Tuesday, May 29, 2007

FO: My Chinese Charm Bag

There is a cute purse in Stitch & Bitch called the "Chinese Charm Bag" that is made out of super yummy yarn with cute bamboo handles and a little charm. So this is my version of it. I gave it away as a gift in a craft swap, so these pictures are all I have to remember my lovely creation by....

The yarn I used is by no means as extravagant as the recommended yarn, but I still found it yummy to work with. I was lucky to find this cool coin charm at Roberts. I attached it with a hanging cord rather than sewing it on - I just liked that better because it utilized the hole in the coin and made the bag a little more interesting. The lining fabric is a really pretty yellow satin brocade, but it was such a pain to work with because it kept fraying, which I expected, but the real problem is it would literally fray around the places the needle went in the fabric! I machine sewed the lining (added a pocket!) and then I hand stitched the lining into the purse "blind hem style." Took FOREVER, but I like the results.
yarn details
Moda Dea Cache in color 2347 Wink (lot# 784)

Bulky Weight
75% wool, 22% acrylic, 3% polyester
hand wash cold, dry flat
cost: $2.00/ 50 gram ball (on clearance)


"bamboo" purse handles, purchased at Joann's for $4.99
pendant purchased at Roberts, came with two small charms @ $3.00
lining fabric: yellow satin brocade @ $6.99/yard (purchased 3/4 yard)

project details
pattern: "Chinese Charm Bag" by Sylvia Mahoney on pg 169 in Stitch & Bitch, Debbie Stoller
gauge: apprx. 15x18 over 4" (recommended gauge: 12x18)
needles: 10.5 (?) circs.
hours: maybe 4? (2 hours knitting time, 2 hours finishing time)
total cost: $13

- added pocket to inside bag
- tied charm to handle with extra yarn instead of sewing it to the bag
- yarn sub & looser gauge (although gauge doesn't play much of a role here)

- lining measurements: 11.25'' x 16.5'', with 1/4'' seam allowances (pressed before sewing)
- pocket measurement: 11'' x 7''; I folded the fabric in half wrong sides out and sewed it "pillow style" leaving just an inch unsewn, then I turned it right side out and hand-sewed the last inch shut. Then I machine sewed the pocket into the lining. I had to do the pocket this way because the fabric frayed so badly that I didn't want any edges exposed anywhere on the pocket.

thoughts for the future...
- If I make this bag again I should leave room for bigger seam allowances - the small allowances were hard with this fabric (have I complained enough about the fabric yet??)
- I would also look into making the pocket snap shut - since this is an open top purse it would be good to have a place for private or valuable stuff.
- Finally, since the big charm came in a three pack with two small charms I should have made a matching sunglasses cases or change purse or something. There was tons of extra lining fabric and yarn... and what else am I going to do with those little charms??


  1. Do you have any Moda Dea Cache - Wink leftover? I am in need for a few yards to finish a hat.

  2. Yup! I have some left over. How much do you need? Should I email you at the addy on your profile?

  3. Hi, You stated that you got the coin from Roberts. Where is Roberts? Do you have a picture of the other side of the coin? I am tying to track down that specific coin. Please advise!!!!!