Pinterest is one of my favorite resources to find great crafting inspiration. Personally, I’ve found the site easy to use and a great way to save ideas. One of my favorite things has been using the site to store crochet patterns. I LOVE finding free crochet patterns online.
A while back, whilst browsing “the Pin-ter-est” (as my dad calls it), I came across an adorable picture of a crochet bag. Since I needed a bag to keep in my car for the school year anyways, I snagged some Sugar’N Cream yarn when it was on sale and decided to make this bag.
The bag was designed by Oui Crochet, and the pattern is available free here. Score!
Check out the finished results!
I appreciate the nice disclaimer the original pattern creator shared on the website. While I had never heard of Mochila bags before, a little bit of research shows they are almost like a cross between a backpack and a satchel. Also, there are certain stitching techniques true Mochila bags use when they are crocheted. To keep it simple though, the original creator took liberty in the techniques used to crochet this bag. Personally, I think it’s an adorable handy bag whether it’s a genuine Mochila bag or not. 🙂
When I made my own bag, I took some liberty in the design. I suppose the most obvious difference is color. I went with a nice deep Indigo color from Sugar’N Cream’s denim collection and added accents in Mod Green, Tangerine, and Hot Blue. I like the way the neon colors pop against the darker background. Plus, it tones down the overall look of the bag, creating a more mature tote.
However, I used the simple single crochet and front post treble crochet pattern with color changes for working the body of the bag.
The next personalization is how I attached the strap. The original pattern calls for the strap to be worked directly from the bag and attached at the top at both ends. However, to achieve a more cross body style, I worked my strap separately and attached it with a simple whip stitch at the top and the bottom. Because I was modifying the strap, I also shortened the strap length. Instead of chaining 120, I only chained 76. If I’m completely honest, the number I chained was an entirely arbitrary number. I crocheted it long enough to be a cross body strap but not so long that it would hang at my knees.
In the picture above, you can see the back of the strap. My first comment on the photo is ignore the horrible lighting. I’m too busy crafting to improve my photography skills. 😛 Just kidding, I’m working on those skills… hopefully you will see improvement as I get better.
Next, notice the ribbing in the middle of the strap. When I first used my bag, I found the edge of the strap where I had crocheted my starting chain was very tight and would dig into my shoulder; meanwhile the rest of the stitches in the strap could stretch comfortably. This led to the majority of the bag’s weight resting along the tight chain side. Since this was not pleasant (and I also didn’t want to redo my chain more loosely), I decided to improvise. Using the Hot Blue color, I slip stitched along the other rows of Hot Blue. Essentially, this created tension in the middle of the strap and at the opposite side of the strap to match the tension in the chain side.
Now, even when I carry heavy loads, the strap does not dig in on one side; instead, the weight is distributed evenly through the wide strap.
Here is how the bag looks when I carry it cross body style. (If you’re admiring the far superior photo quality of this picture compared to the last one, you have my sister to thank for that.) Because only one end of the strap is attached at the top, the top of the bag stretches a little bit where I attached the strap. However, I have not had any real issues with this other than cosmetic details/appearance. If you decided to attach the strap cross body style like I did, you could try attaching the strap lower down at the top.
One last thing I’ll mention about this bag is size. As you can tell from the photo, it is a larger sized bag. Additionally, this bag can carry heavy loads comfortably without breaking. The bag is roughly 15″ tall with a 10″ diameter. Of course, the bag has some stretch to it, so these measurements are just estimates.
If I’m being completely honest here, I tested the bag out by walking around my bedroom looking for heavy objects before snapping this pic. At the time we took the photo, I was carrying a beading kit, a tub of clothespins, and a pillow so the bag wouldn’t look like a rectangle from the beading kit. So, you know, if you ever need to set off into the woods with a beading kit, tub of clothespins, and a pillow, the picture above might just be the inspiration you need. 😉
Will you make your own faux Mochila bag? What colors will you use? Comment below!