April 15, 2008

Crocheting with Fabric Strips

I went to the Rosemont Quilt Show this past weekend and saw something there that inspired me to crochet with fabric strips. I saw a purse that was knitted with 1/2 inch batik fabric strips. I thought.........hmm......I could make something like that with crochet -- only I didn't want a purse, I really wanted something more like a tote bag.

So, when I got home I dug out all my batik fabric and started cutting strips. I began with a few fabric selections. Then added more and more and more. I used most of what I had on hand. I was surprised at how much fabric I needed. Using quality batik fabric doesn't make this an inexpensive project, unless you can get a great deal on theprice of the fabric.

I haven't decided if I want to line the bag or not because I love how the inside looks so much and the weave is pretty tight.

You really want to use batik fabric for a project like this for a couple of reasons. First, the quality of the fabric is very good. It has a high thread count to hold up through the batiking process. Because of this, the fabric frays much less than other cotton fabrics.

Also, the dye penetrates the entire fabric and batiks look just as vibrant on the back as on the front.

You need to use a metal crochet hook to work with fabric strips. Plastic will break (ask me how I know!) Also, it requires a little more muscle to crochet with fabric, so be prepared to have sore hands/fingers if you are not used to working with fabric.

Lastly, crocheting with fabric strips could become a long term thing.......

My Mom saw my bag and promptly asked me to make her one. I know when I have it finished and people see my bag, I will get more requests. It's very cool and unusual. That's why I made one for me!

Leave me a comment about what you think of this bag. I am thinking about adding the pattern to the Crochet Collection website and possibly offering it as a kit. The kit would most likely need to retail for about $39.95, but all the fabric strips would be cut for the project. If I include fabric for lining the bag and a manufactured handle, then the kit would probably run more in the $49.95 range.


You can visit the website at Crochet Collection.

6 Comments, Leave a Comment:

Chelsea, seriously sweet bag. I love it. I would probably go for even more over the top fabric floof (by that, I mean more free-hanging strips) but that's just me and my insanity.

You're gonna have me a full-blown non-conventional crocheter if you keep showing off cool stuff like this. That is so totally cool.

I've crocheted with fabric strips before, but never mixed the fabrics enough to get the fringy effect you have in your bag - it's great! Looking forward to seeing if you market a kit or not; if life slows down a little, I'd sure be tempted by having the strips already cut for me!

Deb Joy from CP List

That looks amazing! I am in the process of trying something like this but with handkerchiefs. I have them all cut up, but am trying to figure out how to tie them together to get this sort of effect.

I"ve knitted purses with fabric strips but have never learned how to crochet. I am wondering did you attach the hanging strips to the purse after it was finished, or are the loosely hanging strips achieved when strips were joined as you crocheted the purse?

When I created the strip yarn, I left. Few inches of the ends exposed at the knot to create the strip look!

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