How to knit a boho mini cross body purse (free pattern)

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Recently I’ve started to experiment more and more with knitting and I made this purse. It’s not perfect and I am sure there are better ways to knit this, but this is just how I did it.

This free knitting pattern is beginner friendly, you need to be able to knit and purl and decrease (which is easy).
It also includes a knittied cord (with a link to the video I used to learn how to do it) and a bit of crochet (you can skip the crochet if want).

The purse is basically a seed stitch rectangle with a decreased seed stitch flap.

To knit the rectangle(the body of the purse):

Cast on 20 stitches (if you don’t know how to cast on, there’a video at the end of this post!)

Row 1: knit

Row 2: Knit 1, purl 1 … until the end of the row

Row 3: Purl 1, knit 1 … until the end of the row.

Repeat until you have a rectangle that’s twice long as the palm of your hand (or as deep as you want your purse to be).

Cast off (video at the end of the post).

 

For the purse flap

Pick up the stitches (see video below) from on of the short edges or your rectangle and knit the first two rows.

Row 3: Decrease 1 at the beginning of the row, purl 1, knit 1 until you get to the end of the row, then decrease 1.

Row 4: repeat, making sure you’re doing a purl when you see a knit stitch and viceversa

When you have 8 stitches left on you needle, cast off.

 

How to distinguish a purl stitch from a knit stitch

For me, the purl stitch looks kind of like a bump and the knit stitch kind of like a V. For the seed stitch, you need to alternate between purl and knit on your row and also between rows.

So if I were to start the new row from the photo below, I would knit 1 (because the first stitch on the needle is a purl), then purl 1 (because the next stitch is a knit) and so on.

 

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Knit the cord

It was the first time I knitted a cord. Once you learn to do this you’ll only want to knit cord, so beware 🙂

I learned using the video at the end of the post

 

small cross body knitted boho purse free knitting pattern

Join your pieces 

Once you have your flap and main rectangle and cord, sew them toghether.

I used a crochet to pick up stitches, but you can use a needle and just sew your pieces toghether. There’s a how to video below if this is the first time you’re trying something like this.

 

free knitting pattern small knitted cross body boho ethnic purse

I embroidered my flap with the same wool I used for the cord, but if you know how to do intarsia or fair isle, you could use that to decorate your purse flap.

I didn’t add a button, because I want to sew a zippered lining to my purse and leave the flap as it is, but you could add one to your creation.

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I hoped you enjoyed the tutorial and please leave a comment if you have a suggestion of how we can improve it. I am a beginner knitter myself 🙂

How to videos:

How to long tail cast on:

How to cast off your knitting

How to knit cord

How to join (sew) your knitted pieces

Sewing green: How to repurpose paper for your sewing patterns

sewing green printing sewing patterns on magazine paper

Do you often think about reducing waste, repurposing materials and using only as much as you need when you sew?

I wanted to share a quick tip on how I reuse paper for printing my sewing patters: I use old magazines, brochures or snail mail. Most of them come in A4 paper, so I take out the staples and cut them into single A4 sheets. Or most likely rip them apart in single A4 sheets 🙂

I make sure they’re not bent or soiled in any way, then put them through my printer, like I would with normal fax/print paper. I know many of you will say that the images on the magazines are distracting, but if you really like to double the life of a few sheets of paper, you’ll see it’s really not that difficult to see the lines and cut your pattern.

printing sewing patterns on magazine paper

For my future Mesa dress from Seamwork I used the brochure from out trip to Niagara falls this summer 🙂

There’s a version of this brochure online, if we ever need it again and in the meantime, there’s a large percentage of the paper from this brochure that’s being reused instead of being binned.

Do you have any green sewing tips yourself?

September sewing and knitting

september best of sewing and making by sky turtle

I love fall. I love the rusty colours, the rough textures, the nutty flavours. Everything almost.

I took the photo below the other day and realised it captures some of my favourite colours: lots of earthy greens, but also some tones of blue and burgundy.

ivy wall

I used the Big Huge Labs palette generator to quickly look at this colours on a palette to see how much it resembled my current fall wardrobe pallete. I am trying to plan better what I make so that I make more things that I wear a lot. What is a lot? Is it every week at least once? How do you measure this? Is it important to you that you wear a lot the things you make?

