A Granny Square Scarf - crochet learning

Crochet is Amazing!

The more I practise and learn to crochet, the more impressed I am at the process of turning single strands of wool into something complex using just a hook, scissors and needle.
I've been sewing for years and I love creating things with fabric and other materials and using my sewing machine to do it. However, the simplicity of the materials and process for crochet is something special. 

I love the fact that it can be done anywhere, no need for machines, or electricity.  I'm fascinated by the stories I see and read about crochet being used in third world countries to help lift people out of poverty by using the resources they have to create things using a simple crochet hook.

Even more amazing is the fact that something so simple can be used to create something incredibly complex. I'm not just talking about the amazing cute creatures and characters that people crochet - plenty of incredible images can be seen on my Pinterest crochet board. But around 20 years ago, it was found that a mathematical concept that was thought to be unable to be created as a 3D model, could be created through crochet!  
Crocheting Hyperbolic Planes like you find in coral reefs.

My crochet skills are still very basic, but I'm enjoying the process of learning a new skill and seeing a new method of creating things.

My latest crochet project

My latest learn to crochet project has involved practising making lots of Granny Squares. I didn't start out with any particular plan other than to practise, but ended up with a pretty cute scarf for my youngest to take on her upcoming school trip to the cold weather in Canberra.

My Granny Squares were less than perfect - varying in size a lot as I still haven't mastered an even tension when I crochet!

Still, with a little stretching they all managed to fit together as I joined them, albeit not perfectly!

I then added a simple double crochet edging in the bright pink colour chosen by my daughter.

Here you can see how wonky my squares are joined, but wool, just like fabric is very forgiving, so I managed to work around the dips and waves!

I added some pink tassles on either end and it was all done!

My daughter is very happy with her new scarf and I'm very proud of my latest crochet creation!

This scarf took me a while to make, but it was good to practise the basics.  
I'm already looking forward to starting another crochet project. I want to do something different this time.
As always, any suggestions and recommendations of things to try are most welcome!

Upcycled Denim Triangle Shoulder Bag - a tutorial

Here's how to make a bag similar to this. This is a very 'flexible' tutorial in that I didn't make it to measure - I used the materials I had and made the bag around the sizes of those. I also added a zip pocket on the inside.

You will need - denim scraps of various shades, lining fabric, a couple of zips and the waistband from a pair of jeans!
Cut two outer and two inner panels the same size. Then 2 smaller rectangles of the inner fabric and a zip for the inner pocket, and scraps the length of your top bag zip in both inner and outer fabric.

Outer bag panels

I don't have paper piecing instructions for the impossible triangle - but you can see pictures of how I made it here. You can use any outer panels you like - made from scraps, or just whole pieces of fabric.
For the other outside panel, I cut several equilateral triangles from various denim scraps. I made my triangle template using these instructions folding a rectangle of paper! 

Then I pieced and stitched them together randomly in rows, 

and separated each row with a strip of black denim.

 This hides the fact that the triangles don't all quite match up!

Then I cut the whole thing into a rectangle the same size as my impossible triangle panel to give me my two outer bag pieces.

You can make this bag whatever size you want. I made my impossible triangle panel first before I decided to make it into a bag - so I just worked with the size of that, which was about 28 x 30 cm (11 x 11.75"). 

So now to constructing the bag.

The inner zipped pocket.

Take one of your inner bag panels and the smaller inner fabric rectangles with the small zip.

Place the smaller rectangle face down where you would like your pocket to sit on your inner bag panel as above.
Then using a ruler and pencil, draw a thin rectangle that is the size of your zip teeth.

Stitch around this line (through both layers of fabric)

Then cut through both pieces of fabric in the middle of this line.

Snip right up to the corners like this.

Then push your front pocket piece through the hole.

Now you need to press your zip opening flat, and pin your zip behind this hole with the zip teeth showing through.

Then stitch around to hold the zip in place.

Now turn over your panel and pin the other pocket piece face down onto your first one.

Pin then stitch around all four edges to enclose your pocket.

That's your inner zipped pocket finished!

Putting your bag together

Take your two outer panels and two inner panels and lay them right sides facing together like this.

Pin then stitch around the side and bottoms of the inner and outer bags. Leave a gap in one side of your inner bag part so you can turn it all right sides out when you're done.

Box out the corners

To make your bag have a 'boxy' bottom, push your hand up inside one of your bag pieces - this shows the inner piece.

Now pinch the corner so the side and bottom seams are in line with each other.

Pin across this 'triangle' you have created, around 2.5cm (1") from the point.

Repeat with the other bottom corner.

Then stitch a straight line across where you pinned.

And snip off the corner past your stitching.

So the base of your inner bag should look like this now.

Repeat with your outer bag so both have boxy bases.

The main zip

Take your main zip and the scraps of fabric for the sides.
Lay your zip face up on your inner fabric with a strip of your outer fabric face down on top. The edges of the fabrics and zip should be lined up as in the photo.

 Pin then stitch using your zipper foot.

Then pull both fabrics back from the zip and topstitch to prevent the fabrics catching in the zip when you open and close it.

Repeat this with the other side of the zip, then with more scraps of fabric at either end of the zip.

You can place these scraps where you like to shorten the zip to the width of your bag.

Then trim all the way around your zip to create a rectangle like this.

The strap

I find waistbands of jeans to be great used as bag straps. They are sturdy and just the right width.  Of course it depends on the size of the jeans as to the length of your waistband. I have a lot in my stash to choose from!

You could unpick the belt loops, but I choose to leave mine on and just stitch along the cut edge to secure them and the waistband.

Then it's a simple matter of placing the strap on either side of the bag, pinning then stitching securely in place.

Putting it all together.
Now you just have to join the zip part to the top of the bag and stitch it all together!
First take your zip section and pin to the top of the outside of your bag - right sides together.  Since I didn't take measurements, my zip section was larger than the bag so it kind of sits down into the bag a little. I also rounded the edges and trimmed after stitching.

Next, turn the outer bag right sides out and push inside the inner bag so that the right sides of both fabrics are facing each other.

Pin then stitch the top of the inner bag to the outer bag and zip edges where you just stitched.

Turn your bag right sides out through the gap you left in the stitching of your inner bag.

Stitch the gap closed - either by hand or machine.

And your bag is finished!

Fill it up, use it and admire!

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

If you like this tutorial, then please take a look at my other free tutorials. There are well over 100 to choose from for all levels of sewing ability and for making all kinds of things!

100+ Free Sewing Tutorials