I’m calling this bag the “Big Easy”. I don’t know….it is big, and it’s easy, and it’s perfect for one of those easy, lazy days when you’re off to the pool, beach or park (but you still want to go in style – ha!). It’s a great size to fit a beach towel, books and even your favorite wine cooler – I mean – beverage.
My mom always seems to show up at my house with one of those re-usable grocery bags filled with one thing or another. She’s usually carrying some surprise for myself or my daughter, or there is some sort of food inside. She’s Italian, so good snacks are a must. Ha ha! Anyway, I was trying to think of something thoughtful to make for her birthday, and I decided a nicer bag might be in the cards. Something big enough to hold what ever surprises or necessities she may need for the day.
The fabric on this bag is tight enough that you don’t need to line it, and it can hold pens and pencils without them slipping through the crochet holes. You certainly could line it, and put a zipper on top, but I didn’t care to do that in this case.
I would say this is an easy crochet bag, and it can be done in a reasonably short amount of time. You need to know how to single crochet, chain, and crochet in the back loop. It is all done in the “seed stitch”. You single crochet, and then chain one, while skipping a stitch, and single crochet again. You put all of your single crochet stitches into the chains across the row. It is always helpful for me to go to Youtube and look at a tutorial for any new stitches that I try. This stitch is very easy, but it may be helpful to check it out a tutorial video if you’ve never done it.
You will need:
Size H Crochet Hook
Lion Brand Hometown USA Yarn in Los Angeles Tan (4 skeins) and New York White (1 skein) (Okay, just those yarn names together make me think HIGH STYLE, BABY!) or another super bulky yarn
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
This bag measures about 15 inches across, 11 inches tall, and 3.5 inches wide, but stretches. You can fit a nice amount of stuff in here!
The pattern is forgiving. If it would be easier to single crochet the entire thing for you, then go for it!
You start this bag with the base. You will crochet a big rectangle for the bottom, and then you will start working the sides individually. The base is done entirely in single crochet. It makes it a very tight, sturdy fabric.
How I Made It “Pattern”:
Base of the bag:
With your size H hook, and your Tan yarn, Chain 49 **CHAIN LOOSELY – you will need to get your hook into this chain in order to start the side of the bag later. If it is too tight you will have a VERY hard time getting your side started.
Single Crochet for a total of 10 rows
If you’d like, single crochet around the entire base. Make two single crochet stitches in each corner. This border will make it easier to start your sides
Lynn Rosebur says
I love this bag!
Thanks so much Lynn! I’m so happy that you like it. 🙂
This bag is so cute! I can’t wait to make it. Will the bottom of the bag bow out? I would like mine to stay flat. Any advice?
The bottom of the bag maybe has some give, but is pretty tight and thick. It shouldn’t get stretched too much at all, though I haven’t used it a ton yet since I just finished it. It is done in single crochet, with the super bulky yarn so it is super tight. If you’re worried about it, you could maybe try to make the bag with an even smaller hook, like a size G? I haven’t tried that, so I don’t know how it would go, but it’s a thought. So glad that you like it!
Joni Howell says
cant wait to get my yarn. Can you use cotton yarn?
I am sure you could use cotton, but you would have to hold two or three strands together if it is worsted weight. I haven’t tried it with cotton, so I am not positive on how it will turn out. This is super bulky yarn, so if you can figure it out, it would be beautiful! I’d love if you’d let me know if you do use cotton, and how it works for you!
Joni Howell says
Thanks so much.
Off to Joanne’s tomorrow for the salt. Beautiful !!
Great….let me know if you have any questions as you make it. 🙂
Thank you, Trish!
Kamala Ahluwalia says
lovely bag. Thanks for sharing it.
You’re welcome, Kamala. It’s fun for me to share!
rosa tolano says
Me encanto quiero hacerla pero no le entiendo perdon!!
Hablo un poco de espanol. Es posible traducirlo en Google Translator por google? Si puedes copiarlo, y ponerlo en el translator. Espero que sabes como hacerlo! Me alegro que te gusta el bolso!
Thanks for sharing this lovely pattern. This will be my next project!
You are so welcome! I hope you enjoy it and like how it turns out. Let me know if you have any questions as you make it. 🙂
Love your projects. You make them look so appealing. Always look forward to seeing what you are doing next.
Awww, thank you Gwyn! 🙂
A card board rectangle on the bottom may help retain the shape.
Thank you for sharing that idea, Lorraine. Wonderful thought!
Juvie Borges says
It’s darling and looks relatively easy. I need easy since I am just learning to crochet. I will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Great bag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Versatile,, practical and can be decorated with flowers, appliques etc This would make an ideal thank you to several friends,,, but, of course, I must make a test bag first,,,, for me. SMILE Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing Helen
I LOVE this and will be starting myself one today!!!! Some people have closets full of shoes and purses and I get it, its just that I only have the ones that “speak to me”and this one is shouting my name!!!! I will have to make in spring, summer, fall and winter colors!! Will also be making some for my daughters for xmas gifts too!!! Thank you for sharing your patterns!!!!
Ha ha! Oh, you’ve got me laughing Tina! I’m honored that you love this bag! I hope you enjoy making it. I finally gave it to my mom today, and she loved it too! You’re more than welcome for the patterns.
Barbara Ann Berry says
Hi Jessica, I saw the comment about cardboard in the bottom for strength. Perhaps a piece of plastic canvas would be more flexible and washable as well!
Very good idea, Barbara Ann! Thank you for sharing. 🙂
Barbara Teller Cohen says
I like your approach to knitting and crochet–stylish, easy, and that “I can do it” attitude. Thanks
Thanks so much, Barbara! Your kind words just made my day.
