boxed off the two bottom corners of the lining bag, to give it a little room rather than it being a completely flat bag, and also ironed a deep width of heavy interfacing to the top edge of the bag lining. This was to give the bag opening some stability, to make that top edge easy to sew to the crochet flowers and most importantly to hold the magnetic bag fasteners in place when they are pulled apart to open up the bag. Again, this is not part of the instructions, I just wanted there to be some sort of closure at the top.
Although the instructions ask you to hand sew the tope edge of the lining to the top of the outer bag, I thought I would try it on the machine, using a long stitch length. This went through the machine like a boss, not catching on the flowers at all! I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.
The finishing touch of any handmade item is often the addition of a label. For this one I used this cute ‘I made this’ floral label from Little Rosy Cheeks.
I’m so happy with the splash of subdued colour that this bag gives, and really pleased that I made it. I will say though that I’ve worn it a couple of times and where it has rubbed a little against my coat has caused a little bit of pilling on the yarn flowers, so I need to keep my eye on that, and remove those annoying little fuzzy balls as they appear.
Hope you guys didn’t mind me sharing a crochet post this time. Normal sewing blogs will resume shortly!!
Take care and I’ll be back soon,
Kathy x @sew_dainty