This post is primarily for my lovely sister Tanya.Tanya and I sadly live to far away from each other to have the coffee and crochet afternoons that we would both love to have. So in place of these we crochet over Skype, which is a good substitute but still leaves a lot to be desired. Tanya is at the stage now with her African flower bag where she is ready to assemble it, but sharing the hows and whys of this online is beyond us both. So I have put this post together for her to follow. If it is also useful to anyone else making this bag then that makes even happier :)
Please note I didn't design this bag it's and don't claim any ownership of the design of the bag or the African Flower Motif. I saw the bag on Pinterest and fell in love with it, so made one for myself, then another. I have plans to make a few more as gifts for friends. You can find more photos of the original on Ravelry by following the link above.
Click on any of the photos in this post to enlarge them.
Assemble the Bag.
Once you have all your African Flower motifs completed, crochet or sew them together as follows (I single crocheted mine).
You should have 19 six sided shapes and 6 five sided shapes.
Here's my bag all hooked together.
Of the whole process I found levelling out the top of the bag the hardest.
I have mixed up the colours on the diagram (opps) but the whole idea is to just build up the valleys to meet the peaks. The only row than should have anything other than single stitch is the Brown (yellow in the drawing) row.
If you want to add a fastening to the bag, you need to make it part of the trim (not added afterwards) as this will be stronger. While crocheting the top row of the bag trim you get to where you want the button hole tag to be and chain 17 stitches, turn and single crochet into the back of this chain, single crochet into the bag trim. The tag needs to be six rows wide. When you get to the button hole; just chain for four rather than crochet. then carry on crocheting into the rest of the tag.
The whole of the Bag trim has been hooked using two strands of yarn, just like the handle. This will give the bag extra strength and minimise any stretching. If you plan on having a tassel add it now.
now it's time for the lining.
Cut your lining so it is double the length of the length of your bag + 5" (this is for the hem and the base)The width of the bag is the more important thing in making the lining. My bag was 14" across so I cut my lining 15" (1" spare is for the hem). first hem the two top seams. Then fold the lining in half (right side in) and sew up the sides. (I always double stitch for extra strength).
with the bag still inside out flatten the bottom of the bag to form a square. from the points of two of the corners measure in 3" draw a line (do this on both sides as in the photo).
Stitch along the lines.
Cut off the pointy bits and throw them away.
You should have this. Leave you bag inside out.
If you want to add a pocket, this should be done before you sew the lining together (not like I did as it's really difficult to add the pocket once the lining bag has been formed).
Pin your lining inside your bag and machine stitch around the top. It's a tight squeeze to get the bag and the lining in your sewing machine but it should be ok to stitch once you get it lined up.
Hand sew the bags handle on using either matching wool or cotton.
And add a pretty button.
Tanya if you need anything clarifying skype me ;) Love you Sis xxx
My finished bag!
This one is for me :)
I'm going to make a matching phone sock and a water bottle coat now.