A Bag Story
This handbag has been floating around on Pinterest and Facebook crochet groups in Holland. It's a pattern called 'Mermoz Round Bag' from an Anny Blatt magazine, but there is no source to be found. However, there is a site, which has the pattern and diagram, you can find it here:
The original bag doesn't have the little leaves behind the flower. On Facebook some crocheters made a pattern of their own. I as well was smitten by this bag, so i gave it a try myself.
This is what i came up with. The flower in the original pattern has 6 leaves, the other pattern has 8 leaves. The flower is made like an Irish flower, where the petals are crocheted on a chain behind the previous petals. In my experience the chains usually are too long, they create a rather large gap, so i reduced the number of chains by 2.
The leaves are crocheted the same way, behind the petals.
Because the gaps in the flower always will be there, i sewed them together at the back. It doesn't show in the front, and it effectively closes the fabric.
Making the same kind of chain round for the start of the big circle. I introduced another thread of yarn, when i started the circle, crocheting single crochets over the second thread, like in tapestry crochet. The goal is to create a fabric, that doesn't need lining. If you do use a second thread, pull it regularly, preferably after 10 or 15 single crochets, because it tends to bulge a little in loops.
The original pattern is made of clusters and 2 chains, but again, too open to my liking. I changed to bubbles.
First round: 1 single crochet, 1 bubble of 5 double crochet, 2 single crochet, 1 bubble, 2 single crochet, ending with 2 single crochet.
Second round: (wrong side) single crochet in every single crochet and bubble.
Third round: 2 single crochet, 1 bubble, 2 single crochet, 1 bubble, ending with 1 single crochet.
Fourth round: single crochet across the round like the second round. In this part of the bag i used the second thread as well, simply crocheting the single crochets and bubbles over the thread. This gives a very tight and closed fabric. The same principal of tightning regularly!
The handles in the original pattern are tubes, which are filled after finishing. My fear was, they would be too heavy. I chose to make a simple handle of single crochet rounds, lenghtwise. Again crocheting over the second thread. This is a very good idea, because this will prevent the handles from stretching too long when the bag is used. I made a phototutorial on how to attach the handles to the bag.
This also can be used for other bags. The order of photos is from top left to bottom right.
Photo 1: The handle is sewed onto the bag, slightly lower then the edge, in order to spread the pulling force. Start at the place where the needle is placed.
Photo 2: The back, the handle is sewn only on the sides and bottom.
Photo 3: Crochet at the wrong side a surface chain under the 2 loops of the last round. This way you create 2 sides to crochet onto.
Photo 4: When you get to the handle, push the hook through both the handle and round.
Photo 5: This is how the chain on the back of the handle looks.
Photo 6: You have arrived at the left side, crochet crabstitch on the front round of the 2-in-1 round. It's a bit of a hussle, but it should work:)
Photo 7: At the end of the round, pull the working loop through the first loop of the round to the back, chain 1, crochet single crochet on the back of the 2-in-1 round. This is the front of the work, but it's crocheted behind the handle. Keep crocheting single crochet rounds over the second thread.
Photo 8: This is how the attachment of the handle on the back looks like.
Photo 9: And here's the front. There is a nice and almost invisible connection.
The original bag is closed with a zipper. I don't like to use zippers in knit- and crochetfabric, often they don't get sewn in as nicely as i want to. My solution for closing the bag is an 8-shaped figure. It is made like this:
Chain 20, slipstitch in the 9th chain from the hook, slipstitch 3 more chains, slipstitch in the 1st chain. Chain 1, crochet in the circle: 1 half double crochet, 6 double crochet, 1 chain, 6 double crochet, 1 half double crochet. Single crochet in the next 4 slipstitches, in the next circle 1 half double crochet, 6 double crochet, 1 chain, 6 double crochet, 1 half double crochet, 4 single crochet in the other side of the slipstitches. Close with slipstitch and fasten off. I embellished the 8 figure by crocheting a round of surface chain stitches around.
The buttons are crocheted as follows:
Start with a magic circle with a very long tail. You will need it for sewing the button on. Crochet 10 single crochet in this magic circle, close with slipstitch, crochet 13 single crochet OVER the first round, close with slipstitch and continue with a surface chain round under the 2 loops of the previous round. Slipstitch and fasten off.
Here is the end result. I'm quite proud of my bag!