Sunday, August 20, 2006

Large and Medium Bags

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The pattern for the Starling Handbag is now available on the free downloads page.
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The tiny bird bag is all grown up. I've been crocheting up a storm.  The large bag is 13" across at the top, 7.5" high to the bottom of the handles, and 3.5" deep across the flat bottom.  The medium bag is 11.5" across at the top, 6" high to the bottom of the handles, and 3" deep across the flat bottom.  I'm working on a small version right now. They'll be like a set of Russian nesting dolls.

I like how the flat bottom helps create a roomy interior.  I bought some stiff interfacing to use on the bottom of the lining to help keep the bottom flat, at least when you set the bag down.  That's the plan anyway.  I'm not sure how well it's going to work.

I wanted a more angled handle on these bags, instead of the slit handles you see on my smaller bags.  These angled handles turn at the top so, where you hold them, they lay flat.   I figured out a way to do it as I crocheted, though, so I wouldn't have to attach the handles.

I've become completely obstinate about the whole 'not wanting to join crochet pieces' thing.  I've spent a ton of time crocheting bits and pieces just to figure out how to make a seamless bag or an integrated turned handle.  Intellectually I know that I could be spending that time perfecting my joining skills, but I *absolutely do not* want to join crochet pieces.  Just thinking about doing it makes my face scrunch up.

The side-benefit of my willfulness is that when I finish the last stitch of the bag, I'm done.  Well, except for the lining.  It's great to clip the yarn, weave in the end, and have a bag sitting before me.  I guess I'm crazy like a fox.
54 Comments (comments are disabled)

Sherpa said ...
Love them both!
8/20/2006 8:12 PM

Funky Finds said ...
wow! these are beautiful! nice work
8/20/2006 9:18 PM

normanack said ...
I think more designers should concentrate on seamless construction, like you are doing. Simple, elegant, thoughtful design is what makes the difference, to me, between a pattern I'll use over and over again versus one I'll use once, if at all.

Thank you for caring enough to put so much thought into design!
8/20/2006 9:27 PM

Kuky said ...
Gasp! Those are beautiful! Yes I actually gasped when I saw them. :)
8/21/2006 12:18 AM

isa said ...
oh alice,

one week not there and you made such great bags...

i love them all....ecspecially this one with the bird ;)
8/21/2006 2:09 AM

macati said ...
I loooove your bags! What keeps a person alive are the challenges that we need to overcome in order to achieve our goal: your goal is the seamless crocheting... don't you like the challenge? isn't it good when we get what we want? I like it, some times it doesn't come out as we want but sometimes we learn other things with the mistakes... good work and keep up,
8/21/2006 3:34 AM

Marietta said ...
i'm with kuky! i gasped too! fabulous bags - i love when something so simple comes out so elegant
8/21/2006 2:10 PM

li li said ...
These bags are great! :D
8/21/2006 10:21 PM

Kim said ...
Great bags. I'm not usually big on crochet, but you and Michelle have me obsessing over it now....
8/28/2006 7:35 AM

Nicole said ...
Patterns please please please please pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!! Your bags are so inspiring I'm DYING to try them. ::tears::
5/1/2007 8:32 AM

Lei Anne said ...
I do agree graphic patterns please so i can try crocheting the purse. thank you.
2/15/2009 1:17 PM

Liz said ...
Dear Alice

Your handbags are lovely. I have read all your blogs on this style so far and love how you have experimented on the original Happy Hooker clutch. I made one too and it flops just as you mentioned.

How do you make a flat bottom for these? How do you angle the handles? And how do you do seamless crochet, do you end up with just one seam on one side? I am just a beginner and am inspired by all your experimenting.

