Two Traveling Bags

Jun 7, 2006
Views: 33,381
Comments: 34


by Chloe Nightingale


Travelling Bag
Every year since I learned to crochet, I've made at least one of these bags, and although I'm always promising myself it will be the last one I make, I end up giving it to one of my friends (usually my sister, who must have a huge collection by now) and crocheting another one the next time I'm about to go traveling.

There are two bags in this pattern, the shoulder sling and the passport bag. The shoulder sling is one of those toss-everything-in-and-rummage-for-it-later bags, while the passport bag is designed to hold, well, a passport, travel documents, postcards, writing utensils, and maybe something small, like a tube of lipstick or your keys.

Materials List

For Shoulder Bag

  • 420 m/460 yds of Patons 100% Cotton DK, or a similar yarn, such as Tivoli Cruise DK
  • 3.75mm (US size F/5) hook
  • 3.25mm (US D/3) hook for edging
  • 12" x 24" material (to line the shoulder bag)
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing thread

For Passport Bag

  • Passport BagDMC Cebelia Crochet Cotton, size 20 (370 m/405 yds per 50 g), 1 skein, black.  I know black isn't very summery, but I wanted to make a bag that would match my traveling clothes and since my traveling clothes consist of whatever I shoved into my bag at the last minute, black is a safe bet for me.  Feel free to use whatever colour is the safest bet for you. Any size 20 thread can be substituted.
  • 1.50 mm (US size 8) steel hook or size needed to obtain gauge
  • 280 – 450 seed beads (see Passport Bag instructions, below, for options)
  • 5" x 14" material (to line the bag)
  • cord for strap (optional)
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing thread

Finished Size

Passport bag is 5" x 6.5"; shoulder bag is approximately 11" x 11" (will stretch if unlined). Strap length can be easily adjusted.


Shoulder Bag: 18 sts x 19 rows of sc = 4" x 4" (10cm x 10cm)

Passport Bag: 46 sts x 25 rows of dc = 4" x 4" (10cm x 10cm)

The Pattern

Shoulder Bag

This is a really simple pattern and can easily be adjusted to a different size, a different yarn, even a different stitch pattern. As long as you get the gist of how the bag works up, you should have no trouble making adjustments. For example, I made the bag in Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim Aran yarn and ended up with a 12" x 14" bag. The only bit of the pattern I had to adjust was the bottom - I decreased [sc2tog, sc 1] by 3 on each side instead of 5. I suggested cotton yarn for this bag because it does not stretch (the stitches themselves will give the bag a bit of stretch, however). If you do not want to make this bag using cotton, I would suggest lining the bag in a sturdy material and crocheting the finishing section in a cotton yarn. (I learned this the hard way a few years ago - the first shoulder bag I made was in a cotton/acrylic blend.  It stretched down to my knees and I was stuck carrying it around Seattle all afternoon!)


Foundation Row:  Ch 100. Taking care not to twist chain, sl st in first ch to form ring.

Sc in the round, in a spiral, for a total of 50 rows or until work measures about 10". 


[Instead of folding it in half and seaming it like a tote (and like the passport bag), this gives the bag a rounded oval-shaped bottom.]

Round 1.  *Sc2tog over next 2 sts, sc in next st,* rep from * to * 2 more times, sc in each of next 35 sts, rep from * to * 5 times, sc in each of next 35 sts, rep from * to * 2 times. (90 sts)

Round 2.  *Sc2tog over next 2 sts, sc in next st,* rep from * to * 2 more times, sc in each of next 30 sts, rep from * to * 5 times, sc in each of next 30 sts, rep from * to * 2 times. (80 sts)

Round 3.  *Sc2tog over next 2 sts, sc in next st,* rep from * to * 2 more times, sc in each of next 25 sts, rep from * to * 5 times, sc in each of next 25 sts, rep from * to * 2 times. (70 sts)

Round 4.  *Sc2tog over next 2 sts, sc in next st,* rep from * to * 2 more times, sc in each of next 20 sts, rep from * to * 5 times, sc in each of next 20 sts, rep from * to * 2 times. (60 sts)

Round 5.  *Sc2tog over next 2 sts, sc in next st,* rep from * to * 2 more times, sc in each of next 15 sts, rep from * to * 5 times, sc in each of next 15 sts, rep from * to * 2 times. (50 sts)

Seam: Turn inside out, seam bottom edges tog with sl st. I like the look of the blo sl st (where you sl st the inner loops tog), but use whatever you please. Fasten off, weave in ends. Turn right side out.


