Keeping with the tradition of hand-making the gifts I send to my cousin Lisa’s little girl Delilah, I crocheted the four year old a colourful kid-sized cross-body bag for Christmas. According to her mom, “the little purse is getting lots of use, she uses it whenever she wants to dress up “cool” when they play “rock stars””. I’ll call that a win!
My cousin sent over these darling photos of Delilah with her bag …
This project was based on the lovely granny square called “Primavera Flower” designed by Dragana, the pattern for which is on her blog Dada’s Place. I previously used this square when I made this sachet cover, and really like how it turned out, so it was the perfect choice to use again on this project.
I made the bag to suit a small child, however, you can make it any size you’d like by adding more rows to your square and making the strap as long as you’d like.
For crocheters who’d like to make one too, here’s how to do it:
This was a stash buster for me, so I used a mix of sport weight yarns with a 4.0 hook. I like to use relatively small hooks and crochet tightly, so depending on what you use, your project dimensions might be different.
Once I’d made the Primavera Flower square in Dada’s pattern, which is about 3 inches across when complete, I added more rows around it to bring it up to about 7 inches across.
Rather than finish off the Primavera square where the pattern ends, I slip stitched into the first chain stitch of the previous round, and chained two. Then I made two rows around, using a hdc stitch. In the corners I made two hdc, chain two and two hdc. Each row was finished with a slip stitch into the first stitch of the previous row, and a chain two. For the next row (the lighter pink one) attach your new colour before the chain two.
The lighter pink row is a series of cluster stitches — the method for these is exactly as described in Dada’s pattern, which is the purple part in my work. Each cluster takes up the space of two hdc stitches, so you work them into every second stitch. The corners are the same as the previous row – two hdcs, two chains, two hdcs. Chain two and slip stitch to first cluster to finish the row. Change yarn colours (to the turquoise in my piece) and chain two.
The next row is two hdcs between every cluster in the previous row (because, again, they take up the space of two stitches), with “two hdc, two chains, two hdc” in every corner. Slip stitch to close and chain two.
The last two rows (or however many you want to add to make the finished bag whatever size you’d like) are hcds into every stitch with two hdc, two chain, and two hdc at each corner.
The back is a simple square of hdc stitches.
To attach the two pieces together, and make the strap, with a new colour of yarn (deep purple in my piece) begin at the top left of the front square, and single crochet across the top. Layer onto the back piece, and working from the front, attach the right side together by single crocheting through both layers. (Note, you want to be working from the front of your bag, with the flower in front, because, your single stitches will look nicer on the front than on the back.
Work three single stitches into the corner.
Continue attaching the layers together, with single stitches through both layers, along the bottom, adding three singles at the corner and going along the left side.
Work a row of single crochet along the top edge of the back piece of the bag. You now have a pouch with an open top, bordered all the way around with your final colour of yarn.
You’ll end up on the right side of your work, when looking at it from the front. Don’t cut the yarn.
To make the strap, create a chain as long as you’d like it. (Mine was about 30 inches, to fit a small child). Attach your chain to the left side of the front with a few slip stitches. Turn around and single crochet into each chain stitch (to make the strap thicker). Attach to the right side. Bind off. Or, if you’d like a thicker strap, go back along with a second row of single crochet.
Since crochet is “holey” you’ll want to add a fabric lining to your bag, in order to keep whatever you put into it safe. The zipper is attached to the fabric lining, and then that pouch is hand stitched into your crocheted piece.
Note, I used a long zipper and cut it to size, reinforcing the cut end with a bunch of hand sewn stitches, however standard zipper lengths do include a 7 inch option. I did it this way because the zipper I wanted to use was only available in the long length — it turns out that zippers in just the right shade of lime green zippers are not widely available in an assortment of lengths! (If you’re in Toronto and want to check out a supplier with lots of zippers on offer, I recommend Neveren’s Sewing Supplies located on the south side, just west of Spadina on Queen Street West.)
The fabric I used was some repurposed cotton that happened to be lime green on one side and dark brown on the other. Use what you have, keeping in mind that you will be able to see it a bit through the holes in the crocheting.
To make the fabric pouch, cut two pieces the size of your finished bag. Using a sewing machine, with wrong sides of the fabric together, run a row of basting stitches (they’re temporary) along the top, with a half inch allowance. Iron the seam open. Place your closed zipper right on the back side of this temporary seam, so the pull tab is facing towards the seam. Pin it in place, and then, with a zipper foot, sew it in beginning at the end with the pull-tab. You might find it easier to open the zipper a little, to get by it and then close it again once you’re past. Sew down one side, pivot, (= leaving your needle down, lifting your foot, turning the piece 45 degrees), sew across the bottom, pivot and sew up the other side.
Remove the row of basting that is covering the zipper. (Note: Because I used a long zipper that I cut and stitched by hand, I added a small piece of fabric to cover that, however, in the end, I wouldn’t have needed to do that because you can’t see it at all, however I wanted to let you know because you can see it in the picture above.)
Fold, with back sides together and zipper at the top, so the front panel aligns with the back. Sew down one side, pivot, sew across bottom, pivot, sew up the other side. Note, you’re working it so the raw edges are on the outside of your piece, as then, once you attach it to the crocheted part, the raw edges will be on the inside, and the clean edges will be the visible ones on the inside of your purse.
You’ll now have a zippered pouch.
Insert fabric pouch into your crocheted one, with the pull tab to the right, when the zipper is closed.
Hand stitch the fabric pouch into the crocheted one, using thread that matches the colour of your crocheted border and purse strap.
I hope those instructions are clear enough for you to try making your own crocheted cross-body bag!
Thanks for checking out my blog,