Whether you’re off to the farmers’ market, the beach, the library, or just strolling around town, this origami-inspired Weekend Wanderer Mesh Bento Bag will come in useful to haul all your summer treasures!
After finishing my last market bag and fully realizing that I am, indeed, a bag lady, I knew I wanted to make more bags, more bags! I saw a bento bag and it occurred to me that, once again, crochet creates fabric, and fabric can be turned into a million different things. So anything that can be made with fabric can most likely be made with crochet. In this case, a bento bag is simply made with a single piece of fabric, which makes things even easier!
I used Lion Brand’s 24/7 Cotton yarn because it’s a sturdy, non-fuzzy, vibrant yarn. I find the texture of the yarn, and its weight, is not my favorite for clothing, but it’s perfect for bags, and this won’t be the last time I use it for that purpose!
The pattern for the Weekend Wanderer Mesh Bento Bag is so simple, it’s going to take just a few lines to explain it all. The magic is in the assembly. Basically, you want to crochet up a piece of fabric that has a length to width ratio of 3:1, and then fold it up into the bento bag shape, seam it, and secure the “handle”. That’s it!
I added a box bottom to the bottom of my bag to give it a bit more shape, but that’s optional. I also debated whether to macrame wrap the “handle” with leather straps, but decided to hold off and just enjoy the bag for its simplicity.
Once you weigh the bag down with stuff, it does stretch quite a bit, but I never found it to be too slouchy. It’s just the perfect length to throw over your shoulder and go wandering!
- 3 skeins of Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton yarn (3.5oz/100g, 186yds/170m)
- Size I/5.5mm crochet hook*
- tapestry needle
- stitch markers
- Skill level Beginner.
- Gauge: approximately 14 stitches and 6 rows in 4 inches.
Weekend Wanderer Mesh Bento Bag Crochet Pattern Instructions
Row 1: Work 63 foundation double crochet. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 4 (ch 3 + 1), sk 1. Work [dc, ch 1, sk 1] until last st. Work 1 dc in last st. Turn.
Repeat Row 2 for another 81 rows.
Row 84: Ch 3 (counts as st). Work 1 dc in each st across.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Once you have the rectangle complete, lay it out on a flat surface, and use your stitch markers to mark the long sides of the rectangle into thirds, at approximately 28 rows in from either edge.
If you have your ratio correct, that means that you’ve marked 3 squares. Fold the bottom left corner up to the stitch marker, and the top right corner down to the stitch marker, as seen below.
Next, fold one side of the bag up to meet the other diagonal corner, along the yellow dotted line in the photo below.
That’s the shape of your bento bag! Sew up the two seams, one on each side of the bag. You can use the mattress stitch for a quick invisible join.
Once the bag is seamed up, you’ll need to connect the top corners into a “handle”. I tried just knotting it together, but that was too bulky, so I laid the corners next to each other and whip stitched them together. You can choose how much or how little overlap you want on the corners when you sew, to create a short, or long handle.
Optionally, I added a box bottom by approximating about 3 inches straight in from the corner, and sewing across to box that corner off. I didn’t cut off the extra corner as some like to do with fabric. I just turned the whole bag inside out so the extra piece is actually reinforcement for the bottom of the bag.
This was such a fun and easy bag to make! I can definitely see myself making other ones with the same shape but with different designs and different yarns. For now, what color will you be making yours?
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