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Pattern Release: the Patchwork Crossbody Handbag

Hi Friends!

I am so excited to share my latest design with you, plus tell you a bit about some of the new patterns coming up in the second half of 2024. Today’s pattern is 8 months in the making, and I will share the reason for that in this post.

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Okay, so story time:

I designed my Floral Flair Handbag in the spring of 2021 and have carried it daily for the past 3 years. I am a lady who uses her purse not just as intended, but also as a tote bag. My handbag usually weighs at least 10 pounds and many a store-bought purse has fallen victim to my abuse.

Not the Floral Flair Handbag.

When I was designing that pattern, I knew that I would need to make a lining because yarn stretches and I overfill purses. I repurposed an old pillowcase to make my handbag and borrowed my daughter’s sewing machine in order to make sure my purse would be sturdy enough to carry…. well, everything.

I spent about 6 weeks designing the Floral Flair handbag, and by the time I had all of my squares joined I really wanted to get to the sewing part and did not wish to weave in all of the ends. So I superglued them because nobody was going to see my messy work. I hoped that doing this would not result in my bag falling apart, but I took a gamble because I was too impatient.

That gamble paid off.

Here we are, 3 years later and my purse has some stains on the bottom because I have managed to spill at least 3 cups of coffee right next to it (probably more- I am rather clumsy). Aside from the coffee stains, the colors are just as vibrant as they were 3 years ago. And most importantly- it hasn’t ripped at all!

Regardless, I have been carrying the same handbag for over 3 years now and its time for a new one!

In October of 2023, I started designing some squares using the remaining balls of Lion Brand Ferris Wheel I had left. The colorways looked so nice together in their bin, so I decided to start making some squares and see how many I would end up with, then decide what to make with them.

As I worked up the squares, I decided that it was probably time to make a new handbag for myself. The only hiccup was that I did not own a sewing machine, but I figured that was a “future me” problem.

One day a couple of months ago, I walked into the leasing office of our complex carrying my Floral Flair Handbag, and the lady at the front desk (who also crochets) asked me if I made it and if I sell them. I told her that I sell the pattern and she could make one herself, but she insisted that she just pay me to make it. I told her about the Patchwork Crossbody Handbag I was working on and showed her some photos of the squares. She was not a fan of the colorways, so we talked about another bag in a different style and I set off to design it. (The pattern for the Circles and Squares Handbag is coming in June!)

Now I really needed a sewing machine because suddenly I had 2 handbag designs to finish, and one of them I was being paid for, so it needed to look professional!

I spent weeks looking on Marketplace and Craigslist for used machines, Walmart and Amazon for new machines, and researching each model to find the pros and cons.

Finally, I found a Janome Magnolia on Marketplace for a price I was willing to spend. I was waiting for approval on the squares for the Circles and Squares Handbag, so I decided to finish up the Patchwork Crossbody Handbag and test out my new machine.

I made the mistake of sending a photo of my new bag to The Bear, who immediately claimed it for his mom for Mother’s Day. He sent the photo to his sister, who then ordered a handbag of her very own, in a style and shape that was going to be a fun challenge!

So if you’re keeping track, This is now 2 orders for me to design a new handbag, and the bag that was going to be for me is no longer mine. So I’m gonna need to design another one for myself after I finish the second commission. (The Lace Moon Handbag pattern is also coming in June!)

So to recap:

I am still carrying my Floral Flair Handbag.

The Circles and Squares Handbag pattern and the Lace Moon Handbag pattern will be released in June.

The Patchwork Crossbody Handbag pattern is now available.

Oh, and now that I have a sewing machine and a sudden demand for commissioned handbags…. I anticipate many a handbag pattern coming over the rest of 2024!

I have to be honest here- I’m really sad to have given this bag away. Mostly because that was the last of my Ferris Wheel yarn and I haven’t seen it in the store for a good while. I don’t know if they have discontinued it or if the Walmart has just stopped carrying it. I hope it is the latter, because this was my absolute favorite yarn and I have designed so many patterns with it.

So you are aware, Lion Brand is in no way sponsoring any of these designs; I didn’t even receive yarn support. I bought all of these balls of Ferris Wheel at the Walmart a few years back because the colorways delighted me. Then I discovered how much I love working with that yarn and just designed and designed and designed with it over the past few years. This final project really signifies the end of an era over here!

But- I got to bond really well with my new sewing machine!

Fun fact: I have not yet figured out how to disable the “feeder foot” or whatever the actual name is for the part that grabs your fabric and tugs it along as you are stitching, and I am fairly confident that if the crochet side is down when I sew, I’m gonna tear my project, jam my machine or have an epic combination of the two, so I pin my lining in very carefully and then sew with the crochet side facing up.

As I mentioned, I started this project last October. I was pretty nervous about writing up the pattern because I feared what kind of weird chicken scratch was waiting in my notebook for me to find. I don’t always write a complete thought when I make notes as I am designing, and at times I write quite sloppily which is always fun to decipher a few weeks later when I am writing up the pattern for the project I just finished. So flipping back 8 months into the past had me holding my breath to see what kind of work I would need to do to read my own notes.

Oh, past me was VERY considerate!

Not only did I write down the whole pattern, I wrote it very legibly. It was almost as if past me knew that future me was going to have to wait for many months and would want something easy to read. That was unbelievably nice of me!

You can grab a copy of the Patchwork Crossbody Handbag pattern below:

I have 2 more handbag patterns coming out in June 2024, and will try to remember to update this post as they are published. In the meantime, you can grab a copy of the Floral Flair Handbag pattern below as well:

Be sure you have subscribed to the Straight Awesome Newsletter so you will be among the first to know about discounts, freebies and special events!

Until next time,

Happy Hooking!

~Malena

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