It was fun to see the names they use for these colors: lots of turtle (ha!) greens, a rustic red, dark grey and black and some almost white tones of blue.

fall palette

So there you go! I had my fall palette!

The fun thing is that even without thinking about a palette, this last month, I’ve already finished some things in these colors: a dark (turtle) green vest and a plaid flannel shirt. I still have to press some seams and add buttons, but I’ll tell you more about this later.

I’ve knitted the vest over a few nights and I made up my own pattern, but I’ll write more about that in a future post.

The plant in the pot is the ginger I planted last month. It’s grown very fast! I love fresh ginger tea when it’s raining outside and everything is looking gloomy and I can’t wait to try the fresh version.

I’ve bought the Oslo Cardigan by Seamwork sewing pattern that I’ve been thinking about since it first came out. Initially I was going to make my own pattern for a cardigan. I’ve made one before and it was quite easy, especially when you’re working on an oversized silhouette, but I loved the Adelaide dress so much that I wanted to try another Seamwork pattern.

I have an idea how I want to modify it! Let’s see how that goes.

How was your September and what are you planning for October?

 

 

 

 

 

Adelaide world map vest top

adelaide vest world map

Hello readers,

Are you out there? It’s been two crazy busy, but good – wonderful busy- months so the blog was a bit neglected. I did get to do a bit of sewing and knitting and I’ll share with you more soon.

Today I wanted to show you how I modified the Adelaide dress pattern by Seamwork to make a vest.

How to choose fabric

I chose a stiff, tapestry fabric. This world map fabric is made in Spain and I bought it from Barcelona when I was still living there. I’ve used it to make a million things. I made bags, made pouches and clutches and pillow-cases and even thought about making a pair of jeans, but never got the courage to try that… anyway, I still had a piece of this lovely fabric that I brought with me in Canada and wanted to use it for something special.

For this to look like a vest and not just a tank top (hmm… tank top!) you should use a fabric with a bit of body. If you’re going to layer this over blouses (like I plan to) you can try the tapestry section for some amazing fabrics that have always wanted a chance to become clothes.

After I made the Adelaide dress I posted about here, I was so excited about the fit of the pattern that I wanted to make more. I still want to make more – maybe a fall version? In wool? Crazy?

How to modify the pattern to make this vest

So I decided to sew a vest. I love vests! Strangely I didn’t own any. That had to be fixed.

 

The first thing I did was to decide where the vest top was going to hit and I chose my natural waistline. I knew this was going to be boxy, so with my frame (even though I love them) a long boxy vest wouldn’t look proportional. After I stitched together the shoulder straps and sewn the sides of the vest I folded it in half and created a shorter in the back – longer in the front, slightly V-shape but just cutting in an angle from the centre back to the centre front.

Hm… I’ll make a quick sketch, wait!

Does this make sense?

I was going to leave it like this, but my very wise partner suggested front darts to make the vest more fitted. So, wearing my vest on the wrong side, I pinned in place the darts, then stitched them.

adelaide world map vest top

I then finished the neck and armhole and bottom hem with self-made bias binding (that was actually a fabric remnant from my painted fabric napkins project!).

When I took this photos, I hadn’t decided if I wanted to leave it like this or attach snaps but went with snaps in the end. I love snaps, I could use them for everything!

 

 

August in sewing and making

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August was a little quiet here on the blog, which means it was a bit crazy outside this blog.

There was some travel and there were a few days of reading on the beach, swimming and eating fresh fish.

beach scene

There were some weddings (3) and lots of beautiful people to meet and see again. I wore my Adelaide dress and other summery garments I had made the years before, which made me feel secretly proud I can sew for myself.
There was a lot of running around and too much work for an August, but I’m greatful everything turned out ok.

sky scrapers
In sewing and making I didn’t advance too much. I crocheted a toy bunny (that I forgot to take a photo of before he found his new home!) and I started a new knitting project (again working without a pattern and trying to make it as I go).

What about you? How was your August? Are you going back to school this September? I am (yikes) after many years 😀

Best of July in sewing and making

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Summer’s almost over, just a month left. How did this happen?

