Do you know how I can tell if I've had a great summer? I can tell that I had a great summer because it's now fall and I just realized that I forgot to release this crochet bag pattern I designed this past spring! I've had the On the Bias Tote Bag all tested and photographed since the end of June, just waiting for release. So, today's the day! You can find the free crochet bag pattern in this post below, or an ad-free print friendly version on Love Crafts here, Ravelry here, or on Etsy here. The ad-free PDF includes the written crochet bag pattern with all photo tutorials, in one easy to print file.
Even though it's fall and fall usually means wool and wool blend yarns, I prefer to use 100% cotton yarns for my handmade bags all year long. I love the stitch definition that comes along with cotton and I especially love the mercerization of Lion Brand Yarns 24/7 cotton! I also love how durable crochet bags are when made with cotton yarn so I try not to categorize my yarns by season.
A BIG THANK YOU to Lion Brand for supplying the yarn for this project!
If you've ever gotten lost on Pinterest, I'm sure you've seen many varieties of Azuma Bukuro bags, aka Japanese Bento Bags. They're a popular style of Japanese market bags, sometimes referred to as origami bags because of the way you fold the fabric to form the bag. Whether you crochet, knit, or sew, I've seen oodles of azuma bukuro bags in all 3 mediums, but each is different than the next depending on the stitch patterns and yarns used. Even though the mediums may differ greatly, the construction is the same. To make your bag, you simply need a rectangle that is 3 times longer than it is wide. Easy peasy!
I designed my first Azuma Bukuro crochet bag pattern a couple years ago, you can find that free crochet bento bag pattern here.
I named this crochet bag pattern the On the Bias Tote Bag, not because of how I worked the design (it's worked in rows), but because of how it appears after it's folded and seamed. The finished bag looks like it was worked on the bias, but the rectangle of the bag is constructed by working back and forth in simple rows.
I made my On the Bias Tote Bag a little bigger than previous bags (it's the perfect size to hold a medium size crochet project), but you can easily adjust the size of yours if you prefer a smaller crochet bag. When you adjust the number of stitches in your rows, just make sure that your finished rectangle is 3 times longer than it is wide.
The combination of Lion Brand Yarn’s 24/7 cotton and simple crochet stitches give this crochet market bag its classic appeal. And the addition of a simple macrame pattern at each end of the strap, along with the wooden beads, give it a fun, boho vibe.
On the Bias Tote Bag – FREE CROCHET BAG PATTERN
The free pattern is below, but if you love to work offline, I’ve got a couple other great options for you.
Purchase the kit here! Use code: 30kits to save 30% this week (thru 10/3)!!! Lion Brand also has a full kit of the On the Bias Tote Bag, available on their website. The kit includes your choice of 4 colorways and a printed copy of the pattern below.
Pin it for later here.
This post contains affiliate links.
- Yarn: Worsted Weight / 4; Lion Brand Yarns 24/7 Cotton was used for the sample. 100% Mercerized Cotton Yarn (186 yards / 170 m / 3.5 oz / 100 g). Available for purchase on the Lion Brand Website or AMAZON
- Ecru (800 yards / 5 balls)
- Crochet Hooks: I/9/5.50mm, H/8/5.00mm, or size needed to obtain gauge (My favorite crochet hooks are the Clover Amour Hooks, I’ve never had an ache in my hand since switching)
- Yarn Needle
- Locking Stitch Markers (4 or more)
- Wooden Beads (32) (optional)
Many of these materials are available for purchase through our affiliates below:
Abbreviations (US Terms)
- ch(s): chain(s)
- sl st(s): slip stitch(es)
- st(s): stitch(es)
- sc: single crochet
- dc: double crochet
- Alt-ch3: alternate ch-3 (click here for tutorial)
- sp: space
- Rnd(s): round(s)
- RS / WS: right side / wrong side
- SM: stitch marker
- Rep: repeat
- One Size: 19" W x 21.5" H (not including strap)
- In granny stitch: 9 dc + 2 ch-1 sps = 2;.85"; 4 rows = 1.875"
- In Moss Stitch / Linen Stitch: (sc in next st, ch 1, skip next st): 11.5 sts = 3"; 8 rows = 1.875"
- Alt-Ch3: Complete last st of previous row, take loop off hook, insert hook into sp between last dc and last 3 dc of previous row, put loop on hook and pull thru sp, turn, ch 3. (click here for tutorial)
- I tend to crochet on the tighter side. You may need to go down a hook size (or two) to meet gauge if you crochet on the looser side.
