Tuesday, 8 May 2012

{ Craft Corner } Crochet Clutch

Clutch bags are a fantastic accessory to hold your belongings but not ware down on your shoulder. When flicking through a crochet project book, I found a pattern for a purse and decided to modify the instructions to create a clutch bag.


It's a very basic pattern, using treble stitch to build up the rows with a decrease to the front to create the flap. I went for a deep burgundy colour in a double knit wool so as to make a bag that is truly versatile. 


After a bit of deliberation, I decided to add a large button with a ribbon for a secure fastening. I was torn between a popper, button or nothing at all, but buttons are just too much of a draw and so one had to be used! 

For the lining I reused the material from an old jersey dress which had been torn. I simply sewed the material to the inside of the crocheted 'shell' - we'll have to see how well this holds out though.


Lastly, I added a selection of crocheted flowers and buttons to give it a little extra detail. I can post up patterns for these if anyone is interested! 

If you fancied giving this clutch bag a go yourself, here is a rudimentary set of instructions for you to follow.

1 - Using double knit wool and a 5mm crochet hook, crochet a foundation chain of however many stitches you fancy - it might be best to stitch to an even number. As an example, my bag is 50 stitches wide. This number will decide the width of your bag so it might be best to have a play around with this foundation chain until you find a size which suits you best. Turn the work.
2 - Work a treble stitch into the second chain from hook. Carry on stitching treble stitches into each chain until you reach the end. Chain 3. Turn the work.
3 - Work a treble stitch into first treble of row before. Repeat until last treble. Chain 3. Turn the work.
4 - Repeat step 3 until you reach your designated height. You need to remember that this height needs to be twice the height of your chosen finished bag as you fold this rectangle in half to create the bag compartment. As an example, mine is 46 rows high, thus my bag is 23 rows in height.
5 - Work a treble stitch into the first treble of the row before. Repeat this until the penultimate stitch. Work a treble into this stitch. Miss the last stitch. Chain 3. Turn the work. (This step begins the decrease your work, meaning that you create the slanted edge of your bag flap.)
6 - Repeat step 5 until you have a shape that looks appealing. For your last row, you won't need to chain 3. I left mine with a flat edge, but you could always continue with these steps until you have a complete triangle.
7 - Fasten off your work.
8 - To line the bag, select your fabric and use your finished crocheted piece as a template to cut out your required amount of fabric. Using pins, pin the fabric to the crocheted piece. Take some cotton thread and a needle and use a simple running stitch to unite the fabric to your crocheting. You could either trim the excess fabric now, or wait until you've crocheted the bag together and then sew the fabric lining together to make a complete piece. 
9 - Place the piece upon a flat surface in front of you, with the slanting flap furthest away from you and fabric lining on top (alike the picture below). Take the two corners closest to you and fold them upwards to create your bag shape. Using a darning needle and your wool, sew together with a running stitch. Repeat on the opposite side also. This should result in a main bag compartment with your bag flap still free on the top.
10 - Darn all of your wool strands in so as to create a finished look.
11 - Finish off with a button or ribbon for a fastening and any embellishments you fancy!
12 - Voila! You have your very own clutch bag / purse. Below is a schematic to help visualise the above pattern.

Please do ask questions if you find my instructions hard to follow!! I hope you have fun with your crocheting!

Love and lacery,

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