Thursday, 8 January 2015

A Fancy Crochet Bag Tutorial, A walk in Zemst and many shades of Grey

Hello my blogfriends!

First, thank you so much for all your kind birthday wishes! I had a lovely day, first spending it with my oldest daughter who is currently visiting and in the evening together with the nice ladies from the Knitting group 'T Arm Schaap in Zurenborg, Antwerpen.

The other day I made another Crocodile Stitch Flower Brooch when visiting my friend. I also gave her the South Bay Shawlette I recently made with chunky black yarn (I wrote about it in this post) . My friend was very happy with both!

04.01.15 Finished Crocodile Stitch Flower Brooch made with Scheepjeswol Stone Washed

For those of you who are interesting to find out more how I made my Fancy Crochet Bag/Purse I will share this Tutorial with you!

A Fancy Crochet Bag Tutorial

You will need:

A crocheted piece approx 25 cm wide x 30 cm long (I used Fenna yarn and this crochet stitch pattern)

I first mentioned about making this 'sample' piece in this post. Sew up the ends.

Note: I crocheted this sample piece well before I managed to find the metal frame for the bag. I was hoping to buy a more rectangular shaped closure, but they were only available in a gold tone colour which I didn't like for this project.

In hindsight I could have crocheted a more rounded shape (in 2 parts) for my bag. You could do so from the start, if you wish. Remember to add a little seam allowance for crocheting the sides together.

A similar sized piece of material for lining the bag (I used a kind of velour/fake suede material which I found cheap in a charity shop).

Note: Using a more stiff fabric/material it had the advantage that I did not need to add a seam allowance all round. If you use thin fine Cotton for example, you will need to stitch around at least the top part to prevent the fabric later from fraying.

Note 2: You could probably omit the lining if your crochet piece does not have any large holes (The pattern I used certainly makes big gaps between stitches!).

A bag fastening called Bella by Prym (it measures approx 19cm across the pivotal points at the sides) or similar.

Sewing thread that matches the lining plus sewing needle (I used a long darning needle that could go through the stiff lining)


Fold your lining fabric in half (pin together) and draw the outline of your bag shape onto it - use the metal closure as a guide for the top part.

Cut out lining shape leaving pins in place.

Fold crochet piece in half (inside out) and arrange edges to make a tapered shape.

I gathered the top edges by inserting a yarn thread into the crocheted edge stitches and pulling tighter. Do not cut the yarn yet. If your crochet edges already follow the rounded bow of the metal frame you do not need to gather anything.

Crochet each side (seam) together, making sure you attach both layers firmly to one another.

(If necessary, sew the seam for the top of your lining before....)

Likewise, sew lining along the side seams just below the point of the pivots of the metal frame. Take care to double check this corresponds correctly to your frame and that the side seams do not go beyond that point or you might have trouble opening your bag fully later on).

Lining with side seams, Crochet outer with either side seams crocheted together
Insert sewn lining into crochet outer and pin both crochet and lining together. You can now tighten the drawstring yarn in order to gather the top part of the crochet layer.

Both layers pinned together
Sew both sides with tiny stitches using thread. Check that the bag opens as far as it should corresponding to your metal frame. Once sewn together, you can now sew up the drawstring yarn ends.
Crochet layer and lining sewn together at the opening top part of the bag
Now take the closure/metal frame and line up with your sewn bag shape. The closure has tiny holes along the outside, you can place pins through them and pin bag and frame together.

Sew in and out of the frame and make sure the thread is reasonably taut (without breaking the thread!). You can see the stitches pretty well in this picture. After sewing frame and bag once together, you should try to sew it a second time to secure the stitches.

PS: This is the first time I made a bag like this and I did not follow any instructions, would you believe! I thought I was going to glue the bag to the frame, but sewing it instead seems the better option, especially since the crochet makes it a bit too bulky! (Hope this answers your question, Birgit!)

Your bag is ready!!!

A Walk in Zemst

On Sunday my partner and I went on an organized walk in Zemst near Mechelen. Here are some photos I took.

Start and Registration Point in Zemst
Walking across countryside

Scenic Interlude with Swans
A field full of Brussel Sprouts!
An amazing tree with red berries
A majestic double alley of trees...
...and the beautiful castle at the end of it!
Walkers everywhere!
My refreshing break at the control point after 4.5 km
Turning back towards Zemst
The route of our 7.5 km walk
We did the 7.5 km long walk (including short break) in about 100 minutes. When we returned to our starting point I noticed a sign where it said that by 3pm 1400 people had registered for the walk!!!! (This includes all different length of walks from 4 km to about 20 km).

