18 August 2014

From WIP to FO: Granny Square Messenger Bag

Yipee! I have a FO (Finished Object) to show you guys, one that was a WIP (Work In Progress) for months on end.

It started off with a gorgeous bit of variegated yarn randomly bought in France. The yarn is actually German, though. It's Lang Mille Colori. Go on, feast your eyes over its dazzling beauty:

Out of this yarn came two lovely solid granny squares, to which I added a row in black yarn, to make the colours pop a little more.

From then on, I knew I was going to make a little messenger bag out of those beauties, and so I carried on with the black yarn to make two rectangles, one of them slightly bigger to form a flap (sorry, I only have a picture of the front rectangle for you).

I then joined them together with a row of double crochet stitches (US single), and then embellished the edges with a row of crabstitching in the same variegated yarn as the squares. There's a funny story to this one, actually. After the two squares, I'd run out of yarn, and because you can't find it in the UK (at least, as far as I know), I asked a friend of mine who was off to Germany to bring me back some. She ended up calling me from the yarn store in Munich to confirm the sale! But anyway, after this little adventure, this is what my WIP looked like:

It was time to add a strap, which I made in the same black yarn as for the body of the bag. I made it as a long succession of dcs, not really bothering to count and just checking the length against my own shoulder.

When that was done, I grabbed the variegated yarn again and used it to surface crochet all along the strap, as an embellishment and to balance the use of colour. I also added a purple duffle-coat fastener on the front of the bag.

It was then time to tackle the lining. From the moment I wanted to make a bag out of the two squares, I had a very clear vision of what sort of fabric I would use to line it. It would have to be a shimmering, dark green fabric to bring out some of the green in the colour squares. Luckily, I found exactly what I'd envisioned, at my local fabric store.

Then came the process I am always the least comfortable with when it comes to my crochet projects, and crochet bags especially: constructing and sewing the lining. So I took endless measurements, did countless calculations and jotted most of it down on a blank piece of paper, along with some very basic sketching.

And then, the cutting started, stopped, and had to be done again. At some point, I came to wish I hadn't picked this particular fabric, as it was so slippery and difficult to control for my inexperienced hands. But after a couple of frustrated attempts, I managed to get a result I was reasonably satisfied with, and hey presto! I had a Finished Bag!

There is a pocket in there, but it proved rather shy for the picture. On top of that, it sports a lovely burn mark form the iron after a slightly intense session of pressing! But fortunately, said mark is at the bottom section of the pocket, so that will be our little secret, won't it? ;)

Anyway, ready for a full reveal? Here goes...

And the reverse side...

It's far from perfect, but I am very pleased with it. Even better, I feel I am getting the hang of fabric lining, and this project gave me the confidence to tackle more complex tasks, which I will hopefully be able to post about very soon.

Many thanks for reading, peeps, and let me know what you think! :)