Saturday, 13 May 2017


free crochet bag pattern


This is a pattern I’ve written about two years back and at that time I’d made a flat clutch purse.  I am using the same pattern now to make a potli bag.. Smart gurrrl, right ;) !

Throw in the beads for a little bling and you have a lovely beaded bag for an evening out..or just to carry your mobile phone and keys.  The beauty of this bag is that you can make it in just about any size you want.

So what’s a Potli ? {poTali} = SWAGis the Hindi equivalent for Swag bag.
We will start our little potli bag from the base and work up to the top – so no drama here..let’s just start with this cute lil’ bag.

With this blog, you get a whole load of new bag ideas.. and if you like swag / potli bags, then you get a whole load of those ideas too.. check out the end of this blog J

Materials used : Polyester purse yarn in cones  , with a 3.5 mm crochet hook
This yarn has a 4-ply or sport ply thickness
For Non-Indians The yarn that I have used is probably not available internationally. I purchased mine at
 You can use any yarn of similar thickness.

Stitches used :

Magic circle : To refresh your skill, please view this easy video

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3,I’d like to introduce a lovely way of starting a double crochet row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using this chainless dc start.

How to carry your yarn along when using more than one colour :

How to make a rounded cord for the handle : View the video link below for a really simple way to make a rounded cord handle for your handbag.

How to make an I-cord : A neat way to make an I-cord in this video by June at

How to line the bag : View the link below to see how to easily line your handbag.

How to add beads in crochet :

Abbreviations used : (Using U.S terminology)
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                 sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                                     sp : Space                                 
sl-st : Slip stitch                                             ch : Chain
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                             hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                              

As usual, before we head off into our project, let’s take a quick look at what we’re working on today.  For our potli / swag bag, we’re going to start with a circular base and then work on a small edge (optional) as we finish our base.  We will then continue working in rounds for the top / sides of our bag. 
We will work our complete project in rounds.

You can add beads into your project at any time.  I have not added in any beads, but here’s what I suggest (if you want to add beads in).  Work a small swatch with just the pattern for the ‘sides / top’ of the bag, and calculate where you want your beads.  One pattern repeat for the sides will also give you the ‘length’ that you’re gaining, so you will be able to calculate how many rows of shelled pattern you need to reach the top, and accordingly you will be able to work in how many beads you need.
As always, please do add in more beads than you need or calculate for ..jus in case. 

Oh, and you can decide to work two colours in as well.  So mix n match colors, throw in beads and voila, you will have an exclusive creation.  Do remember to pay it forward and credit my blog for the inspiration and pattern, won’t you.. Karma and all that blah!

Right then..let’s now waste any more time.

Part 1 : Base of the Potli bag

Start with a magic circle and 8sc in that circle.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st sc. Pull lightly to close the magic circle.

You can work with sc / hdc or dc for the rounds.  It does not matter which stitch you choose, as we are only interested in reaching the diameter needed for your base. 
Remember though that I am writing this pattern for working with hdc, so if you decide to use any other stitch, you will need to work as many rounds as needed for your project accordingly.

Round 1 : 2 hdc in the 1st sc and in each sc all around.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

Round 2 : 2 hdc in the 1sthdc ; *hdc in the next hdc ; 2 hdc in the next hdc*. 
Rep *to* till end ;hdc in the last hdc.  Join with a sl-st to the 1sthdc.

Round 3 : 2 hdc in the 1sthdc ; *hdc in the next 2 hdc ; 2 hdc in the next hdc*. 
Rep *to* till end ;hdc in the last 2 hdc.  Join with a sl-st to the 1sthdc.

Round 4 :hdc in the 1st hdc and in each hdc all around.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st hdc.

Round 5 :  2 hdc in the 1sthdc ; *hdc in the next 3 hdc ; 2 hdc in the next hdc*. 
Rep *to* till end ;hdc in the last 3 hdc.  Join with a sl-st to the 1sthdc.

Rep Rounds 4 and 5, increasing by 8 sts every alternate round, ending with Round 5, till you have a base of the size you want for your bag.

Remember that increasing every alternate round means that your bag base grows slower
So if you want a faster diameter growth, then work the increase round every round.  This will also give a flatter, softer finish for the base.  See what works best for you with your yarn.

Next round : In this last round for the base, sc in back loops only (blo), so that we get an edge that will not just look good, but also hold the bag base down flat.
If you do not want the edge and are happy with the base size here, please end with Round 4 or 5 and start with the pattern for the sides / top.

Part 2 : Main body pattern for sides / top of potli bag

free crochet potli bag pattern

For the top / sides of our bag, we will continue without any increase in our shelled pattern. 

For convenience, I am going to re-number our rounds starting once again from 1.  Please do not confuse these rounds with the numbers above.  For all instructions that follow here, they are meant for this top/side section of your bag only.

Here are a few ideas before we start on the shelled pattern for the sides.  If you decide to work in one colour all through, then you just work without any yarn change.

If you decide to change colours, then you will work with the yarn color change(s) given below.  I am giving you an idea of how to change colours.  What you do (or what I have done) is totally up to you ;) .  Create and enjoy!

Round 1 : (Using same colour as base) : sc the 1st st ; *sk next 3 sts, 5 dc in the next st ; sk next 3 sts, sc in the next st* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st. 

If changing colours, attach your alternate or 2nd colour yarn now.
Round 2 : (Using alternate colour) : 5 dc the 1st sc ;
*sk next 2 dc, sc in the next dc ; sk next 2 dc , 5 dc in the next sc* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st. 

Change back to the base colour or 1st colour again.

Round 3 : (Using same colour as base) : sl-st past the 1st 2 dc , sc in the 1st next dc ;
*sk next 2 dc, 5 dc in the next sc ; sk next 2 dc, sc in the next dc* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st. 

Repeat Rounds 2 and 3 till you have a potli of the height / width you desire.

And that’s our pattern with two colours of yarn for you.  You can choose to add beads and you can also end with a picot on your last round.

Another twist will be to change the number of rows you work before changing colors.  So go ahead, explore, create and be different.

Before you end off, see if you are able to thread the rope through the spaces of the shells, else work a row of holes in the last round.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Finishing :

free crochet bag pattern

So we make our I-cord, thread it into the spaces ; line our bag and voila!
Check the top of this blog for lining “how to”.

We’re ready to show off this lovely creation too.

Enjoyed this ?? I sure did..come back right here for more freebie patterns J

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Have a great day and see you soon. J

You may want to take a look at some more beautiful and unusual bag / purse patterns.

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