Personalised Crochet bag - a tutorial

This is a bag I made for my younger daughter for Christmas - but had to wait until after Christmas to share it in case she saw it on my blog!

It was inspired by one I saw on Pinterest.
My daughter is slowly learning crochet and loves to make endless bracelets and scarfs etc from wool, She's slowly learning to make basic amigurumi as she'd like to make lots of cute little critters!
So - leading up to Christmas I visited the charity shops whenever I passed and picked up balls of wool from there of various colours and textures. I also found several crochet hooks of various sizes, so all that I then needed was something to put them all in!

Here's how to make a crochet bag that can fit LOTS of wool in and has plenty space for hooks in around the sides!

You will need 2 co-ordinating outer fabrics, one inner fabric and some buckram (or stiff interfacing). Extra pretty fabric and fusible webbing for personalised name applique.

Cut your fabric first:

Outer fabric 1: 1 circle 32cm (12.5") diameter
2 rectangles 52 x 20cm (20.5 x 8") - main base of sides of bag
1 rectangle 52 x 12cm (20.5 x 4.5") - for crochet hook pockets

Outer fabric 2: 2 rectangles 52 x 20cm (20.5 x 8")

Inner Fabric: 1 circle 32cm (12.5") diameter
2 rectangles 52 x 38cm (20.5 x 15")
2 straps 1m20 x 10cm (47 x 4")

Buckram or stiff interfacing: 1 circle 32cm (12.5") diameter
2 rectangles 52 x 20cm (20.5 x 8") - main base of sides of bag

Fusible webbing and pretty fabric for name: cut rectangle approx 30 x 15cm (12 x 6")

First take your inner fabric pieces. Lay the 2 rectangles, right sides together on top of each other. Pin down the two short sides leaving a gap of about 15cm (6") on one side - (to turn the bag right sides out at the end through) then stitch.

Next take your inner fabric circle and fold it into quarters. 

Mark each quarter on the edge with a pin then open out again. 

Use these pins to help you line the circle up as you pin it around the side pieces you just sewed together to create your bag inner. 
Keep right sides of the fabric together.

Next take the straps you cut. Fold the short end in then the longer sides in to the centre and then the whole length in half again to completely enclose the raw edges. Then stitch around all 4 edges. You may find it helps to iron each fold as you go before stitching. I used soft shiny fabric that doesn't like too much ironing so just folded as best I could then stitched while holding it together!

Do this with both strap pieces.

Now to the outside of your bag.
With your first outer fabric, take one large and one small rectangle (for the pockets).
 Place the small rectangle on top of the large rectangle at the bottom and lining up the edges. Stitch down both sides to hold in place.

Now lay your crochet hooks and scissors if you like in between these two layers where you would like them to be.

 Pin down the sides of these to form 'pockets'.

 Then take out the hooks and scissors and stitch lines where you have pinned to create the pockets.

Then lay this piece on top of one of your rectangles of buckram (stiff interfacing) and pin and stitch around the side and bottom edges. 

Now to the other side of your bag. Take the other large rectangle and your pretty fabric with fusible webbing. Iron the fusible webbing to the back of your pretty fabric.

Now write the name you want to applique onto the bag on the back of the fusible webbing. 
NOTE: you have to write each letter as a mirror image as when you cut the letters you have to turn them over to place on your bag. I was lucky my daughter's name is the same both ways!

Cut around each letter, peel the backing paper off then place centrally onto your outer fabric rectangle. Iron on as per your fusible webbing instructions, and applique or tight zig-zag stitch around the edges.

Now place the other rectangle of buckram (interfacing) behind this named piece and pin then stitch around the side and bottom edges.

Next take your other outer fabric rectangles and place them face down on these rectangles you just made. Pin then stitch along the top edge of the name piece and the top edge of the pocket piece.

Now your two bag side pieces are ready to join together.

Place these two piece right sides together on top of each other. Pin then stitch down both sides.  IMPORTANT:  You must leave a gap on both sides near the top of the sides seams for the drawstring to go through. Make this gap around 2.5cm (1") down from the top edge and around 2.5cm (1") wide.

Now iron open the top seam from the inside, where you have left the gaps. 

 Flip the fabric over to the right side and stitch a rectangle around the opening you have left on either side. This is where you will thread the straps for the bag through.

Now you need to add the base to the outside of your bag. Take your outer fabric circle and your buckram (interfacing) circle. Place them both together and pin around the base of your bag with right sides of the outer fabric facing.

Stitch all around the edge, making sure you enclose all the seams you have previously stitched.
Turn this bag right sides out.

Now to put the bag all together.
Slip the outer bag inside the inner bag which is inside out. So the right sides of the inner and outer bag are facing each other. 

Pin all the way around the opening edges of the bag and stitch together.

Once you've stitched the two bag pieces together, you can turn it out through the gap you left in the side of your inner bag. Hand stitch the opening closed once you've turned you bag right sides out!

Iron the top opening of your bag so that the seam lays flat. 

Then top stitch around the edge. Also run two more rows of stitching around the top of your bag on either side of the two rectangles where you will thread the handles through - this will make the casing for your handles.

Using a large safety pin, thread your straps through the casing all the way around the bag one through and out each side opening. Tie the ends of each strap together.

Now your bag is finished and ready to be filled up with wool and crochet hooks!

My daughter likes her new crochet bag so much - and all the varieties and colours of wool I filled it with! I can't wait to see what she makes with it all this year!

For the free downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

If you enjoyed this tutorial - I have over 100 free sewing tutorials for all levels and abilities of sewing.
Do take a look here!


Art Folder - a handmade gift

This is a gift I made for my elder daughter for Christmas. I just had to wait until after Christmas to share it as she does look at my blog!

It is made based on my pencil and notebook folder tutorial but adapted for slightly different contents and and extra 'page' in the middle.

My daughter wants to make pretty notebooks and cards etc. so I got her a selection of papers, stickers and tapes to work with.

I also made her a small velvet pouch to go with the folder to keep in the tapes, glitter, scissors etc.

She loved her gift and I can't wait to see what creative things she makes with it all!