- The first stitch of every row is worked into the same stitch as the turning chain, unless stated otherwise.
- Yarn Notes: Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton, in Ecru, was used for the sample. (3.5oz / 100 g / 186 yards / 170 meters / 100% mercerized cotton). Another comparable worsted weight yarn may be substituted.
- Yardage: Ecru (800 yards / 5 balls)
- Construction: This bag is worked in rows to form a rectangle. The length of the rectangle is 3 times its width. The rectangle is then folded in a special way to form the bag. Seams are sewn up with a mattress stitch (you'll find the tutorial here) and a strap added.
On the Bias Tote Bag Instructions
Note: Make sure to keep your ch-1's loose in the linen stitch rows (sc in next, ch 1, skip next st), or your work will cinch.
Set-Up: With a 5.50mm crochet hook, ch 57.
Row 1 (WS): Switch to a 5.00mm crochet hook, working into the back hump of the chain, sc in the 2nd ch from your hook and in each ch across. (56 sts)
Row 2 (RS): Ch 3 (counts as a st), Turn, dc in the first st, (skip each of the next 2 sts, 3 dc in the next st ) work from ( to ) across to the last 4 sts, skip each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the last st. (55 sts)
Row 3: Ch 3, Turn, skip the first 2 sts, (3 dc in the next sp between the dc's from the previous row, skip each of the next 3 dc) work from ( to ) across to the last sp, work 3 dc in the last sp, skip the next dc, dc in top of ch 3. (56 sts)
Row 4: Alt-ch3 (see tutorial on page 4), dc in same sp, (3 dc in the next sp between the dc's from the previous row, skip each of the next 3 dc) work from ( to ) across to the ch-3 from the previous row, 2 dc in the last sp. (55 sts)
Row 5: Rep Row 3. Turn.
Row 6: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. (56 sts) Last sc is worked into the top of ch3 from the previous row.
Row 7: Do not chain, sl st in each st across. Turn. (56 sts) *Be careful not to work your slip stitches too tight or it'll cinch your work.
Row 8: Ch 1, working into the stitches from Row 6, sc in the first st, (ch 1, skip the next st, sc in the next st) rep across to the last st, sc in the last st. Turn. (56 sts)
Rows 9 - 15: Ch 1, sc in the first st, (ch 1, skip the next st, sc in the next ch-1 sp) rep across to the last st, sc in the last st. Turn. (56 sts)
Row 16: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. (56 sts)
Row 17: Do not chain, sl st in each st across. Turn. (56 sts) *Be careful not to work your slip stitches too tight or it'll cinch your work.
Rows 18 - 177: Rep Rows 2 - 17. Note: When repeating Row 2, work your stitches into the previous Row 16 repeat.
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Block to shape, if desired. Continue on to Bag Assembly. Finished measurements should be approximately 14.5" W x 43.25" L.
Now it's time for a little origami!
Photo C: Bring the lower edge up to meet the edge created in photo B. See pink arrows.
Photo D: After completing photo C, make sure that your rows are lined up. Next, use a stitch marker to hold the pieces together.
Photo E: Use several stitch markers to keep bag lined up during seaming. I placed mine in the ridges of slip stitch rows.
Now it's time to seam your bag!
Seaming the Bag
- Use the Mattress Stitch Seam to sew the bag together between the stitch marker you placed in Photo D and the bottom corner of the bag. Also see Photo E.
- Click here for the Mattress Stitch Seam & Photo Tutorial
- Repeat for the opposite side of the bag, then continue on to Bag Edging Instructions.
Note: The Bag Edging is only worked on the 2 unfinished edges of the bag opening.
Row 1 (RS): With a 5.00mm crochet hook, join yarn w/ a sl st at the top corner of the bag, ch 1, sc evenly down the unfinished edge to the center "V" in the bag. I worked 1 sc into the side of each sc & sl st rows and 2 sc into the side of each dc row. Join w/ a sl st into a st at the center "V". Turn. Go down a hook size (or two) if your edging becomes wavy. *Stitch count isn't crucial.
