Monday 24 November 2014

Granny Sleepover Bag

No, not a bag for Granny when she comes to stay, but a crochet bag with a circular base, and sides made from granny squares.

I started this a few months ago, and yes, as usual, it was another great start with a rather slower finish.

The inspiration came from a bag I'd seen on the internet, but I can't seem to remember where, probably Pinterest. I had saved the pattern as a PDF, but on closer inspection, the bag looked as though it would be quite teeny, so I scaled it up and changed the border quite a bit. The end result is a sweet little bag that would be perfect for a girls sleepover or perhaps to stuff a mini WIP into, or even your purse, phone and keys, you know, just the necessities (assuming you are not currently in possession of a pre-school child, obviously).

Well anyway, as usual I had a rummage (great word, "rummage", isn't it ?) in my stash and selected some quite wintery colours. Strange, seeing as it was June. Must've known I wouldn't finish it til December :) There's a lovely dark dark blue, a deep red, a dark grey, some white and an oatmeal (aaaaah oatmeal, I would be lost without you, my favouritest of stash yarn). All were double-knitting yarns of various brands, and I used a 5mm hook.

The base is a flat circle with 6 rounds, and the sides are 18 granny squares in total (6 as you go round, and 3 high). 

I made the base, then made all 18 granny squares, then joined the grannies all together to make a cylinder 6 squares round, 3 squares high.

Next I joined the granny-cylinder to the base.  I worked out how many base stitches needed to join to each granny square (ie. the total in the final round divided by 6) and marked them with stitch markers (Simply Crochet freebie anyone ????!). My first attempt had a very baggy base so I frogged a couple of rounds of the base to make it fit together better.

Then I worked a few rows of border around the top edge of the granny cylinder, and finally I made and attached a drawstring. 

Because of the traditional granny square (as opposed to solid granny), the bag is quite loose and holey, so I decided to line it as well. I found a pretty red and white flowery fabric and used almost exactly a fat quarter.

I didn't have to scour the house for a compass, my large embroidery hoop was just right to trace around for the outline of the base lining piece, with a 1/2" seam allowance.

I had a large rectangle left for the cylinder-sides part of the lining. I gave it a nice double turned over seam (do you like the technical term there) so the top edge would look neat. And I cut out the circle for the base.

After a little bit of fiddling and faffing (and maybe the odd swear word and minor fingertip injury) I managed to pin the circular base to the non-circular side piece. Is this akin to "easing in an arm" type thing that they always talk about on the Great British Sewing Bee ? 

I popped the lining, still wrong side out, inside the crocheted bag and hand-sewed around the top to join them together.

The finished bag was supposed to be a "For Sale item", however Little Tomboy had other ideas and asked if she could have it.

I'm not very good at this selling lark, am I ?! if I do actually manage to finish an item, one or more of the Little Peeps bat their best big puppy dog eyes at me until I give in and give up whatever masterpiece I've just finished. Which usually then gets dragged around the the floor in various guises (food receptacle, floor polisher, den-builder, costume of some sort, weapon, defensive article). 

I could easily say no, you can't have it, but instead I take a deep breath, smile, and say Oh Go On Then :) When I am older and greyer I won't look back and think "I wish I'd sold that bag", instead I will remember the time they built that den and had a teddies' dressing up tea-party. And so I let them have my makes if they want, this is the stuff that memories are made of, isn't it :)

Below is the pattern for the bag. I've tried really hard to make sure it's accurate, but if there are any mistakes, let me know :) Also I dud have an inspiration on the bag but as the sizing, border and lining etc are my own addition, I am posting this as my own pattern. Please feel free to share but if you could link back tone that would be lovely :)

Granny Sleepover Bag Pattern

For the Base: (nb beginning ch3 of every round counts at a tr)
Make a magic ring.**
Rnd 1: Ch3, 11tr into magic ring. Slip stitch to top of ch3 to join (12tr)
Rnd 2: Ch3, tr in st at base of ch3. 2tr in every tr to end (24sts)
Rnd 3: Ch3, 2tr in next tr, *tr in next tr, 2tr in next tr, repeat from * to end, join with slip-stitch to top of ch3 (36 sts)
Rnd 4: Ch3, tr in next tr, 2tr in next tr, *tr in each of next 2tr, 2tr in next tr, repeat from * to end, join with slip-stitch to top of ch3 (48 sts)
Rnd 5: Ch3, tr in next 2 tr, 2tr in next tr, *tr in each of next 3tr, 2tr in next tr, repeat from * to end, join with slip-stitch to top of ch3 (60 sts)
Rnd 6:,Ch3, tr in next 3 tr, 2tr in next tr, *tr in each of next 4tr, 2tr in next tr, repeat from * to end, join with slip-stitch to top of ch3 (72 sts)
Fasten off

For a Granny Square: (make 18)
Make a magic ring.
Rnd 1: Ch3, 2tr, 2ch, *3tr, 2ch . Repeat from * twice. Slip-stitch to top of ch3 to join. Fasten off.
Rnd 2: Attach new colour in a corner space.
Ch3, 2tr in corner-space, ch2, 3tr in corner-space, ch1 *3tr in corner-space, ch2, 3tr in corner-space, ch1, repeat from * twice. Slip-stitch to top of ch3 to join. Fasten off.
Rnd 3: attach new colour in a corner-space. 
Ch3, 2tr in corner-space, ch2, 3tr in corner-space, ch1, 3tr in next ch-space, ch 1, *3tr in corner-space, ch2, 3tr in corner-space, ch1, 3tr in next ch-space, ch 1, repeat from * twice. Slip-stitch to top of ch3 to join.

