I often crochet different motifs when I find interesting free patterns on the internet so I can see what they look like, how difficult they are, and to try them out for future projects. I recently came across a motif I really liked and I thought the sample I had made would look nice inserted into some sort of cloth handbag. I did some searches for instructions for doing this, but didn’t come up with much. The instructions are probably out there, but sometimes it can be hard to know the right words to use for searching for that sort of thing. I’ve been thinking about the best way to go about this for the past couple of weeks and came up with the following method (which I am writing out here for myself as much as anyone, since I don’t always remember quite how I worked something out).
I started by choosing a pattern to use as a beginning place. I have made several different versions of the 241 Tote bag from Noodlehead. Because I like the shape and size of that bag, I decided to use that as my starting place. The front panel is made from a pattern piece that is cut on the fold, so I drew both halves to have one flat piece to work with. I also measured my motif (a free pattern from here) and made a paper template that was just the tiniest bit bigger and decided on placement on my flat pattern piece:
I decided I like it placed on the diagonal best, so I cut that area out of my flat pattern:
I then cut out the pattern piece from my outer fabric, interfacing as called for in the pattern and a piece of thin muslin. I traced the cut-out square directly onto the muslin, which would become my facing:
I pinned everything together really well (outer fabric, face up, with the muslin on top) and stitched directly on the line I had drawn:
I then cut out the center section of the square, clipping to the corners:
Then, I pulled the muslin facing fabric through the square to the back:
I then pressed this well and top-stitched on the right side to hold everything in place:
I then hand-sewed the motif into the opening:
I then added a backing layer, using the same outer fabric I had chosen for the bag. I zigzagged all around the outer edge so I could easily treat this as one piece while I followed the instructions to construct the rest of the bag:
I did choose to leave off any outer pockets, but I added them to the inside lining, I discovered that in this pattern it works really well to use the outer pocket pieces inside the lining. I chose to zigzag a little piece of elastic to gather the inside pocket a bit- it works really well to hold things like my phone, lip balm, etc:
I can’t wait to use this bag- I always like it when a project ends up working out at least a little bit like I imagined it would :).