Guest post by Mary Vaughn from Crochet Chiq
Crochet bags are as popular as ever! I steered clear of them at first because I was afraid of how it would hold up after being used. The answer is to LINE LINE LINE them. If you line them you can be confident nothing will fall through your stitches, and your hard work will not get stretched out!
First take a look at this Seaside Shell Clutch. It is small, chic and simple. However, without lining or a zipper it isn’t as user friendly. If you have never sewn a single stitch before that’s okay; this post will show you exactly how.
***Please note this is written for someone who does not sew, therefore I am showing the most basic way to do this. As you get more advanced you may find other stitches or methods you prefer.**
First lets talk supplies:
You need fabric the size of your bag. I used scraps from a dress I made a few weeks back. However, if the bag is small you can go to a craft or fabric store and buy what’s called a fat quarter. If the bag is larger, a 1/2 yard will give you more than you need. When choosing your lining try to match or contrast your crochet. In this other bag I did, I choose hot pink felt (felt because it was cheap and this crafter has a budget, and because my 4-year-old gets his toys out a lot and I wanted a firm fabric to hold its shape) to contrast with the black lace design.
Also pay attention to the type of fabric you use, as some stretch and some don’t. I say cotton is always a safe bet and if you are unsure take your project with you and I’m sure someone in the store can help you.
Next you need a needle, multi purpose thread and a zipper if desired.
What I did was lay the bag down and cut fabric in the same shape just an inch taller and an inch wider. I do that to allow for 1/2 seam and in case I mess up.
To start, you want the nice or print side of the fabric to face each other and pin it into place with straight pins (optional to pin but can be very helpful especially if the bag is in a non square type shape). You will want to sew what is called a blanket stitch around the sides and bottom.
TIP: double thread your needle and don’t make it too long or it will tangle.
Tie a knot (I triple knot) at the end of your two threads. Once your needle is threaded, insert your needle about 1/4 of and inch ( give or take just try to be consistent) pull the needle through. You want to then pull it through the back of the fabric and go under the loop. See the above photo.
Now your sewing doesn’t have to be perfect and can look like a hot mess and ugly, but still look great when turned inside out and used as a lining. See the below photo of my first lining. It works, but looks awful . I didn’t use the blanket stitch all the way through so it isn’t as strong but it still works!
Now to sew the zipper on isn’t as hard as one would think! The last photo showed how I didn’t use the blanket stitch throughout and that was a mistake because the zipper didn’t hold well. However, when you sew it on using the blanket stitch and put your stitches close together like this the zipper will hold up great!
Pin the zipper to the fabric (the right sides should be facing each other). Sew it on and repeat with the other side. Turn the bag right side out and place inside your crochet bag. Sew along the top with it open ( be careful not to sew your bag closed, I did that once LOL, nothing a seam ripper or scissors can’t fix) for the best shape. Add stitches ( hiding them of course) around the entire perimeter and a few throughout the front and back sides. Trim your ends and you are done!
Are you excited to line a crochet or knit bag? Need to find a perfect bag to crochet first? Check out these great free AFC patterns.