Assembling the Bag So Far
Join all granny squares in an array of six by three squares. There are lots of ways to do this, I used a slip-stitch through the back-loops only, on the wrong side, so the seam is hidden and the squares have nice definition.
Rightghtbsides together slip-stitch the sides to the base, you should have about 1 stitch from the base to 1 stitch of the squares around the bottom.

For the border:
Row 1: Work a granny stripe around the top of the squares (a granny stripe being 3tr worked into the chain space of the previous row, and in between do 1 ch. Also work 3 tr into the corner-spaces along the top of each granny.
Row 2: ch3, *1tr, 1ch, sk q st. Repeat from* to end.  Slip-stitch to join. (ch gaps leave space to thread the bag tie later).
Row 3: 3ch, tr in every tr or ch.
Row 4: 2tr in every tr to end. Slip stitch to join. Fasten off. (The 2trvin every set creates a slight ruffle).

For the drawstring.
fdc (foundation-double-crochet) enough stitches to go around the bag and down the side and up again, to allow it to have a carrying strap.
(If you don't know how to do and fdc then just do a normal row of chains and then work a dc row into that. If you can work through the pain barrier of learning fdc you won't be disappointed. 

Final assembly.
Thread drawstring through gaps in round 2 of the baorder. Secure the drawstring ends together in a knot, or affix the ends of the drawstring to the base of bag (this is what I did, and I just hand sewed them securely). 
Finally make up the lining if required, and hand sew in.

**nb if you don't know how to make a magic ring, don't panic! You can just make 4 chains then slip stitch into the first chain to join, so you have a little ring made of 4 chains. You then work into the centre of the ring.


  1. Gorgeous bag! Beautiful colours and so clever to line it. X

  2. Oh you do make some clever things I love it!!

  3. Wow, you are awesome! What a great duffle bag for your tomboy! A great bag for packing to take to a sleepover. I bet her friends are so jealous! Nice of you to write up the pattern for others.. you are very generous. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Hello,
    That is a lovely make, granny squares are always appealing to me but to make a perfect little lined bag is fabulous, your daughter will have many hours of fun.
    I loved the gift from Simply Crochet too-perfect in the little tin-so useful.

  5. Very pretty - I'm useless at trying to line any bags I've made!

  6. I love it, Jill! I really like the colors and the design of the bag too. I once had a little pink leather purse, when I was a teenager, which had the same shape to it and I was able to jam a lot of stuff in there! Which was important to me back then, haha. I think I have the same red fabric too, by the way. I think it made a really cute lining. Well done.

  7. I love the word rummage too! Your bag is lovely and I really like the way that you lined it too. I hope that the selling of items will work out for you someday!! xx

  8. This bag is so nice! I love the shape and the lining finishes it off perfectly. Well done you! Thanks for sharing the pattern :)

    Hope you have a good week.
    Birgitta xx

  9. Well done ! and so useful !!! Thanks for the tuto ... have a lovely day !

  10. Supercute! Granny's squares are so versatile but your bag is absolute amazing!

  11. Hi Jill! What a lovely post! You picked some versatile colours that go well together. And I also love how you made this litte bag, it's a real treasure!!! Thanks for sharing the how to, it's always useful to see how other people go about 'constructing' things (such as getting the shape right for the base and how to fit the lining!) :)
    Glad your DD liked the bag so much, what bigger compliment could you wish for!!!
    Wishing you a great week!
    Ingrid xx

  12. What a lovely little bag and so useful for all sorts of things. You could put lots of things in it and then have to rummage for what you're looking for! I make things to sell but never seem to have much success that way.

  13. The colours are lovely, perhaps you did have a premonition as it looks very festive.

  14. What a great pattern! If I can summon up my sewing courage I really want to try something along these lines :) I think it's great you're giving these things to the kids I bet they are much loved and treasured - and that they're proud of their clever mum! x

  15. I love projects that are both lovely and practical, thanks for sharing the pattern!

  16. You did a great job of this! I love the colours.

  17. If I bat my eyes at you will you make me one too? I love it and think it is the perfect bag for anyone of any age.

  18. What a gorgeous bag! I love the style and the colours you have chosen....the lining matches so well, and the drawstring finishes it off perfectly!
    Happy weekend. Helen xox

  19. Hi Jill, sorry your email doesn't seem to be working. Mine is Let's try that.

  20. Really loving this bag!!! Super cute!! Thank you for the instructions too!!! X

  21. This is such a pretty bag, and I like the fact that it's round. I shall have to make one of my own (after Christmas), and will have fun deciding on the colours. Thanks for sharing your pattern :)
    Cathy x

  22. Hi Again! Got my address wrong its

  23. This is such a cute bag, and your daughter will find it so useful! I agree, we can't refuse our kids when they admire something we made. You can always make another one to sell ;) Wendy x

  24. Just popping in to say Hello ~ I've just found your blog via Love made my home. Your Granny sleepover bag is lovely and the lining finishes it off beautifully :O)x

  25. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. best travel bagpacks


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