Thank you for all the lovely comments on the Attic 24 Harmony squares fat bottomed bag inspired by the lovely new granny squares designed by Lucy. Lots of you want to make one too and although I didn’t take a lot of pics while I was making the bag, I’m adding a bit more information about the colours I used and how I did the bag.
When Lucy publishes her pattern for her new cabin square blanket (I think its being launched at Yarndale!!) I am going to make another fat bottomed bag based on that square and will do loads of pictures for that one so that you can see in more detail. In the meantime, I have taken some pictures as I was making this one but not enough for a proper tutorial. Hopefully though, this extra info will be helpful if you want to make your own Harmony fat bottomed bag.
Basic construction of a fat bottomed bag
Make a square of crochet minimum 50cm by 50cm. This can be a single granny square – keep adding rounds until you are happy with the size – or a square made up of smaller grannies sewn together or joined together with crochet. Scroll down to the second part of this post to see the colours of the squares I made for my bag. Find information about making the Attic24 Harmony squares and the Harmony blanket.
Make a simple lining – I cut two squares of fabric 52cm by 52cm, put the wrong sides together, sew round each side with a sewing machine 1cm in from the edge along three and a half sides, turn the right side out and press, then hand sew the gap.
Attach the lining to the square. I use ordinary sewing thread to sew the edge of the lining to the top of the last round of crochet. You can use a sewing machine if you are confident doing that.
On the crochet side of your square hand sew on some lace – whatever kind and colour you want. You can use one layer or several. Or you can leave the lace off – totally up to you. For my bag I used two layers of lace for the front and back. The darmer one overlapped the lighter. Each piece of lace was sewn onto the crochet straight – the gathering happens later…
For the sides I used one lace only but folded this in half lengthwise to form a double layer.
Gather up the first bag side. Take the side of the square that will form one of the sides of your bag and work on the right side. For the Harmony bag I used a 4.5mm hook and Stylecraft Special DK in Storm held together with some pale blue DK weight cotton. Cotton doesn’t stretch so helps form a sturdy bag top.
Join the yarn. For the Harmony bag I worked one dc into each space between each pair of trebles. This means you are gathering the side of the bag already because you are making far fewer stitches than in the length of the original side.
When you get to the end turn and make one chain. Then make one dc into each dc stitch of the first row. Turn and make one chain,
For the third row I decreased – just a standard decrease by working two stitches into one. I started by making 1dc into the first two stitches then did one decrease dc and one dc three times. So 3 decreases. I then crocheted across until I was 11 stitches from the end of the row and worked one decrease dc and one dc three times again, finishing with one dc and one dc. This reduces the stitches even more so the side of the bag really starts to gather up.
For the fourth row I worked across using a dc in each stitch. I was then happy with the gather as I knew that the next four rows would gather the crochet fabric even more. Its good to work with a tight tension in these later rows. If you want to add more decreases, you can – this really depends on the yarn you are using and how many stitches you have on your side when you begin. Just make a note of exactly what you do as you want to repeat it for the opposite side!
By the time I had finished my eight rows for the top of the first size, the width had reduced from 50cm to 20cm!
Repeat your decrease rows on the opposite side of the square so that you have two evenly gathered bag sides.
Gather up the front side and back side of the bag. I started in exactly the same way – I crocheted one dc into each space between the pairs of trebles. Each of the subsequent rows were made with one dc into each stitch (I didn’t do any decreases). This gave the bag some gather at the front and bag but not as much as the sides. Leave a long tail end for sewing over the handles.
Using the tail ends sew the top of the flap made for each side over so that it forms a neat doubled over edge. I usually attach the top edge to the second row of the flap sewing securely in place before weaving in the ends.
Use the tail end for the front and back to sew the flap over your handles. You can either use homemade handles or cane or plastic rings or ovals or D shaped handles.
Add flowers to the front and back of the bag as you want, together with beads and other decorations to make the bag uniquely yours.
Colours used in my Harmony fat bottomed bag
Looking at the photo above, this is the list of colours used:
- Top left: raspberry, lime, storm, turquoise, cloud blue
- Top centre: clematis, plum, storm, cloud blue, lavender
- Top right: storm, petrol, lavender, clematis, violet
- Middle left: lime, meadow, storm, raspberry, pale rose
- Middle centre: plum, pale rose, lime, sage green, cloud blue
- Middle right: pale rose, storm, turquoise, violet, raspberry
- Bottom left: sage green, lime, clematis, raspberry, petrol
- Bottom centre: violet, lavender, pale rose, lime, sage green
- Bottom right: lime, pale rose, plum, storm, turquoise
The final round for all the squares was made in parma violet, as in the original harmony blanket, and I used a join as you go method, but instead of joining with a slip stitch I used a double crochet (dc) [UK terms] [single crochet; sc; US terms] to give the square more definition as this was going to form a bag.
I made six rows of border in total following the method used by Lucy for the Harmony Blanket (two trebles into each space between each treble pair):
- cloud blue
- sage green
I used a heavy weight linen cotton with a vintage design bought at a fair but you can buy similar fabrics on Etsy or in your local fabric shop, market or a fair.