Hook yourself the ultimate accessory with Laura Strutt’s tactile textured bag.
Team Mollie are always up for expanding their crochet repertoire – especially when handbags are involved – so we couldn’t resist this make. Using a technique called puff stitch to add interest and texture to the crocheted fabric, we guarantee you’ll be fending off compliments whenever you break out this clutch.
Laura’s used a mustard yellow yarn for the main body of the bag, accented with a neon pink tassel, but experiment with your choice of colours. Just make sure you have enough yarn before you begin though – this might look like a fairly small project, but puff stitch uses a lot of yarn, and tension can vary dramatically. Try to keep each of the loops as even as possible when creating the stitches, as this will ensure the individual puffs come out at a similar size.
- Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, 85% wool/15% mohair, 113g/173m per ball, one ball in Sunburst Gold (M14)
- 5 mm (UK 6, US H/8) crochet hook
- Yarn for tassel
- Lining fabric, 29 x 38cm (11½ x 15″)
- Zip, 20cm (7 7⁄8“)
- Sewing needle
- Matching sewing thread
- Yarn needle
5.5 sts and 7.5 rows in puff st to measure 10cm (4″)
ch-sp chain space
dc double crochet
ss slip stitch
ps puff stitch
RS right side
28 x 18cm (11 x 7 1⁄8“)
Puff stitch technique
Wrap the yarn around the hook and insert hook in st, then wrap the yarn around the hook again.
Draw the hook back through the stitch – there should be three loops on the hook.
Wrap the yarn around the hook again and insert the hook in the same stitch. Wrap the yarn around the hook again before drawing it back through.
Repeat a further five times more until there are 13 loops of yarn on the hook.
Wrap the yarn around the hook and draw it through all the loops on the hook – there will now be one loop on the hook.
Work a chain stitch to secure the loops of the puff stitch in place.
How to make the clutch
The bag is worked from the base upwards, rejoining the yarn to work the second side. You’ll join the side seams together next, then sew the zip and lining in place, and add a yarn tassel to finish.
Row 1 (RS) 1dc in 2nd ch from hook, and each st to end, turn [34sts]
Rows 2-4 ch1 (does not count as st), 1dc in each st along, turn
Row 5 ch3 (counts as 1tr), 1tr in each of next 2sts, *miss next st, ch1, ps in next st; repeat from * to last 3sts, work 1tr in each of next 3sts, turn [13 puff sts]
Row 6 ch3 (counts as 1tr), 1tr in each of next 2sts, *ch1, miss next st, ps in next st; repeat from * to last 4sts, ch1, miss next st, 1tr in each of next 3 sts (the 3rd tr is worked into the 3ch of the ch on previous row), turn
Repeat Rows 5 and 6 a further eight times more, making sure to work the puff stitches into the chain spaces and working the final tr of each row into the 3rd ch in previous row.
Row 23 ch1 (does not count as st), miss first st, 1dc in next st, 2dc in ch-sp, 1dc in each st to last ch-sp, 2dc in ch-sp, 1dc in each st to end, turn
Repeat Rows 2-4, then break yarn and fasten off.
Row 1 with RS facing, rejoin the yarn to opposite side of foundation ch and work 34dc along, turn
Rows 2-3 ch1 (does not count as st), 1dc in each st along, turn
Repeat instructions for First side from Row 5 onwards.
Weave in all yarn ends and fold the bag in half, aligning the sides and upper edges. Join each of the side seams in turn with 1dc in each st and join 4sts at each side of the upper opening with 1dc in each.
Open the zip and pin into place with one half on each side of the opening of the bag. Secure in place with hand stitches.
Fold the lining fabric in half lengthways with RS together. On each of the short ends, press 1cm (3⁄8“) to the wrong side, then sew the two side seams of the lining using a 1cm (3⁄8“) seam allowance.
Place the lining inside the bag and secure in place along the zip tape with neat slip stitches.
Create a tassel by braiding 20cm (7 7⁄8“) of yarn and knotting the ends together to form a loop. Cut several 15 x 20cm (6 x 7 7⁄8“) lengths of yarn and place inside the loop. With the knot in the centre, fold the lengths of yarn in half. Take a small scrap of yarn and tie around the top of the bundle to secure the strands of the tassel in place. Loop through the zip tab to finish.
About Laura Strutt
Laura lives in Colchester with her husband and little dog, Waffle. After making a break from journalism to go freelance, she’s written a number of crafting books and also shares makes, ‘how to’ guides and inspiration on her blog.