Whenever I go away for the weekend I like to take a fun bag around town with me. The colors make me happy and its unique look makes it harder for me to leave behind. I’ll use it to tote my wallet, souvenirs, snacks, bottled water, local maps, a camera, a small knitting project — anything I think I might need while I’m out.
And even if you don’t have plans for weekend away, make yourself a Cape May and add a little burst of color to your every day errands.
12″ x 14″ including knit trim
Lily Sugar ‘n Cream (100% cotton; 200 yards [184 meters]/4 oz): Color Ecru, 1/3 ball
24 5″ squares of coordinating fabric (a charm pack works well)
2 fat quarters for lining
1 fat eighth for strap
2/3 yard medium weight iron on interfacing
US #6 (4.0 mm) or size to get gauge: 24″ circular
20 sts and 24 rows = 4″ in St st
Tapestry needle; machine sewing thread
Please see our standard list of abbreviations.
The fabric portion of the bad is sewn first, and then the knit top is made and attached by handsewing it to the fabric.
All seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted.
Cape May Chart
This bag works well with a charm pack of coordinating fabrics (5″ x 5″ squares). If you’re starting with yard goods, cut 24 coordinating 5″ squares.
Arrange the squares into two 3 squares by 3 squares rectangles (one for each bag side). Sew the squares to each other with right sides together by sewing the squares into vertical strips of 3 squares each. Press seams open. Sew each strip to its neighbor strip for each side of the bag, ending with two panels of 3 squares by 3 squares each. Press seams open.
Cut interfacing to fit each side and apply to to wrong side of each panel.
Top stitch along both the left of right side of each seam a scant 1/4″ in from each side of the seam.
Then, take both panels with right sides together and sew down one side, along the bottom, and up the other side. Trim corners and turn inside out. Press seams.
Cut 2 rectangles of fabric 13.75″ x 13.75″. With right sides together, sew down one side, along the bottom, and up the other side. Press seams; do not turn inside out.
Cut 2 strips of fabric 3″ x 15-1/4″. With right sides together, sew one of the short ends together to make a single strip 3″ x 30″. Press open. Fold fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. Fold under each raw long raw edge to it meets the fold that you just made. Press under. You should now have a strip that is 4 thicknesses of fabric and is 3/4″ x 30″.
Edge stitch both sides of the strap.
Baste the strap to the top of the bag at each side seam with the raw edge of the strap matching up with the raw edge of the panels, taking care not to twist the strap.
Attach the Lining
Slip the lining (with right sides facing in) over the outer bag (with right sides facing out). The outer panel and the lining will be facing each other and the strap will be in between the two layers. Pin the panel to the lining.
Starting approx 1.5″ in from the center front of one of the panels sew around the top of the bag leaving a 3″ gap.
Turn the bag right side out and slip the lining inside the bag. Press the fold where the lining meets the bag. Pin the turning gap closed and edge stitch around the entire top of the bag, closing the gap.
CO 120 sts and join for working in the rnd, taking care not to twist. Work 6 reps around of Cape May chart.
Weave in ends.
Attach knitted top to fabric matching each repeat of the knitted edging to a seam in the bag. Tack down lower edge of knitted piece every half repeat to create scalloped bottom.
About the Designer: Jody Richards
Jody is a lifelong knitter, long-time knit blogger, and the founder of Knotions. She learned to sew even before she learned how to knit and enjoyed designed these combo projects more than she ever imagined. She lives in New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia, and can’t wait for the day she can call Philly her home again.
Pattern and images © 2009 Jody Richards.