Hi Jessica. I truly love the looks of this tote and I too am a newbie at crocheting. I was wondering if you might help me to understand the pattern. I’ve finished the rectangular base but I am not sure what to do in starting the next step in instructions. I’m sure once I see it to understand that id be like why didn’t I think of that. Thanks so much for sharing and for your time.
Okay, hopefully I can help you figure it out from here. So you have your base, now look at the picture that I have which shows crocheting in the back loop on the short side. This is what it will look like. See how my hook has only gone through the back loop of the single crochet stitch? I am grabbing the yarn, I will pull it through and chain one to attach it. Then I will work my way across, crocheting in the back loop. It might even make it easier to first, single crochet a boarder around the entire base, then you can start this process. Here is a youtube of what that means: Watch from about 4:35 minutes in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr7TRXnIYbY
You might have to copy and paste that into your browser. This is how we make the sides go “up”.
After you get that first row done, you simply go back to crocheting normally (not it the back loop). I mentioned in my post that if you’re a newbie, you might want to single crochet the entire bag. If my pattern of single crochet, chain one gets too hard, it will still be a beautiful bag in single crochet if you prefer.
I sure hope this helps Judy! Let me know if there is anything else I can clarify. 🙂
Thanks Jessica for responding back to my message. I have yet to give it a whirl but I do greatly appreciate the breakdown. I’m trying to see in my mind but sometimes for myself it’s better to have a visual tutorial them a written. So with the information us the video we should be well on our way. Thanks again
You’re welcome Judy! I hope that it will work out for you. I’m definitely a visual learner too. 🙂
Laura Schoolcraft says
Love the pattern. I have just completed all but the sides. If I start the sides at the corner which direction and I working in ? If I had working in the same direction ( horizontal ) how many rows. if I am working with the handle to my right won’t the pattern be opposite of the rest of the bag.
So you will be working horizontally across the bottom of the bag. I believe I started in the right corner, and did a large side first. Single crochet in the back loop only on your first row. After that, make the seed stitch pattern as normal or you could just single crochet the entire thing. The fabric is reversible with the seed stitch, meaning you could start on either end because the fabric looks the same on the front and the back. The handle is simply worked horizontally as well. All you do is crochet the number of rows listed in the pattern, and then make a chain and slip stitch to attach in order to make the handle. I hope this helps!
Laura Schoolcraft says
Thank you so much it’s a beautiful bag, can’t wait to make it.
Sherri McCartney says
I love the purse I can’t wait to make it. I have one question I make the two big sides individually, correct? I am new at this I started a purse and it isn’t made in rounds and I don’t think it will work, that is why I am questioning the sides.
Thank you so much.
Hi Sherri, The way that I made it was by attaching the yarn and doing the sides individually. I wanted a boxy look, so thought it was the best way to do it. If you wanted to do it in the round you could, but it would turn out different. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Hi Jessica, what a lovely tote, its just what I have been looking for, once I do the first one for me, am sure my daughter and daughter in law will want one too.. thanks for sharing, you make it look less complicated to do..
Thank you so much
It definitely is not very complicated at all! I’m happy that you like it, and thanks for taking the time to let me know. You are welcome of course.
What a beautiful bag! Your Mom is sure to love it. Thank you for the pattern.
Have a nice day. Happy Holidays
Happy holidays to you as well!
Would love to see your patterns, thanks in advance.
I’ll sign you up for the free blog subscription! Thanks so much!
It gave me a message that your email has opted out of subscriptions. I post patterns just about every week, so just check back often! 🙂
Thank you Jessica for this lovely pattern. I am excited to make several of them but the question I have is do you fasten off after you make the base in order to start the sides?
You’re welcome! I did fasten off, then single crocheted around, then seamed. It may not be necessary to fasten off, but I went ahead and did so. Hope you enjoy it!
È possibile avere spiegazioni in italiano …. grazie
Crochet Maniac says
This is the best looking crochet tote bag I’ve found. I will be making it! Thank you for the pattern!
I just discovered your Facebook page and blog this morning through allfreeknitting.com and am so excited. You have beautiful patterns and such fun ideas and are so energetic!
I do have a question about this pattern: it is so beautiful and I just recently learned how to knit but have not tackled crocheting yet. Do you have this bag in a knitting pattern or can you help me convert it?
Thanks either way and keep on keeping on!!
Hi Donna! Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you stumbled across my blog on All Free Knitting! Unfortunately I don’t have this bag in a knitting pattern, and I don’t really know how to convert it properly to a knit pattern. It’s possible you could knit each side (the rectangles) with super bulky yarn and needles that are a bit smaller than what they call for in order to have a tight fabric. However, I’m not sure about what gauge to tell you, how many to cast on, or even then best way to go about seaming the sides. Maybe I will have to knit a similar bag in the future. 😉
I need some clarity on the sides. Am I crocheting down the side to only the base? Or am I crocheting down the entire side?
Michelle Walton says
Thank you for sharing this pattern! I have started the pattern, but I’m not clear about just after I finish the base. I’m self-taught via watching youtube videos, so please bare with me. After I finish the base, I took your suggestion to SC all the way around, putting 2SC in each of the four corners; this is where I get confused. Do I tie off the base? Are these separate parts? I ask because I don’t understand the direction to “attach your yarn to a corner of the rectangular base, chain one” So does that mean that the base is a completed rectangle?
I am hoping that you still maintain this blog (fingers crossed)
I changed some of your big easy tote,it’s a little wider. Let me know if you would like the adjusted pattern,as always ,love your patterns.