Bags You Should Make


Still futzing around with Lavender, soon to be three months overdue. I WILL have this book done by September. In the meantime, I saw The Derek Bag on the Rav patterns page a while back, and I thought it looked great:

But then I thought maybe something with a big honking rose:

Or maybe skip the whimsy and go for something useful with eight outside pockets:

Or just say, “The hell with it” and go for da cute:

But then I found the chicken bag:

I know it’s not practical. But I yearn for the chicken bag . . .

Filed in Pictures

71 Comments to 'Bags You Should Make'

On August 14, 2010 at 2:07 am Sure Thing said...

Make the chicken bag anyway. The conversations it would start are worth it.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 2:28 am Shari said...

I’m with Sure Thing – go for the chicken. You could totally add a big honking rose around it’s neck and pockets down the sides. Of course, I am crap at actually following a pattern, preferring to make it up as I go along….

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 3:03 am Julie said...

Oh the chicken bag for sure! I saw a woman (vintage type) walking down the street not a month ago with a kitty purse, as in, it was about the size of an actual cat, furry, with a face, and it had a handle on top! If it had been a dog purse I would have pulled over and accosted her until she told me where she got it.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm colognegrrl said...

I hope it wasn’t that crazy (Dutch??) lady who made a purse of a real cat after it died. Not only did she get in trouble with the police for it, she also got a lot of flack from angry animal lovers. She called it a piece of art though.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm Jenny said...

As long as the cat died on its own with no help from her, I don’t see the problem. Isn’t that just practical taxidermy? I mean, awful but not cruel?

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 2:56 am Julie said...

LOL! “Practical taxidermy” – I love that. But sadly, no. In this case it was not so real looking that I thought it had, at any point, ever been alive. Definitely spent its entire life as a handbag.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 10:36 am Bethany said...

I believe it was Macy’s selling those, along with dog ones. There are likely knock offs because the ones at Macy’s were beyond what I’ll pay for “fun” (i.e. not something I could take on a job interview) purse. I did have a horse backpack when I was little that was awesome. It was barely big enough to hold my discman but I’d wear it while cleaning or walking around the house with the discman in it and the headphones in my head. It was awesome.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 3:34 am Ericka said...

suddenly we’re worried about practical? when’d that happen??

if only i could crochet… i can barely manage knitting, crochet – alas – are beyond me.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 8:07 am Naked Under My Clothes said...

Make the opening under the tail and get an egg-shaped wallet. Or other accessory. Just because, okay?

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 10:07 am Allie said...

That would be HILARIOUS.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 8:50 am Micki said...

Or better yet, a goose bag that lays the Golden Wallet. LOLOLOL!

Seriously tempting. I’ve been hemming pants while listening to podcasts, but I’m going to run out of pants to hem sometime in September, I think. Maybe I could make a purse before Christmas . . . .

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 9:45 am Kate G said...

Oh you with the patterns I can’t begin to fathom! Serious crochet envy going on here.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 9:58 am doris in munich said...

Thanks for the beautiful sites! I’m useless with crochetting but Che (the one with the Derek Bag) has great knitted bags, too.
However, I’m looking forward to photos with La Crusie and her Hen-Bag soon :-).

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 10:39 am Renee said...

I’ve made the eight pocket bag. It’s quite useful, I use it when I travel. I did it in cream, pink and brown – looks like a block of Neopolitan Ice Cream. The Derek Bag intrigues me, and I love the da cute one. The chicken, would definitely take some warming up to.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 10:45 am Sarah said...

Make the chicken bag. The chicken bag will make you happy. And think of the fun wandering around town with it under your arm. Life’s too short to be spent crocheting boring stuff.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 11:19 am Star Betty said...

A few years ago, I made this awesome bloody saw scarf for my then boyfriend:

Go, ridiculous crochet, go! I fully support the chicken bag.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm Jenny said...

THAT is a fabulous scarf.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm inkgrrl said...

That is fabulous! And she has a pattern for a chicken beanie and a turkeyzilla too!

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm inkgrrl said...

I don’t know why I’m so happy about the turkeyzilla. I want the pie hat. Think I’ll make the bones scarf for The Prince – ought to have it done in time for his first book release.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm hollygee said...

I love the chicken. If you did it with a black and white tweed, she’d look like a barred rock [breed of chicken].

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm Jenny said...

You know, if Maybe This Time had a chicken in it, I’d go for it. But no chickens.
I have found a stuffed chicken named Chicken Betty that might end up in Lucy’s Christmas present pile:
Or this chicken bag pattern, which is not free but which is fabulous:

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 4:52 pm colognegrrl said...

