Friday, July 23

Slightly Altered Starling Handbag

Happy birthday, Jenna!


This bag started out as a small Starling Handbag, from futuregirl’s pattern that I crocheted (and photographed) months ago…


…and in which I again substituted a few rows of double-crochet so I could thread some ribbon through, like on the bag I made a year ago.


Next sewed in a bright orange lining, and thought I was done. A brown-and-orange bag for Jenna whose favorite colors are… Guess...


But something didn’t seem right. It finally dawned on me that I couldn’t picture Jenna actually carrying this cute little purse. She’s more of a “I need both hands free so I can embrace life with gusto” kinda gal.

So after a few deep breaths and some frantic whispers of This will be OK, this will be OK, I started frogging. That’s crochet-speak for pulling out your stitches (which I didn’t know until this year). Also known as watching all your hard work disappear into a pile of twirly swirly yarn.


I tried to channel Alice (the pattern creator) while making one looooooooong “handle” instead of the two called for in the pattern.

…I just realized now I could have made it easier on myself by crocheting a separate handle and sewing it onto each end, but I wanted to keep the seamlessness of the original – perhaps that’s why the easier solution didn’t cross my mind. That, and the easier solution seems to never cross my mind first…

Anyway, here’s the strappy seamlessness I was aiming for. Yay! (Camera would not take photos showing true colors no matter how much I fiddled with the settings. Boo!)


I’m happy with how it turned out but am not sure I could pull it off again, even though I tried to take notes as I went. Those notes say things like “single crochet two, stick hook in wherever looks right, skip two or so, single crochet again (or half double maybe)” etc. Not the model of precision that I usually like to follow.

Since crochet tends to stretch, I added a fabric strip on the inside of the strap. Hopefully, that’ll keep the bag up where it belongs instead of dangling down near Jenna’s knees after a few weeks.


Sophie, eager to be involved in the gift for her beloved former preschool teacher, came to help me while I was gift-bagging it. I let her pick the bag – she can’t quite read yet, just went for pink. I figured Jenna would be understanding about receiving her birthday gift in a lingerie bag.


Then Lucy joined us and wanted to contribute. She started tossing our IKEA finger puppets into the bag for Mrs. D, which I thought was a cute idea considering what’s arriving in another five weeks or so.


So happy birthday, dear friend. You amaze me in so many ways!


  1. Cute, cute bag! I love the fabric lining on the strap, too, which I'm guessing also keeps it from stretching out? Very clever!

  2. I was pretty amazed to read that you took notes like most of MY crochet notes!! (not especially precise!)

  3. Thanks MaryAnne. Yup, the lining should keep the strap from stretching, I'm hoping!

    Can you believe it, Mama? Yet more evidence I'm turning into you! : )

  4. Thank YOU K, for an amazing bday gift! Can't wait to wear it this fall! It is definitely ME!

  5. The fact that the easiest solution didn't cross your mind first means you were definitely channeling me. ;) It looks awesome! I'm going to feature it on my Peepshow post this weekend.

  6. You're so so welcome, J!!!

    Haha, futuregirl - it's nice to know I'm not alone in my complexity neurosis. Thanks for stopping by -- it'll be fun to see my little bag at your place.

  7. Hi Karin, I love your bag. What I love the most is your liner!! Do you have any instructions or a link that would be helpful? I have several bags that I have crocheted but would love to add liners to them. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Angela. And yes, I have just the thing for you:

      In fact, I can't believe I didn't have the link in the blog post itself. It's my go-to lining reference. Hope it helps.



Related Posts with Thumbnails