Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fat Bottom Bag

Pattern: Fat Bottom Bag by Julie Holetz from The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller.
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (no idea how this cotton differs in any way from Sugar and Cream or Peaches and Cream) in Hot Pink.
Other materials used: Leopard print stretch twill for lining, cotton Amy Butler print for fabric yo-yo flower, pink-and-brown argyle printed ribbon. Wooden handles "rescued" from thrift store bag.
From start to finish: Two days.
Pattern notes: Bag is worked side-to-side, and is very simple.
Modifications: I decreased a little more for the purse flap, because my handles were so much smaller than the ones reccomended in the pattern. I slip-stitched the handle flap closed around the handles instead of sewing them.

I love it when something is done so quickly that I don't even have time to post about it. Somehow, I always forget just how quickly crochet goes. I started the bag yesterday, and was done with it, embellishments and all, by this afternoon. Crazy.

One of my little sisters is turning 9 in a few days, and just so happens to be coming to visit, so she needed something extra special. When I was flipping through The Happy Hooker the other day, this bag stood out to me and I realized that I just had to work it up.

Let's take a quick look at the interesting construction of this bag.

First, it's crocheted sideways, with increases and decreases in the beginning and end to give it a little bit of a cupped shape.

I thought that I was doing something wrong until I was about half-way through, and then I "got" it. Aha. Right. It would have been helpful if the pattern notes mentioned the whole sideways thing.

Then you pick up stitches from each long edge, and bunch them up with single crochet decreases all along.
(That's obviously after I've only done one side.)

The directions say to break yarn after crocheting the handle flap, then go back to sew it down over the handle. I thought that was needless, since a good slip stitch can do the trick with a more "finished" looking result. And I had the crochet hook in my hand anyway, so...

The handles are much smaller than called for, but they were the only ones I could find at the thrift store -- attached to a rather ugly bag, and only a dollar!

Of course, I realize that crocheted and knitted objects have a tendency to stretch, and things can fall through and all, so I dove into my little fabric stash, and came up with this.
Can you see the little pocket? I added it to the lining before the lining was sewed into a pouch shape -- always much easier than trying to sew it in later!

I paid a lot of attention to the details when finishing this. All of my hemmed edges are folded under so there's no raw parts, no threads to come loose, and it all has a very clean effect.

On the outside (as you saw in the first picture), I created a fabric yo-yo flower and stitched it in place over some brown-and-pink argyle ribbon that I wove through the top of the bag.

I love every over-the-top girly feature of this bag. Rachel's birthday is always fun, because it's the only time that I really get to go all out "little girl" with my projects, and she appreciates them to the fullest. It only happens once a year, so I look forward to brainstorming each time. There is one or possibly two more things that will be created for her in the following days before she gets here next week.... and none of them involve knitting (gasp!)

Since this is a knitting blog, here's a pic of the Husband Socks, which, until yesterday, were taking a time-out for bad behavior.

They're back on the needles now, so I'll post progress soon.

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