Small project bag: TaDah and free tutorial

Its great seeing all the finished stash bags appearing on Instagram and Facebook, particularly in the Crafternoon Treats Bagalong Facebook group, which how has over 325 members! I’m way behind with my new big stash bag but I’ve been concentrating on this little beauty – the Retro Granny Project Bag.

I’ve been posting pics of the squares as I’ve been doing them but here is a close up of each one, done with eight rounds from the retro granny square pattern (click to download UK terms or USA terms. The colours I used were burgundy, pomegranate, camel, copper, parchment, spice and cream, all in Stylecraft Special Chunky, which I bought on special offer from Deramores.

Its amazing how different they look just by mixing up the way these colours are used in different orders:

Small project bag square 1
From the centre: spice, parchment, pomegranate, cream, copper, camel, pomegranate, burgundy
Small project bag square 2
From the centre: parchment (rounds 1 and 2), cream, camel, pomegranate, spice, burgundy copper
Small project bag square 3
From the centre: pomegranate, spice, cream, burgundy, parchment, copper, camel, cream
Small project bag square 4
From the centre: burgundy, copper, pomegranate, spice, camel, parchment, cream
Small project bag square 5
From the centre: cream (rounds 1 and 2), camel, spice, pomegranate, copper, burgundy

Lining the small project bag

I lined each square individually using fabric and you can see the tutorial here.

Assembling the small project bag

I put this bag together in exactly the same way as my original Retro Granny Stash Bag – see the tutorial here.

Once the sides were joined, the bag was quite good at standing up and formed a good sturdy shape:

Small project bag joined

Handbag shape

I then crocheted round the top of the bag, working in double crochet stitches (UK terms) [single crochet stitches – sc – USA terms]. I worked five complete rounds in total using copper.

Then I experimented with doing the handles in a slightly different way.

Making the handles of the small project bag

The first difference is that I didn’t use Stylecraft Chunky… Instead I worked with Stylecraft Special DK in parchment with Drops Belle in pale cream. The Drops yarn is a cotton, which doesn’t stretch.

I made two complete rounds around the top of the bag using this yarn combo. Then I used stitch markers to mark a space 16 stitches wide in the centre of the two opposite squares that were going to form the front and back of my bag.

When I got to the first stitch marker in the next round, I made 20 chains then rejoined just after the second stitch marker. This created the handle. I repeated on the other side.

I then continued just going around the bag, working into the top of the bag and then into the chains, and so on. In total, I worked 7 rounds in the DK Parchment Drops Belle combo until my bag looked like this:

Start of handles

Small bag handles17

If you want you can leave it like that – the handles are pretty sturdy and this is only a small bag. But I went one step further using piping cord as before in my original stash bag.

Step 1

Place a piece of cord in the centre of the top piece of the bag and sew through both loops of the top, joining to the two loops of the stitches in the first row:

Small bag handles15

Small bag handles13

Continue around until you reach the first handle.

Step 2

Fold over the handle: in the same way, sewing top to bottom:

Small bag handles7

Step 3

Cut the cord neatly and join the ends by sewing through each one and then binding with yarn – I used the parchment DK. Then close the final stretch of the top around the cord, enclosing it completely.

Small bag handles6

Small bag handles4

Small bag handles3

Small bag handles1

The finished result is very neat

Small bag handles12

Small bag handles11

Small bag handles10

Small bag handles9

Both the handles and the top of the bag look tidy and feel strong and sturdy.

And finally

As my lining was a bit wonky at the top I thought of using some vintage crochet lace that I had as a trim around the inside. This lace may have been made by my great grandmother, so its very special and I have been waiting for a perfect time to use it.

Small bag lining and lace10

I sewed it into the bag, just above the lining and not only does it hide the lining wonkies, it looks fab and its a perfect holder for stitch markers and needles!

Small bag lining and lace3

And a bonus

When I took some more pics for this blog, I decided to turn the bag inside out to get some better shots of the lining – and guess what? Its completely reversible!!!!!!

Small bag lining and lace17

Small bag lining and lace14

Enjoying the bagalong?

This pattern and tutorial is free and you can use it to make bags for yourself or for others. You can sell your bags but it would be nice to credit me for the design. Please do not take the photos or the text of the tutorials and publish them, even with a link back to my site, as that is against UK Copyright Law. Pinning my pics on Pinterest is fine – as long as you pin from here.

If you find the tutorial useful please consider donating £2 to the Just Giving page below – I raised over £10800 for Marie Curie Cancer Care recently and I want to keep up the good work!!

You can text a donation to 70070 adding YARN55 and then your donation amount if you prefer xxxxxxxxx

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5 thoughts on “Small project bag: TaDah and free tutorial

  1. Michele says:

    Thank you so much for this pattern! I thought the pictures and instructions were very easy to follow, and I finished the bag a few weeks ago. I took it to my stitching group to show them, and a few were so inspired that they asked where I found the pattern. I referred them here, of course. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!

  2. Pamela Rapp says:

    Fantastic bag.. I love it… I just finished mine… not exactly exactly what I saw in my mind but I can always make another…this you for sharing yours…your a imperation …

  3. Emily says:

    I love crochet patterns with a creative twist on the classic granny square. I loved your use of a sewn interior lining with pockets for added organization (wish I could sew!). Finally, loved the use of the cord, I’ve not seen that done before and it’s brilliant!

  4. The Laughing Sheep says:

    This is the first time I have joined in on a colourful project and wow crafternoontreats you have out done yourself 🙂 the design is lovely, the colour choice glorious, your tutorial was easy to follow and the images were pleasing on the eyes. Thank you for inspiring me happy lady ♥

  5. Helen says:

    What a wonderful little bag!!!!! Great use of color combinations and great lining. I especially like the lace you used at the top of it. You are so creative Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial with us. Its only June, but I start thinking ahead for Christmas gifts ,,, this would be a great one SMILE Helen

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