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Easy Essential Bags – Crochet Pattern Book Review
Bags are one of my favorite things to crochet. Aside from them being incredibly useful, the design possibilities are practically endless. That’s why I’m super excited to share this book with you! The crochet patterns in “Easy Essential Bags” are all level “easy”. Advanced or ambitious beginners will find it do-able, and a solid skill builder. It’s safe to say, a beginner will learn something new with each bag they make. Customize your bags with your favorite colors, appliqués, and buttons to give them your own personal touch.
Leisure Arts provides access to videos to help you out with the tricky stuff. Seaming is required for many of the bags, so that might be something you aren’t quite comfortable with, but don’t worry – it’s really easy. Seaming can be a way to customize your bag even further. Use a classic whipstitich, mattress stitch, or backstitch with a blunt tapestry needle, OR use your crochet hook to slip stitch or crab stitch (reverse single crochet) the pieces together. This will give your bag an exposed seam, and would look really cool in a high contrast color of yarn.
“Easy Essential Bags” has 10 different bag crochet patterns, with something for everyone, from small bags to large totes. Patterns include “Chevron Accent Bag”, “Big Carry-All”, “Crocodile Stitch Tote”, “Striped Bag”, “Messenger Bag”, “Lil’ Market Bag”, “Rosy Bag”, “Ruffled Bag”, “Strappy Tote”, and “Medallion Bag”. All of the patterns start off with a shopping list of the materials you’ll need to complete your project. You won’t need much more than worsted weight yarn and a size “H” crochet hook. If you are reading this chances are you have that already, perhaps even in the same room with you! Four of the bag patterns call for buttons of various sizes, so dig out that button jar.
Each pattern is well written and easy to follow. A “General Instructions” section in the back of the book includes the description for all of the abbreviations used, as well as diagrams and descriptions for special techniques used for some of the bags. All patterns were designed by Kristi Simpson.
So far I’ve made 3 of the bags, and I know I’ll be making more! All the patterns call for worsted weight yarn and a size “H” crochet hook, but I opted to go down to a size “G” hook to get a tighter, denser fabric. The first bag I made is the first one in the book, the “Chevron Accent Bag”. The bag is worked in pieces and then seamed together. In this picture I’ve just finished the 2 sides and the accent chevron, and am ready to seam everything together.
After the seaming is done, the strap is crocheted from one side and then seamed to the other. The original pattern called for a veriegated yarn for the accent color, but I just can’t resist neon pink on black! The strap is pretty short, but could easily be adjusted to be longer.
The next bag I worked on was the “Striped Bag”, the fun tiny hand bag on the cover. It calls for leaving a long tail at the beginning, so you can easily seam the bottom of the bag together later. To keep your long tail from getting all tangled up while you work, try rolling it up and pinning it to the body of the bag with a bobby pin. Simple, but works great!
After the body of the bag is worked, the flower is sewn on, and then the bottom is seamed up with that long tail you left at the beginning. The result is a really pretty little bag!
Last but not least I made the “Messenger Bag”. The best part about this bag is how easy it is. It is all made in single crochet, so really, all you need to do is keep good track of your row count, or be good at counting your rows. Stitch markers are definitely a good idea for the first stitch of the row, you don’t want to miss it on the return row.
If you are looking for some fun and easy bags to make for yourself or for gift giving, “Easy Essential Bags” hits the crochet spot. It is available in both paperback and as an instant download PDF – no waiting! You could be making a brand new bag tonight!