Finds for my Wool Stash

On Monday my daughter and I went to the charity shop and I came back with a small bag of mixed yarn! I got now at least 50 8 new shades of grey!!!

It included some Vintage Phildar Wool. I really love the label!!!

Front and Back of the Wool label

Hope you enjoyed reading this bumper length post!!! If you are making a similar bag and got any questions, please ask!

Feel free to leave me your comments below, I love reading them!


  1. Thanks for letting us see how you made your fancy bag. Looks like you had a great walk. Love your new yarn!

    1. Hi Gillian! Thanks for your comments! :) xx

  2. I loved the bag, thank you for sharing. Looks like a wonderful walk, I loved the break too the pie looked wonderful. What a great find at the charity shop, the label is a real delight.

    1. Hi Lorraine! Yes, I was pleased with my latest stash addition. Now where am I going to put it????? ;)) xx

  3. What a wonderful walk - the weather seems to be a lot better in Belgium than over here. Rain and Rain here!

    Your works are beautiful. Your friend must love the shawl! :)

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

    1. Thanks, Anne! Actually it is pouring with rain here at the moment, I'm just waiting for a break in the downpour so I can quickly pop to the shop!!! Therefore it feels nice and cosy being indoors, with a hot cup of tea and one of my birthday chocolates... ;) Yes, she was very happy and it was a wonderful surprise for her!!! xx

  4. hello Ingrid, you had a lovely birthday, nice walk too-love the field full of Brussels.
    I made a flower-quite therapeutic it was too and very sweet to look at.
    Helen x

    1. Thanks, Helen! Yes, the sprouts were mindboggling, so many to see in one go! Oh, well done for making a flower, hope to see it on your blog soon! :) xx

  5. Still love that little bag of yours.
    And the Brussel sprouts still puzzels my mind. I knew they grew on "sticks" but not like this. I must read up my knownlengde about them. One of my fav veggis. Broccoli, peas, avocado and BS <3
    And juhu we have found eachother on instagram aswell :)
    Have a nice evening.

    1. Hey Monica! Yes, I love all these veggies, too! Hehe, it was funny when I saw your photo pop up! It's all thanks to my oldest daughter who is currently here, she has been great with all these apps!! ;) xx

  6. So funny. I saw the photo of the bag, thought "I've already read this", then saw the post was dated today and was very confused because I didn't think I'd visited you today. Of course it was your other post with the first pic of the bag, that I was thinking about - doh! Thanks for sharing how you made it, I assumed those metal frames somehow clasped/clipped in, never realised they were sewn on. Anyway as I said before, it's a really lovely bag :)

    1. Dear Jill! No, there is nothing wrong with your eyesight!!! (relief!!!) Thanks for your comments, glad you like the bag! :) xx

  7. What a great tutorial! You are so clever at this sort of thing. I had no idea how the clasp piece was put on, or how you got it all to fit so your explanation was great. Thank you! The label on that yarn that you found is wonderful isn't it! xx

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for your kind comments!!! Yes, you don't see vintage wool like that often anymore!!! So I was lucky!!! :) xx

  8. Ingrid, this crochet bag is just beautiful! And fancy indeed!
    I hope you take it out regularly to strange and wonderful places :-)

    1. Hehe, Amalia! Now there is an idea...!!!! ;)) xx

  9. Belated Happy Birthday wishes Ingrid! Hope you had a lovely celebration. What a gorgeous brooch and bag and excellent tutorial! Zemst looks beautiful-love the castle. What could be better than Kaffee und Kuchen as well!
    Best wishes
    Alison xx

    1. Thanks, Alison!!! The castle is called Expoel (near Hombeek which is near Zemst) and the only kind of article on it I found is in Dutch: (if interested you might have to try fathom it out via google translate) :) xx

  10. What a great tutorial, you are such a busy bee. Happy belated birthday

    1. Thank you, Helda!!! Have a nice weekend! :) xx

  11. I love the photos from the walk, so beautifull. Thank you so much for the tutorial info on the bag, it is a great project. Hugs to you, Meredith

    1. Thank you, Meredith! Yes, it was a nice walk. We are just looking into where we can go for a walk today (Sunday). xx

  12. Ingrid, thank you for sharing the crochet bag instructions!
    And I must add you had a fantastic visit judging from the pictures!

  13. Love your photo of the brussels sprouts in their natural habitat! The weather is too warm to grow them here in Australia but I love to eat them!