Thank you very much
3/13/2009 1:16 PM

Philippa Taylor said ...
Dear Alice, I'm a recent reader of your blog and love the gems of wisdom you share, keep up the good work! I would love to see both written and visual instruction on your crochet patterns, easier for the visual learner, awaiting in anticipation, your Aussie fan, Pippa.
4/3/2009 6:54 PM

Elaine said ...
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this handbag! I need it! and I don't corchet- can a beginner tackle this? Please do a pattern for this FIRST, then the wrislet!
4/29/2009 12:34 AM

carla said ...
i dont have awebsite, be nice tho i really want the hand bags real perfect for my daughter when s he starts college this year..she worked so hard for it
5/29/2009 9:04 PM

futuregirl said ...
I'll be posting the crochet pattern for these handbags soon, so keep checking back or subscribe to my blog. :)
5/29/2009 9:10 PM

Valorie Davis said ...
I like the clean looks of this pattern. I recently acquired some odds and ends of 100% wool. I think I'll try making up the larger bag in the wool and see what happens if I felt it.
12/15/2010 12:32 PM

futuregirl replied ...
Valorie Davis ... I'd love to see your final bag, if you want to send me photos of it. :)
12/29/2010 8:33 PM

Linda said ...
Just what I have been searching for! Beautiful an the perfect bag to embelish.
Thank you, thank you.
6/30/2011 7:37 AM

ava said ...
Thanks for this post, I love your bag! I'm a new crocheter and I haven't attempted any big projects yet, but this I would love to try out. And like you I hate having to sew up pieces, so yeah, I love that this is a seamless design! Bless you!
12/14/2011 9:16 PM

Jo Clark said ...
I totally get the not having to join crochet pieces. that is why I don't do much in the way of granny squares. I really like the look of them, but it's just toooooo much trouble to make sure all those pieces go together correctly. lol
12/15/2011 4:59 AM

Cheri George said ...
I started crocheting again after many, many years. I absolutely hate sewing squares together, I love the Starling Handbag!!! I am going to make it out of some cotton yarn I have and I am sure it will make me ecstatic.
6/4/2012 11:56 AM

Laurie said ...
THIS is the bag pattern I have been searching for. It's perfect. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
6/5/2012 5:29 PM

Carol Streetman said ...
I just had to write to compliment you on your instructions for the Starling bag. I have crocheted a half dozen projects, but am really still a beginner having never had any classes or crocheting friends (they all knit instead). So I get confused by even the most simple and basic steps. Your comment for Row 1 ch 1 (do not count in st total) was just what I needed to know. Thanks.
6/11/2012 7:54 AM

Lisa Ellerman said ...
Great purse! I also have taken a stand on only doing "1 piece" projects. I make around 60 crocheted Christmas gifts a year. If my husbands staff gets one more scarf or afghan, I will probably start seeing them on our local homeless. And, since I also give to our shelters, I would like the recipients of my gifts to enjoy them. So, thanks!

1/6/2013 5:31 PM

Judy K. said ...
I love these bags. I am going to crochet mine and incorporate beads. I can already imagine how beautiful they will look. Thanks for this.
3/10/2013 11:52 PM

Barbara said ...
I'm with you when it comes to seams, I absolutley detest sewing up seams, I have designed a cardigan with no seams, because I knit and crochet but they never get sewn up!
4/17/2013 3:26 PM

badgersdaughter said ...
Love this bag pattern. I'm going to go out on a limb... a serious, shaky, limb that I am going to cut off after myself... and see if I can use tapestry crochet techniques to incorporate a pattern, and then if that goes well, try the same thing in stranded Tunisian tapestry crochet colorwork, because life is obviously not crazy enough for me this year. :D
9/30/2013 10:14 AM

futuregirl replied ...
badgersdaughter ... Definitely give it a try! Let me know how it works out. :)
10/6/2013 8:25 PM