I think I like that chicken bag pattern better. I looked at the other one and even if the picture in your post looks cute, that purse is just very straight and does not resemble a chicken much. The longer I think about it, the more I get tempted to make a rather large one in real wool and then put it in the washer to felt it. That might be cool only my husband would probably not walk next to me when I have it with me.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm Jenny said...

I think I like it better, too. But it’s still a chicken purse, which is the sticking point for me.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm inkgrrl said...

I would totally make you that chicken bag but Angus would get it before its head was done and the whole thing would be done for. Plus I’d have to do it without wearing it in the process, and we both know that won’t happen. Pretty sure The Prince would protest at a chicken-bedecked wife-unit 😉

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm Lois said...

Oh yeah, Chicken Betty should definitely should be on Christmas list…love the tail feathers!! too funny!

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm Deborah Blake said...

What, no unicorn bag? *ducks*

I used to crochet. badly. I’ll just stick with jewelry making, thanks.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm Stephanie said...

Jenny – did I thank you before for the Ravelry links for curly scarves? I’m on my third. The first nearly killed my hands but this pattern is one I’m LOVING
[this isn’t mine btw, but the pattern picture off ravelry]

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 6:21 pm Jenny said...

Ooooooh. Knit. And so chunky.

Thumb up 0

On August 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm Brandy said...

I remember seeing this scarf on this site, a few months ago. . .and I’ve just taken up crocheting and want to make it so very badly. But, now I can’t find the pattern anywhere. . . can you direct me to the link for it? Please!

Thumb up 0

On August 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm Jenny said...

Here you go:

Thumb up 0

On August 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm Brandy said...

Thank you so much!! I thought I had been through every one of your entries in the last year looking for this — I must have missed this one (twice!)

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm Deb Z. said...

My daughter has a rubber chicken bag (a gift from her elder sister). It was a natural progression from her collection of rubber chickens. Quite tasteful and oh, so one of a kind.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 7:28 pm Turkey Lurkey said...

You can’t go wrong with a chicken bag :)

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm sheagal said...

Clearly, I am the most boring person on today. Because I love the one with all of the pockets. Of course, I looove pockets. It’s like a sickness.

However, I would be very impressed if you could made the chicken bag.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm GatorPerson said...

I’ve crocheted at least 6 ducks for babies. I would sew up an insert to hold the stuffing so that the yarn could be unsewed at its foot and the insert and stuffing pulled out and the yellow outer duck washed.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 10:29 pm Jeanne said...

I would go for da cute. It kind of looks like the nautilus sea creatures – you know where the shell keep going around and around.

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 11:25 pm Thea said...

Da cute one, da cute one!

Thumb up 0

On August 14, 2010 at 11:55 pm Betty Fokker said...

I need to make the chicken bag. My mom collects chicken stuff and decorates in the French-Provencal-chicken look. Her favorites are roosters. Turns out she has a thing for cock.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 3:01 am Julie said...

Fokker, when you return, it’s always with a bang!

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 7:55 pm Betty Fokker said...

my awesomeness is nigh uncontainable :0)

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 9:28 am Sue D said...

I’ve got the rubber chicken purse too. It looks exactly like the crocheted one. It’s a great conversation starter, though it doesn’t get the same “ooos” and “ahhhs” as my watering can purse.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 10:36 am colognegrrl said...

I’d like to see a picture of that one. Or both, if possible.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 10:40 am Cherry Clawed said...

Weird question for Cherries–any suggestions on easy ways to organize/store sewing supplies in a useful fashion in a small space with a cat? I live in an itty bitty studio (seriously, it’s barely double my office at work) and right now my fabrics are all folded in plastic bags and supplies are in boxes shoved anywhere and my machine on the floor when I’m not using it which I think might be why I get tired halfway through any project because just setting up takes 30 minutes. All the stuff I’ve read seems to think I have space to hang things on my walls or in my closet (walls I try to keep looking company acceptable since I like to have people over for drinks–my bar is Madmen worthy). I’m wondering if anyone has seen a modified underbed roller box that would work.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 11:41 am Jenny said...