The strap is worked on the top of the bag, using the other side of the foundation chain.

Row 1. Lay bag flat to roughly gauge the “side edge”. Count 7 sts back from the left edge, attach yarn, ch 1, sc in same st as join and in each of the next 14 sts, ch 1, turn. (15 sts)

Row 2. Sc in each st across to last two sts, sc2tog over last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (14 sts)

Rows 3-10: Repeat Row 2, ending Row 10 with 6 sts.

Row 11. Sc in each st across, ch 1, turn. (6 sts)

Repeat Row 11 112 more times (or more, if you prefer a longer strap). (Note: this strap will stretch a bit -- my finished strap measured 33" after wearing the bag around a few times.)

Row 12. Sc in each st across to last st, 2 sc in last stitch, ch 1, turn. (7 sts)

Rows 13-20. Repeat Row 12, ending Row 20 with 15 sts.

On opposite side of where the strap began, sl st edge to foundation chain leaving 35 foundation ch spaces between straps on both sides.

Note: there is no need to fasten off; begin finishing at this point.


Sc into each of the 35 foundation ch sts between the strap ends. Using a smaller hook (this helps counter strap stretching), sc along edge of strap (working one sc for each row), sl st in 1st sc, fasten off, weave in ends.  Repeat for other side.

Passport Bag

This bag kills two birds with one stone as it's a good introduction to both thread crochet and crocheting with beads. If you've never done it before, crocheting with thread takes a little getting used to. My first attempts were a little wonky, but I got used to it with a little practice. This bag is done entirely in dc and believe me, after crocheting all 96 rows, you will have your tension and gauge down!

Bead crochet is easy -- to work the dcb stitch, start as you would a regular dc: yo, insert hook into stitch, yo, pull through, as you do the next yo, slip a bead onto the bit of thread that you're yarning-over (see Figure 1), and finish the stitch as you normally would (pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through 2 loops).

Figure 1
Figure 1

There are two ways to do make this bag, the hardcore bead way, where the entire bag is beaded, and the easy bead way, where only the front of the bag is beaded.  

Preparation: String 450 seed beads onto the thread for hardcore way or 280 beads for the easy way.


Foundation: Ch 61, turn.

Row 1. Dc in fourth ch from hook, dc in each st across, turn. (59 sts)

Row 2. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in each of next 4 sts, *dcb in next st, dc in each of next 5 sts,* repeat from * to * 8 more times, turn.

Row 3. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in each st across, turn.

Row 4. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in next st, *dcb in next st, dc in each of next 5 sts,* repeat from * to * 8 more times, dcb, dc in each of next 2 sts, turn.

Row 5. Repeat Row 3.

For hardcore:  Repeat rows (2-5) 24 times (for a total of 96 rows).

For easy: Repeat rows (2-5) 10 times, ending last repeat on Row 4 (for a total of 40 rows), repeat Row 3 for 45 rows, and repeat Rows (2-5) 3 times, ending last repeat on Row 4 (for a total of 12 rows).


Fold at 42nd row from foundation chain, sc sides together, working 2 sc in each dc row, for 42 rows. The remaining material is the front flap. To finish the flap, sc along the sides, working 2 sc in each dc row. Fasten off. Weave in ends.


The easiest way to put a strap on the bag is to sew a cord to the top corners of the bag. A more time-consuming way, however, is to crochet the strap:

Ch 5, turn.

Row 1. Sk 3 ch (counts as 1st dc), dc in each of next 2 sts, turn. (3 dc).

Row 2. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in each of next 2 sts, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until strap is desired length. Note: unlike the shoulder bag, this strap should not stretch too much, as this is a much smaller bag and will not be carrying as heavy a load.)

Attach straps to top corners of the bag (wherever you like, I prefer to attach them on the foundation chain) with sc. Weave in ends.