Debra Janet Johnson said ...
Hey Alice:
So happy I found your site...#kickingmyheels!
and something about "total craft badassery" just resonated :D
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Large and medium bags and will be gifting a few in the future!
11/5/2013 8:22 AM

futuregirl replied ...
Debra Janet Johnson ... Woohoo!
11/17/2013 12:16 PM

naningsar said ...
could you show me the link for this pattern, please
cuz, I can't find it
thank you
12/30/2013 4:50 AM

futuregirl replied ...
naningsar ... You can download it here
1/10/2014 9:22 PM

Sarah Siler said ...
I am currently trying to crochet my first poncho. I am also a 'no seam' type of crochet person, however this time around I'm making the poncho that is two pieces of the same size slip-stitched together. My question, how do I gauge the length in the # of stitches, rather than measuring? If you can, would you mind suggesting a pattern?
3/9/2014 11:03 AM

futuregirl replied ...
Sarah Siler ... Not sure I understand the question "how do I gauge the length in the # of stitches, rather than measuring." If you are using a pattern and it includes a gauge, you should do a gauge swatch, block it, and measure it, or you will have no idea what size project you will end up with. As for poncho patterns, check out Their pattern search is incredible and it's a great site overall. :)
3/22/2014 11:09 AM

I have a quick you have a pattern for a large crossbody bag? I have RA & it is easier for me to carry that type bag?
4/2/2014 1:04 PM

futuregirl replied ...
Susan Cleveland ... I don't have a specific pattern for a crossbody bag, but you could change the handles on this one to be longer and spaced differently. :)
4/4/2014 9:35 PM

karen baker said ...
Just love your bags, wish I could buy one or two. Well done, love all your Beautiful work.
5/7/2014 1:18 PM

futuregirl replied ...
karen baker ... Aww. Thank you for the sweet comment.
6/9/2014 10:32 PM

Lilian said ...
Thank you for the pattern! I would love to make the bag and found an online yarn shop which sells the lily sugar n cream yarn. But which colour do I choose if I want the same white one as yours on the picture? Number 6 White? Thanks!
9/2/2014 1:43 PM

futuregirl replied ...
Lilian ... My bags are made with Ecru. :) You can use what ever color you'd like.
9/3/2014 8:05 PM

Carla Proffitt said ...
Please do NOT feel bad or wrong because of your aversion to joining crocheted pieces. I believe it shows strength of character, good sense, high principles and firm moral values. As a new crocheter, I am very much against joining pieces, too. I firmly believe that, if it cannot be made in one piece, it is not worth making. ;D
Please continue to be awesome.
Best Wishes, Carla P.
12/13/2014 4:24 PM

futuregirl replied ...
Carla Proffitt ... Ha! You totally made me laugh. :)
12/21/2014 9:47 PM

Adele K. said ...
Love those bags
12/13/2014 8:59 PM

Mary Jane Orrie said ...
I was wondering if I could use this pattern as a base to make an even larger bag. Do you have any suggestions?
12/14/2014 10:41 PM

futuregirl replied ...
Mary Jane Orrie ... To make it wider side-to-side, start with a longer foundation chain. To make it wider front to back, do more bottom rows with corners (beware, it will also be wider side-to-side, so if you don't want that, also make your foundation chain shorter). To make it taller, do more side rows. Those are the only three ways to make it bigger - pick one or more! :)
12/21/2014 9:49 PM

Sharon said ...
Totally share your aversion to joining crochet pieces. I avoid any pattern that requires it. Love your bag patterns!
12/15/2014 10:55 AM

futuregirl replied ...
Sharon ... Thank you! :)
12/21/2014 9:50 PM

christiana said ...
I absolutely and completely love this...
12/18/2014 1:25 PM

denita said ...
I love your Starling bags. Can I have the patterns to try them out. These would be great to use to carry stuff out to the boat or for a picnic or groceries, or I can think of so many uses for them.
1/20/2015 11:05 AM

futuregirl replied ...
denita ... Of course! You can find the pattern here on the free downloads page:
1/25/2015 11:01 PM

Diane Savage said ...
I am looking for sewing and crocheting projects I can do. I also I a brand new grandaughter I would like to crochet more for.
1/20/2015 11:51 AM

Christel Stein said ...
Like them both, will make one in yellow for my daughter
1/24/2015 2:12 PM
chris lacy said ...
Thank you for sharing your pattern for the starling is just the style I was hoping to find...With a flat bottom...and the all attached handle is brilliant. ...I can't wait to make it up.
8/14/2015 11:21 AM