Colourful Crochet Bag
A few years ago I made a colourful crochet zigzag bag using all of my yarny stash busting powers. My new bag used a chevron stitch and it immediately jumped out at me as a bag that other crocheting peeps would enjoy making too. However, I had made my bag out of acrylic yarn and I quickly learned that acrylic is not my favourite yarn for crochet bags.
The next photo is the original crochet zigzag bag and it has taken me three years to revisit and remake it in a more appropriate yarn: cotton. The colours are so pretty; the rainbow of different hues definitely had to stay. In fact, the design itself is very simple so I have only tweaked it slightly for the new iteration.
Would you Like to Make a Zigzag Crochet Bag?!
Hopefully, you are stopping by to find out how to crochet your own colourful bag. Well, I am pleased to tell you that, you are very much in the right place. Welcome to zigzag town!
There isn’t much of a story to tell with this design, I just wanted to use a stitch I’d found a long time ago when making a baby blanket for my youngest son. I’ve just had a quick look, I wrote a blog post about my crazy chevron blanket here. It’s from a blanket pattern by Meet Me at Mike’s called the Zali Zigzag.
This kind of colourful crochet was perfect as a “pick up and put down” project, something easy to work on, just a couple of rows at a time. Also, great for telly watching with a kitty at your feet.
So let’s crack on, shall we?
Make Your Own Chevron Bag
Crochet Video Tutorial or Written Pattern?
Below is lots of lovely written detail about how to crochet a zigzag bag and add a sewn lining. A pattern, if you will! However, I have also put together a video tutorial too. Watch my zigzag bag turial HERE.
I would have liked to include more sewing machine action in the video but as I watched back the recordings, I spotted toothpaste splattered down my t-shirt. Mind you, I’m less embarrassed about that than I am about some of the sewing techniques I employ. Watching back the vids and it is plain to see that I am very much an amateur sewist!! Please don’t judge my weird logic, sewing is not my forte!
What Yarn to Use for a Crochet Bag?
In the summer I purchased a whole selection of colourful cotton so I could experiment with lots of ideas for bags, totes and purses. So far so good. I have made this zigzag bag and another granny hotchpotch, which I’ve only just finished. (The original version of the Granny Hotchpotch is also made with acrylic, which started to look tatty after a couple of outings, acrylic also warps out of shape, whereas cotton is sturdier and longer lasting). For bags, cotton is my go-to. For this pattern, it’s all Paintbox cotton that I bought from Lovecrafts.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been very clever and I didn’t weigh how much I used. I am so sorry! The thing is, I get so excited about making the thing that I went straight ahead and completed it before I even thought about yarn weights. Apologies. However, use what you have. If you twisted my arm, I’d guess at a very approximate 200 grams?
First and foremost, when it comes to the colours you use, this is a crochet project that you can really have fun with. I had a basket of colourful cotton double knit to randomly pluck out shades to use.
There is definitely less than a ball of each colour here. But I used 20, or thereabout, colours so that’s not a surprise. I threw in all the hues; ugly, clashy, pretty, complementary. If you’re unsure about how to do this, check out How to Choose Colours in Your Crochet.
I might miss out one or two shades here or accidentally have gotten one or two wrong, but I think I used:
- Rose Red, Antique Pink, Vintage Heather, Kingfisher, Coffeebean, Buttercup or Mustard (Eeep, I can’t tell!
- Marine, Dusty Rose, Lime, Pansy Purple, Raspberry, Washed Teal, Slate Green, Bubblegum Pink, Elephant,
- Spearmint, Bloody Orange, Rich Teal, Pale Lilac, Dolphin
Adding a Lining to your Crochet Bag
Adding a lining to your crochet bag doesn’t have to be rocket science, I promise. I have basic sewing skills and that’s all you need. A lining will reinforce your bag and make it much sturdier to boot. It also does a great job of hiding the stitches where the handles get sewn to the bag. And, if you’re using them, you also need a decent lining to affix the magnetic clasps. Fear not, I show you how to do this in the video tutorial for my Zigzag bag.
The sewing is all in straight lines and your bag will look neat and tidy. It might also end up looking super professional! You can sew by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine.
My Lining Technique
I make two pockets of fabric and add medium interfacing to one of them. One pocket sits inside the other. I hide all stitches and clasp backs sandwiched between the pockets.
I recommend using iron-on interfacing as I got into a fiddly pickle with the sew-in stuff. Don’t be tempted to add heavy interfacing or use fabric that’s thick because at some point you’ll be cursing yourself and your poorly fingers when hand stitching on the handles. (you have to wriggle the needle through the fabric layers so get the sharpest needle you can that also has an eye big enough to fit the cotton yarn through). Crikey, it’s all a bit of a juggling act!
What would make life easier for you (and I’m not sure why I didn’t do this), is to treat the linings as the separate entities that they are. For example, attach the magnetic clasps to the inner lining before you pop it inside the outer lining. Or, how about you place the outer lining into the bag to stitch on the handles without the inner lining going along for the ride?! I persistently treated both pockets like they were glued together. They were not. Lesson learned.
Crochet Zigzag Bag Pattern
The main body of my bag measures 28 x 36 cm. 11 x 14 inches.
What you Need to Make a Zigzag Bag:
- 3mm hook. Or a hook that creates a tight gauge. You don’t want floppy zigzags!
- Cotton DK in lots of colours. Approx 200 grams. I used Paintbox but other dk cotton would be excellent as well.
- Fabric lining and interfacing. Plus all the sewing gubbins that goes with this.
- Magnetic clasp if you fancy attaching one.