Home Depot has under-the-bed boxes on rollers that I’ve been contemplating. Target has bins with locking lids in three sizes that I just discovered that are great for the bits and pieces. They’re translucent with green clasps on the lids and they stack so they look very tidy. Target, Home Depot, and Lowes all have those nine square storage units (the ones labeled Martha Stewart at HD are the cheapest at $40) and then you can get fabric boxes with handles on them in different colors that slide into the square spaces. The ones for kids are cheerful bright colors, Martha has in patterns in muted colors in stripes and dots, and then there are the basic red, blue, and yellow ones. The unit’s 36×36 and they can be stacked, so you can get a lot of stuff in small space. (Can you tell I’m trying to get a lot of stuff put away in a small space?)

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm inkgrrl said...

I think you’re the official expert 😉 Any recommendations for painting supplies? I have a desk full of fresh oil paints that need a different home between canvases.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm Jenny said...

Really, those translucent plastic boxes with the lids with the green clips are the best thing I’ve found so far. They’re in three different depths, so you can pack a sewing project in the big ones, and spread a row of oil tubes out in the shallow one. I got the last ones at my Target so others have evidently found them, too.
The nine cube Closet Maid units are here:,price,target_com_primary_color-bin,target_com_size-bin,target_com_brand-bin&searchRank=salesrank&frombrowse=1

I couldn’t find the bins, but there are so many different plastic bins out there, you’re sure to find something that’s good.

Thumb up 0

On August 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm inkgrrl said...

Nice, thank you! I caved and added to the yarn stash last night (blame Chandra) so I really need to keep the two categories of fun things separate 😉

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm Clever Cherry said...

Recently I had my brother make me a platform bed with spaces for those under-the-bed drawers on rollers. I love them. Mine also open to half the length of the drawer from either end.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm Carol said...

I store my fabrics and sewing stuff in a dresser – everything hidden and company acceptable. Dressers and the nine cube storage units Jenny mentioned can also be set at right angles to a wall and make a room divider. The nine cube units look great and can even be stacked.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 1:20 am CrankyOtter said...

Coincidentally, my organizer just brought me some of those “translucent bins with green handles” as “project boxes” for my crafty stuff with the idea that I can pack up individual project stuff in each box and not have to dig it out each time (but notions, glue, pliers and other supplies would go back where they belong).

I built myself a bedframe that has a ton of underbed storage. I don’t use a boxspring, just plywood. If you don’t go that far, get the bed risers (2 heights avail) now at BB&Beyond (extra stock in for the back-to-school crowd) and you can fit bigger boxes under your bed. I recommend see through boxes – you can always stick pretty paper on the side that shows if you don’t want company to see it or craft a longer bedskirt.

I don’t know if you have wallspace, but one IKEA cabinet is not that expensive and mounting a horizontal one can make it double as a shelf. The door would keep the cat out. (google ikeahacker for using cabinets as a bed base). Or maybe their very thin wall mounted, fold out shoe holders? That’s cheap, thin, and slips under a bed. I’ve been surfing for stuff too.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 2:17 am Jenny said...

I’m afraid to go to Ikea. Target makes me dizzy.
Hi, I’m Jenny and I’m a storage addict.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm skye said...

I LOVE IKEA! Yeah, it makes my head spin, but everything is way cool. PLUS — Swedish meatballs and lingonberries! Oh, I’m getting faint ….

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm Jackie said...

I love IKEA. But I have to be very careful when shopping. I always ask myself where I will put whatever it is that has caught my fancy. And there is nowhere left to put anything, so unless I have something of the right size to get rid of, I am out of luck. But I still love IKEA. I would be able to buy less things if there wasn’t an IKEA to help me store things without disappearing under the mounds of stuff.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 9:15 am Cherry Clawed said...

All these ideas sound great. Thank you. Thinking I’ll start with bed risers and go from there. Wall space is limited unfortunately although Ikea always makes think “someday” like a Disney princess

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm Alyssa Goodnight said...

I think you could pull of the chicken. Definitely.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm Yvonne Lindsay said...

OMG, first time I read the captions I thought #2 said big honking nose! And I’m like, what the…a creepy clown bag? No, no, a thousand times no! But a rose is okay 😉 chicken is even better.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm robena grant said...

Oh, don’t be such a chicken and go make the bag. ; )
Speaking of chicken…
I went up to L.A. for the chapter meeting, and today a few of us went to lunch at a new Italian restaurant. I was thoroughly enjoying the most delicious grilled chicken sandwich with a field greens side salad, when I looked down ready to spear some salad and saw Jiminy Cricket soaked in raspberry vinagrette and shaking his little feet. Ah well, they comped me the meal and then gave us a free dessert, but I swear it will be a long time before I can go back there.

