I added a Fabric Liner and pocket to my crochet stroller bag to show you that this bag is not only perfect for a stroller bag or a market bag, but it can also serve as a purse. You can find the pattern for the bag here.
The measurements I use are tailored to this bag, but you can adapt them to fit any bag with a “box” base.
Adding a Fabric Lining to the Crochet Stroller Bag
You will need:
- Fabric (I used an old summer dress): a 30 x 50 cm piece and an optional 13 x 22 cm piece for a little inside pocket.
- A needle and some thread
- Your sewing machine and all its bits and bobs
- Your iron
Determining the size of your lining for a different bag
Measure the width of your bag and add 1 cm (5 mm seam allowance on either side). This will give you the width of the piece of fabric you will need to line your bag with.
In my case that was 29 + 1 = 30 cm.
Measure the height of your bag and multiply it by 2. Now add 2 cm to that (1 cm seam allowance x 2). Finally measure the base of your bag (the depth) and add that to your total. This will give you the length of the piece of fabric you will need.
In my case that was 38 + 2 + 10 = 50 cm.
Decide how big you want your pocket to be. Add 2 cm to the width (for a 1 cm seam either side).
In my case that was 11 + 2 = 13 cm.
Multiply the height by 2 and add 2 cm (for a 1 cm seam x 2).
In my case that was 10 x 2 + 2 = 22 cm.
1. Take the piece of fabric that will be your pocket and iron a 1 cm seam all the way around.
2. Now fold it in half lengthwise (so that the top and bottom seams line up) and iron it flat. You can sew the seams down and then fold it in half, but I prefer the path of least resistance and in this case that involves getting out your iron and doing most of the work before you sit down to sew.
3. Take the lining and fold a 1 cm seam at the top and the bottom of the piece of fabric. Now fold it in half (with the right sides together), making sure that you line up the top edges of the two seams and press flat.
4. Now you will need to cut the bottom corners of the lining to form the “box” base. To do this, divide the depth measurement of your bag by 2. In my case that was 5 cm. Remember that the bottom of the bag will not have a seam, but the sides will. So cut out a rectangle from each bottom corner, measuring 1/2 the depth measurement up from the bottom (5 cm) and 1/2 the depth measurement + 5 mm seam allowance in from the sides (5.5 cm)
5. I’m all about the waste-not-want-not, so I couldn’t just throw the little rectangles away. They are perfect for making a little key-loop from, so while you are still standing close to the iron, open one of them up and press it in half widthwise. Then fold each half in half again, with the raw edges tucked inside (see photo 5b). Press flat.
6. NOW you can start sewing. And as all the hard work has already been done, this will take you all of 5 minutes. So taking the folded piece of fabric that will become your pocket, topstitch about 3 mm in from the sides all the way around. I didn’t bother topstitching around the folded end, but you can. Doing it this way means that there are no ugly selvedges anywhere.
7. Topstitch along the open side of the little key-loop.
8. Sew both seams of the lining. Don’t bother with serging, the unfinished edge won’t be visible and it won’t unravel in a hurry!
9. Place the pocket on top of the right side of one side of the lining. Make sure that it is in the middle (left to right) and pin it in place. Topstitch around the sides and the bottom of the pocket to attach it to the lining.
10. Fold the lining again (with right sides facing and the top seams lined up) as before. Sew a 5 mm seam down both sides and serge (10a). You will now complete the “box” base. Open one of the side seams up and allign it with the fold at the bottom of the lining. The rectangular cut-out will magically turn into a straight line (see photo 10b). Make sure that you line up the two layers of fabric (10c). Now sew a 5 mm seam and serge (10d).
11. Add the little key-loop by folding it in half lengthwise and sewing it to the top of one of the side seams. Make sure you sew it to the wrong side of the lining.
12. Voila! You have a lovely “box” base lining.
13. Insert the lining into your crochet stroller bag (or other bag), lining the side seams of the lining up with the side seams of the crochet bag.
14. I find it helpful to secure the lining to the bag at each seam and in the middle of each side. Safety pins are excellent for this.
15. Starting at one of the side seams, sew the top of the lining to the inside of the bag using the whip stitch.
16. Continue sewing the lining to the bag until you get right back to where you started from. Because the crochet stroller bag stretches and the lining does not, it is easy to misalign the two. So just check every now and then that the remaining bit of the 2 layers still line up. This is where the safety pins come in really handy!
17. And there you go! One fully-lined crochet stroller bag!
Have you got any hints and tips to make lining a crochet/knitted bag easier? I would love to hear from you!