I know I should complain about the heat and humidity and the bugs and everything that’s not completely cool about summer. But I enjoy those too. Time seemed to fly so that’s why I started documenting my crafty/creative/fun time here. Even if I don’t post a full blog post about each of those cool moments, I get to capture them and maybe feel happy about them in the future. Ideally also see progress in learning new things!

See also: Best of June in sewing and making 

I made a crochet top

I explored more crochet work this month and used a new scallop stitch I learned from this blog post from The Inspired Wren to make a new top. I’ll post a photo of the finished photo, but it’s basically a crop top I self-drafted incorrectly and saved through a crochet bottom half of the top.

crochet scallop point

I took 10 minutes to photograph lemons in my water jar

But I did more than that, I took the time to enjoy the colours and the taste of the lemon water.

lime water

I dyed some fabric with blueberries

This was super fun! I tried a sort of chaotic shibori tie dye technique and submerged the fabric into a soup of hot blueberries. It turned out really great and even though there is a bit of discoloration, the fabric napkins I made like this are still pretty after their third wash! I didn’t use any fancy chemicals, just a bit of vinegar to set the colour. I’ll do a separate post on this as well!

shibori napkins

I found this pretty fabric

You know when you buy a fabric so pretty you have a million ideas of what you could do with it and can’t decide? I’m procrastinating until this fabric starts feeling a bit less exciting – I’m almost down to two ideas.  Did you ever experience this fabric… what to call it… anxious excitiment? 🙂

pretty alladin fabric

Played a bit more with watercolours

Not too much, maybe less than last month, but I still managed to paint some new things. I also have a new column for the blog I’ll introduce soon. Hint: it mixes watercoulurs and pattern making. Can you guess what it is?

knitted basket illustration watercolor

The mixed media basket above is an idea I saw on Pinterest. Someone took a basic basket and knitted the top part to use as a yarn holder. It looks beautiful and I love the idea of using mixed materials. I’d like to do this, but I haven’t found the perfect one yet.

And that’s about it. I did post about my Adelaide dress here so I won’t mention that again now. What was new or fun for you in July? If you’ve written about this, please leave the link below!

My light chambray Adelaide dress

adelaide front

There are several reasons why I loved sewing the Adelaide dress from Seamwork. First, because the magazine really inspires me, from the patterns created to the thoughtfulness of the articles. And it’s that thoughtfulness that is contagious.

This dress is supposed to take three hours to sew, but I made it across several weekends, cutting it slowly, then sewing it slowly and finishing it, you’ve guessed it, equally slowly. Which is something I’m trying to learn how to do.

I really like the pattern and how it’s cut. It’s like Sarai knows women have curves and where those curves are located 🙂

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern, except raising the waistline and shortening the bottom hem. I’ve initially made the bottom a size larger and graded it, because I’ve seen other versions of the Adelaide where the bottom part was wrinkling at the hips and I wanted to avoid it, but that wasn’t necessary so in the end I had to remove that extra fabric.

I like how the neckline is shaped as well. One little trouble I have is a gap between the first and second snaps. Do you have any suggestions for that? What did I do wrong?

Otherwise, I think it looks quite nice from the back and I can see myself layering this with tights and a shirt. I most definitely want to make another one. Maybe one with sleeves? 🙂

I’d like making this in a light denim and try my hand at buttons and buttonholes. I enjoyed Seamwork’s challenge to use snaps. I really like snaps, just don’t like when they snap out of your fabric!

Harem style house pants

harem style pants diy

I’ve actually made these pants two summers ago and forgot to post them. I wanted to link to them the other day in the How to shop your closet with Pinterest post and realised they were nowhere to be found.

floral harem style pants

These pants were fun to make and fun to wear: a light batiste with pink roses (a type of fabric that I love looking at but never end wearing) and a little bit of elastic thread and they were ready in a couple of hours. I used another pair of pants I had as a pattern and got too lazy to make pockets, which is a pity because I love pockets in everything.

floral harem style pants with an elastic (shirred) waist

I had initially intended to make these to wear outside, but they looked too loungey for me. (As a note, I keep referring to them in the past, as they’ve been donated and hopefully found a new home.)

floral harem style pants back detail

I liked how the waistband turned out, even if I made the waist too high. As they reminded me a bit of yoga pants I folded the waistband down and I thought that looked even better than my original plan.