Thumb up 0

On August 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm Jenny said...

Good God. I’d have been checking the dessert, too.
That’s gonna end up in your book.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 12:59 am Julie said...

Sadly this is a very common thing to come across when you get organic veggies. Still stomach turning, but not at all unheard of. Oh yes, put that in a book!

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 6:43 am Micki said...

Storage options: My mom used to keep all of her thread, and some of the scissors and other miscellaneous in a fishing tackle box. The little boxes were just the right size for spools.

If you’ve got half a ton of stuff, maybe buy a wardrobe, and fit it out with shelves (or just sturdy cardboard boxes until you’ve found your dream configuration). It’ll move with you, and you can say to yourself, “The wardrobe is the limit; I cannot possibly do more crafting than I have wardrobe.” (-: Well, it’s a nice theory.

Me, I’m saving old jeans in the hopes that Someday I will turn them into a giant rag rug, all nice and indigo-y. Although, to tell the truth, what I really want is a soft fluffy shag . . . I’m just not practical at all with my crafts.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm Jenny said...

Oh, jeans would make a great rug. Denim wears so beautifully without ever really wearing out.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm skye said...

Rip the jeans into 1-2″ strips, sew ends together, and crochet into rag rug. (I finally got rid of all my jeans for that project when I began filling my storage unit in prep for my move. :( ) would be soft and pretty.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm Jackie said...

I have a picture of a whale rug made that way by a gentleman in Hawaii. Very cool – both rug and gentlemen.

Thumb up 0

On August 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm inkgrrl said...

OOH! Thank you! I’ve been saving an old chenille robe to do that with, but I like the idea of denim even better.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 9:54 am McB said...

I have some of those clear boxes with the locking lids. Great for shoving paperwork into.

My yarn stuff is stowed in various containers. Those big plastic bags that pillows come in are GREAT for all those misguided but cheap yarns bought on sale. My favorite yarns and those which were purchased with an actual project in mind are in assorted pretty baskets. Over the years I’ve received many gift baskets and because I, too, have a storage addiction, I can’t get rid of them. If the bottom is rough, I line the basket with a cotton bar towel (they’re HUGE and incredibly useful to have on hand in any case). The smallest baskets hold notions: extra hooks, left over beads, etc. And if I have a need for another they are pretty cheap at Michaels. Toss a pretty but cheap dishcloth over the basket to keep out the dust and it’s practically decorative. Right now they’re sitting around, but my aim is to set up shelves in the big guest room closet.

So I started that 8 pocket bag once but got bored. It’s still sitting around somewhere and might get finished someday, but I have all these other assorted tote bags (see above mentioned storage addiction) so I’m in no rush.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm Jenny said...

Oh, dear god, I have the yarn-in-basket thing, too. And in big cheap glass canisters sitting on shelves. We were separated at birth.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm McB said...

Wait until I tell my mom. I keep telling her that the sister I got is NOT what I had in mind when I asked for one.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm Mary Stella said...

Jenny, this might be bags YOU should make. Me? No way. Can’t knit properly to save my life.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm Jenny said...

Crochet. MUCH easier than knitting and very soothing.
Of course, you work with dolphins so you probably don’t need soothing.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm AgTigress said...

I have never been to IKEA; all the couples we know who sometimes go there tell us they invariably have a quarrel when they shop there. It’s some kind of malign Scandinavian spell. They finish up wth stylish new furnishings, but not speaking to one another for a while.
Apropos crochet: (1) of course you should make the chicken and (2) I am being virtuous and using up yarn stash by making the crocheted ruffly boa you posted here a few weeks or months ago. Just started on the 2nd row. It’s in a wild mixture of colours, but it’s fun to do, and I think it will look fine. And easy enough to do while watching TV, though not quite as easy as knitting, for me.

Thumb up 0

On August 16, 2010 at 11:46 pm Kelly S said...

I used to live less than 15 minutes from an Ilea. I would only go Wed. Or if desperate late evenings on Tues. or Thurs. Otherwise the crowds were insane. Do not go if you are a container addict.

Crocheting is way easier than knitting. I found out recently I can crochet in the car without getting sick. This has improved roadtrips.

And having just returned from a roadtrip, I was so estatic to find an ARC of Maybe This Time in my mailbox!!! Thank you to whomever mention that Libraything had copies to give away for their review program! I’m 1 of 15 very lucky people. Now to start. (I do not mean to gloat but am so happy I had to share with those that would appreciate the winnings.)

Thumb up 0