Saturday, 19 April 2014

Crochet sunflower tote bag

My goal is to spend some time each weekend on projects and posting about them. So welcome to the first st-itch Saturday.

Yellow tree (species unknown)Inspired by the colour of the daffodils I bought from Lidl and the flowering tree in my garden that just looks so jolly, especially when the sun decides to shine I finally got round to finishing a project I started about 6 months ago, repurposing a free tote bag by embellishing with some crocheted sunflowers.

Here's how:

Starting with the free bag, I measured and cut a piece of felt to the size needed to cover the advertisement printed on the bag.

Free tote bag

Then I pinned and stitched the felt in place using crochet cotton.
Felt covering advertisement on tote bag
Felt covering advertisement on tote bag

Next step was to make the flowers. The pattern I used was one I found on Pinterest. The original design is by Sonia Karen - she has some really lovely other designs, or you can go to the pin itself.

The yarn I used for this project was a mixture of anchor crochet cotton I bought from the Thread Art_Galaxy shop on ebay (as I've not been able to find anywhere local that stocks crochet cotton), cross stitch thread that I had left over from a teenage cross stitching phase, and 3 strands of standard sewing cotton held together. Across these different sources I found a good range of sunflower colours.

As the thread I was using was generally quite thin I used a 1mm crochet hook.

Ten sunflowers later I figured I had enough to achieve what I was aiming for. And that's where the project stalled for 6 months. The sunflowers were a bit curly round the edges and I wasn't sure what to do with them.

Picking the project up again today, I tried this mysterious 'blocking' that I had read about.  Being a self taught knitter and crocheter I hadn't ever tried this before. I followed a blocking tutorial from (or go to the pin itself).

Blocking crochet sunflowers

The result gave slightly flatter sunflowers than I had started with, but maybe because of the thin cotton I had used (or my technique?) they still had a hint of curl. I arranged them on the felt balancing position and colours.

Pinning crochet sunflowers

So the final step was to stitch them onto the felt cover. I first stitched the centre of the flower to the felt using the tail of the crochet cotton.

Sewing on crochet sunflowers

Then I lightly stitched each petal in place.

Sewing on crochet sunflowers

And here is the finished bag. Something to brighten up my shopping trips.

Finished crochet sunflower tote bag

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