- Bag handles. I got mine from Amazon. Etsy always has good ones as well. Or, upcycle some from an existing bag that’s no longer used.
- A needle that is pointy with a largish eye for sewing the bag handles.
- Don’t forget, the Zigzag bag video tutorial is HERE.
- Before you begin, please note that the pattern uses a UK dc stitch, which is the same as a US single crochet.
- dc2tog is crocheting two dc stitches together (essentially, a decrease). In this pattern it’s only the first 2 stitches and the last 2 stitches of every row.
- As you work the following pattern, change colours in this order:
- Six rows of one colour
- 3x two rows of different colours
- 4 rows of another colour
- 2x two rows of different colour.
Crochet Zigzag Pattern
Row 1: Chain 101, turn.
Row 2: Starting in 2nd chain from the hook, dc2tog, 5dc, 3dc in next st, *7dc, miss 2 sts, 7dc, 3dc in next st; rep from * to last 7 sts, 5dc, dc2tog, turn.
Rows 3 – 120: ch1 (does not count as a stitch), working in the back loops only dc2tog, 5dc, 3dc in next st, *7dc, miss 2 sts, 7dc, 3dc in next st; rep from * to last 7 sts, 5dc, dc2tog, turn.
Fasten off and, with a needle and yarn, sew the two short ends together. Make sure the fabric is folded with right sides together. I talk about this in the video tutorial but one side is definitely better looking than the other side.
With the piece still inside out, work around the bottom and tie each end firmly together with its next dor neighbour. Then, using these ends, sew the bottom of the bag closed. Turn right side out to begin working a few rounds for the top of the bag.
For the following pattern, remember that I’m still working in UK terms, a UK htr is a US hdc.
Rnd 1: Attach yarn to the top of the bag and chain 1, 1dc in the end of each row around, join with a slip stitch and do not turn. Don’t change colour after this round, wait until you have completed Rnd 2. Then, change colour as often as you like.
Rnds 2 – 5: 1ch, htr in each stitch around, join with a slip stitch, do not turn.
Fasten off and sew in ends.
Lining Your Bag with Fabric
The next few paragraphs are a nutshell version of how to add a lining to a crochet bag. I show you each step in the Zigzag bag video tutorial, which will help if the following words are nowt but gobbledegook.
Measure Twice, Cut Once!
I like to make two pockets for the lining and place one inside the other. The outside lining pocket and the inner pocket are made in the same way, to the same measurements so that they are the same size. It’s a good idea to add interfacing to the outside fabric before you begin. The inner pocket will be the one that you see when you look inside your bag. I like to choose a prettier fabric for this.
Both pieces of fabric (for the outside and inside pockets) need to be bigger than your bag by half an inch on both sides (for seam allowance) and twice as long plus 2x hem length. I like a deep hem of at least 3 inches, which is hidden on the inside. Deep hems create reinforcement for the handles and clasps on both pockets respectively.
Fold a piece of fabric in half with the right sides facing each other. Sit your bag on top to use as a guide and draw onto the fabric where the seams need to be up (at the bag sides). Sew down the sides, press with an iron and press a hem in place. If using a sewing machine, top stitch the hem as well.
Repeat for the other piece of fabric. Check that both bag pockets are the same size. Press. Turn the inner lining inside out and press again. Place inside the outer pocket.
Pin everything in place and decide on where you want the handles to be. Attach those to the outside of the bag, ensuring that as you sew, you also stitch through the interfaced outer lining. You then add your magnetic clasps to the inner lining. Neatly hand stitch to the crochet bag ensuring your fabric lining doesn’t poke out over the top of the bag.
Phew, I find that writing about sewing is much harder than writing about crochet! And I haven’t even mentioned how to add the clasps to the bag yet!
Attaching Magnetic Clasps onto a Bag
This is where I get the ruler out. The clasps need to meet in the middle and fit nicely into each other without making everything else wonky.
What you need to do is find the very centre of the inner pocket and mark it on the wrong side (do this on both sides). I think it looks good to do this an inch (2.5 cm) from the top as you don’t want the clasps at the very top of the bag. Clasps come with little metal washers, so let’s use these to help mark where to place everything. Pop them in the centre and an inch down (essentially, where you marked the wrong side). Does that look alright? With a pen, draw little lines within the two vertical spaces of the washer.
By the way, inside the hem I also tucked in a couple of small, additional pieces of interfacing. It give the clasps something to really grab hold of and keep them firmly in place.
Now, double check that you’re happy with where you placed the markings because you need to make little slices into the fabric of the inner lining. I used a sharp seam ripper. This is a measure twice, cut once type of scenario, OK?! The little slices are where you marked the lines. Poke the legs of the clasps through and bend to close. Please poke them through from the right side so they are on the correct side.
Eww, that’s even more uncomfortable than writing sewing instructions. I hope it’s clear.
A Finished Crochet Zigzag Bag!
Ooh lala! What do you think of my crochet Zigzag bag?!? I hope I haven’t frightened you away with all that sewing. I think it sounds worse when written down, don’t you? In practice, it’s actually very quick and straightforward to add a sewn lining to a crochet bag. It makes such a difference though and it really is well worth the effort.
If you have made it this far and you’ve enjoyed this free pattern, please feel free to buy me a cup of tea (or a bottle of wine?!) by supporting me on Ko-Fi. Also, don’t forget to check out my other Free Crochet Patterns here on the blog. And you’re welcome to check out my other designs in my Ravelry store and on Etsy too.
Thanks ever so much. Cheers. x
PS, this post contains an affiliate link for the yarn.