Mistakes I’ve made with these pants:

  • They would have been better lounge pants if the fabric I chose was a bit elastic
  • The crotch was too low, even for lounge pants
  • I should have elasticized a larger area of the waistband (or maybe the sides? Hmm…) –> like these they were just 2% too tight when pulling them up

Good things I’ve made with these pants:

  • They are unintentional cool pajamas
  • I’ve serged everything first, them sewn very neatly
  • I tried to face my fear of wearing tiny floral prints (and failed!)

That’s about it with the easy to sew harem style pants, I just wanted to document and share 🙂

What about you? Do you wear tiny floral prints outside the house? Around the house?

 

3 new pages from my sketchbook

sketchbook ideas by sky turtle

Do you sketch? I’ve recently started documenting some of the things I like and would try to make and I’ve noticed that sketching not only allows me to better imagine the final garment, but it also helps with the need to make a million things, because sketching somehow counts as a creative process, so I can change my mind about a garment before I sew something that will never be worn outside the house. Like these pj pants, for example : (

sketchbook two blouses, trumpet sleeves and embroidered blouse

Some of these are garment sketches start from something I found on Pinterest, but drawing them gives me the space to add my own ideas and to futher make something mine.

It also serves as a work in progress tool for garments I would love to make but I’m not quite sure how yet, like the cutout embroidery top above. My grandma used to make this with her old Singer machine, so I could try to make this with a dense zigzag. But I might also embroider this by hand.

sketchbook two more tops, pleats and embroidery

For other items, like the tiny pleats and embroidery top or the sleeveles turtleneck top above it helps me visualise the final piece and the fit. For the first one I really have to make sure I find a lightweight batiste, or something that both embroiders and pleats well. The second could turn out too boxy and unflattering for my figure if I choose a fabric that’s too stiff.

sewing sketchbook two blouses

I think with the multitude of inspiration sources we have nowadays and the many “I want!” we have to deal with, sketching pleasantly slows down the process of creating new garments, making it more rewarding and more meaningul at the same time.

So, do you sketch too? I’d love to see your notebook, or saved, preciously sketched napkins 🙂

Best of June in sewing and making

best of june in sewing and making sky turtle

Last month I started documenting the small pleasures, little discoveries and hopefully areas of personal growth in sewing, knitting, making in general. These were my favourite things to discover or do in June:

See also: Best of July in sewing and making 

Inspired to sew (or at least consider trying) sewing a bra.

I’ve been reading and admiring bloggers who make lingerie and especially bras, but I’ve never considered it something I could try, until I read Ingrid’s post about her Watson bra. She says this:

“I think one of the reasons I love making lingerie, is that it takes no time whatsoever, and I don’t have to break my back taping/cutting patterns and fabric on the floor. It all feels very civilised, sitting at my desk cutting out tiny little pieces with my rotary cutter”

and she made this:

neon-watson3

So inspiring, like everything she makes. Don’t miss out her blog.

I’ve been loving Sarai’s posts about the Florence bra and I have her Nutmeg pattern in paper. It’s one of the very few patterns I brought with me when we moved and I’ve never used it.

I started a new sketchbook

I’ve started a small notebook for sewing ideas and projects. I know there’s Pinterest (love it, wrote about how to stay away from buying more that you need here) but it’s different when you draw something and in this case when you stick the actual fabric on the same paper. It becomes almost real. I’ve shared this image on Instagram, are you on instagram? Follow me or leave a comment below so I can find you!

handmade sketch blouse idea diy sewing

I’m experimenting with watercolours

And realising how little I actually know about painting. Actually almost nothing. I will still share this with you because it will be cool to see the progress over the months. I like doodling, drawing, painting so it’s something I want to do more of. I got a new set of travel watercolours so this alows me to quickly doodle something in my lunch break and makes cleaning up/putting everything back really quick.

crochet watercolour by sky turtle

I’ve used the tinyest needles ever to swatch this cotton yarn

These needles are so pretty and at the same so fragile (or at least they seem to be so) that they allowed me to be patient with my swatching. It’s amazing how gauge changes with the different patterns. I really like this cotton yarn, it’s actually a darker blue that my camera captured it here. It’s also really thin so I really need to find a strategy to channel my inner zen knitter.

swatching in blue cotton and really tiny needles

What about you? What did you learn or experiment with in June?