Row 2: Do not chain, working on the RS of the bag (this is a little awkward), sl st in each st across. To join, remove loop from your hook, insert hook under loops of st at top corner, put loop back on hook and pull thru the stitch (click here for Special Join Technique Tutorial).
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Repeat for the second unfinished edge then continue on to Bag Strap.
Row 1: With a 5.00mm crochet hook, ch 6, working into the back hump of the chain, sc in the 2nd ch from your hook and in each ch across. Turn. (5 sts)
Rows 2 - 3: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. (5 sts)
Row 4: Ch 1, sc in the first st, (dc in the next st, sc in the next st) twice. Turn. (5 sts)
Row 5: Ch 1, dc in the first st, (sc in the next st, dc in the next st) twice. Turn. (5 sts)
Repeat Rows 4 - 5 until strap measures 13". Then work Final Rows 1 - 3.
Final Rows 1 - 3: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. (5 sts)
Continue on to Edging Round.
Edging Round: Ch 1, rotate to work into the sides of the rows, (work 1 sc into the side of each row and st & 3 sc in each corner) rep around. Join w/ a sl st to the 1st st. *Stitch count isn't crucial.
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Continue on to Strap Details below. Then finish your bag by Attaching the Strap.
Macrame Strap Detailing
I added a little macrame detailing to each end of the strap. Don't worry if you haven't done macrame before, these photos will take you step-by-step through the process. I used only 2 basic knots for the strap detailing. It's SO much easier than you think!
Yarn: Cut 16 pieces of yarn, 1 yard long each.
Lark's Head Knot
Have you ever added fringe before? That is a Lark's Head Knot. This knot is used to attach your yarn to the strap.
Step 1: With RS of the strap facing up, fold a piece of yarn in half to make a loop.
Step 2: Insert a crochet hook through a stitch along the short end of the strap, grab the piece of yarn at the loop and pull it through the stitch to create a small loop.
Step 3: Use the end of your hook to grab the ends of the yarn and pull them through that loop.
Step 4: Add 8 strands to one short end of the strap.
The rest of the macrame design uses only the square knot. I'll show you how to make a square knot, step-by-step. Then I'll show you which strands to use to make the remainder of the square knots. You'll make a total of 12 square knots per side.
Each Square Knot uses only 4 strands of yarn.
With the right side facing up, we're going to begin with the 4 strands of yarn furthest to the left.
Step 1: Start with 2 Lark's Head Knots (you'll have 4 strands of yarn).
Step 2: Take the outer left strand (green arrow) and cross it over the top of the middle 2 strands and under the outer right strand (pink arrow).
Step 3: Take the outer right strand (pink arrow) cross it under the middle 2 strands and loop it through the hole on the left (blue arrow).
Step 4: Pull the outer strands tight (don't let them twist). This completes a Half Square Knot. Continue to complete a Full Square Knot.
Step 5: Using the same 4 strands, Take the outer right strand (pink arrow) and cross it over the top of the middle 2 strands and under the outer left strand (green arrow).
Step 6: Take the outer left strand (green arrow) cross it under the middle 2 strands and loop it through the hole on the right (blue arrow).
Step 7: Pull the outer strands tight (don't let them twist). This completes a Full Square Knot.
Order of Knots
Photo A: Using the same 4 strands of yarn, make 1 more square knot.
Photos B & C: Using the 4 strands of yarn on the right, complete make 2 square knots.
Photos D & E: Using the 4 strands to the right of the square knots you made in Photo A, make 1 square knot.
Photo F: Using the 4 strands to the right of the square knot you just made, make 1 square knot.
Photo Above: Using the 4 strands shown, make 1 last square knot.
The photo above shows the macrame detailing complete.
Repeat for the opposite end of the strap. Then continue on to Adding Beads, if desired.
Attaching the Strap
More Free Crochet Bag Patterns from A Crocheted Simplicity
If you enjoy making crochet bags, you may enjoy these other projects as well. And if you just want to browse, you can find all of our free crochet patterns HERE.
Are you intimidated by knit-look crochet? Would you love to learn my tips & tricks? Take an Annies Video Class with me and let me ease your fears and help you increase your skills! Click on the photo below to watch a free preview. You can also see the other 4 video classes I have available!