I've finally put my thoughts about this bag down on paper. My designs always go like that - I mull them over for ages, and even start making before I draw it out. The advantage is that by that time, I've usually ironed out any problems, so re-designing isn't necessary.
Here's the inspiration. A ridiculously expensive bag.
Different stitches on each panel, but all standard stitches, and easy to do. The handle would be the only bit that would be impossible for me to do like that, so I designed a completely different handle.
Do excuse the standard of my drawing. There's a reason I'm a crocheter and not an artist! The idea here is that there will be one big loop of a strap that goes under the main bag to support it, comes up at each side, and slips under a loop on the front flap to secure the bag closed. There will be a matching loop on the back, for symmetry's sake. The strap will be crocheted in black, with a black webbing strap sewn onto it, so that it won't stretch, like crocheted straps do.
The strap is the only thing I haven't measured yet. Here's a plan of the different segments with measurements. I like to work on graph paper for my patterns. It gives me a good idea of scale. I'm afraid I still think in inches, though. When I was at school, the system was just changing over, and I never really got the hang of either system.
And here are the sections I've done so far.
The granny squares for the front flap. Displayed on my faded old ironing board - I find it works really well to lay things out on.
And sewn together to form the flap. There will be a framing row or two in black to make it all neat.
A close-up of the front panel. I'm doing it in a fan stitch, working a front row each time. If I'm changing colour each row, I reasoned, there's no reason why I should have to turn over at the end of the rows. The fronts of the rows look much neater and more even than the backs, so I chose to work it like this.
And progress so far! The colours balance really well together, probably better than they look here. It's bright and cheerful, and I can't wait to get on with it. I really resent having to leave it to go to work!
There will be a lining for it. I have a length of black cotton drill for it, a strong fabric often used for coats. I'm going to take extreme care over the lining and the pockets on it. Sewing is something I can do, but it's not my greatest skill. Concentration will be needed, especially when it comes to zips.
Watch this space for further updates as I complete and start more panels.