Lining the bags

Lining the bags is easy if you know how to sew and easier still if you are armed with a sewing machine and know how to use it. Simply fold the lining material in half, sew up the sides, slip the lining into your bag, and sew the top of the lining to the top of the bag!

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+ Add a comment


applehill wrote
on Jun 24, 2006 7:02 AM

I can't wait to try these!!!

maryse wrote
on Jun 24, 2006 7:24 AM

these look great. and i'll definitely make some.

Genny wrote
on Jun 24, 2006 9:22 AM

These are great! I can't wait to start one!

crochetmeMom wrote
on Jun 24, 2006 3:29 PM

I am definitely going to make the passport bag! And we all know that I am compulsive,so once I finish my second shawl, this is my new project! Would this work with Rowan calmer? I have 2 skeins that are staring at me!

cris wrote
on Jun 24, 2006 4:03 PM

i love the shoulder bag. i might try a couple in stripes or striped shell stitches. of course, now that i'm thinking about it, i'll have to try different yarns, too. oh my, i think i have my summer projects now.

on Jun 24, 2006 9:54 PM

Hi Mom! The passport bag calls for pretty thin thread, so your Calmer yarn will be too heavy for it. But you could always adapt the pattern...

crochetmeMom wrote
on Jun 25, 2006 11:42 AM

HiDaughter! To adapt the pattern....if I use pattern as is, wouldn't the bag just be a bit larger? That would work for me.

on Jun 25, 2006 2:26 PM

Yes, it would be quite a bit larger - so large, in fact, that I'd be concerned two balls of Calmer won't be enough. My recommendation is to do a gauge swatch, and adjust the pattern based on the proportion between the number of stitches/rows you get to 4 inches with Calmer to the number of stitches/rows Chloe lists in the gauge section of the pattern.

kathc wrote
on Jun 26, 2006 4:42 PM

i love your bags got to give them a try , glad you've moved to glasgow my home town best place in the world ,

Barb wrote
on Jun 30, 2006 4:32 PM

I love these bags!! I can't wait to make them, thanks for the patterns!

Lynne wrote
on Jul 6, 2006 12:02 PM

To change it up a bit, I'm taking a wool, worsted weight yarn (for the larger bag) and crocheting as the pattern says, then, I'll felt it and line it. It works out well because in crocheting it as the pattern is written, it is coming out bigger, so that when I felt it, it will be exactly the size I want it to be. I'm so excited to use it on my vacation in December to Florida!

TheresaI wrote
on Jul 11, 2006 3:34 PM

I was thinking of doing the same thing. I love the look of the finished product when felted. How much yarn did you use?

Lynne wrote
on Jul 12, 2006 7:24 AM

I've finished the bag part of it and I've used probably close to 400 yards. I haven't done the strap yet, but I'll let you know when I'm totally finished!

Theresa I wrote
on Jul 14, 2006 3:08 PM

I've finished crocheting mine and it is in the washer felting as we "speak". When I checked it, it was quite long and narrow. I will try to stretch it out a bit width-wise in the drying phase. I used a large skein at 465 yards and had to go out and buy another. I only used a little from that one. My stitches were fairly loose. I can't wait to see what it looks like. I think I'll get a lot of use out of it. Have you found some fun ways to decorate your felting projects?

Lynne wrote
on Jul 14, 2006 6:03 PM

I think I'll end up having used the same amount as you. I'm edging the strap right now, but I'm afraid to use my apartment washing machiene to felt it, so it will be a couple of days before I can use my mom's. Her washer is a front-loading machine--will that be a problem? This will be my first attempt at felting. Mine will be taking on a "Mickey" theme--I'm looking for Mickey Mouse fabric to line it with and then I am going to use more of my black wool to crochet a Mickey head that I plan on felting seperately and sewing onto the bag. We're a little "Disney Crazy" around here!

applehill wrote
on Jul 15, 2006 12:52 PM

I made the passport bag in green with a size F hook. I came out a little holier that I expected but I do like it a lot.

applehill wrote
on Jul 15, 2006 12:53 PM

can you post a pic somewhere? I'll try & remember to come back & see if you did!

Theresa I. wrote
on Jul 15, 2006 10:14 PM

I don't know what the difference is between the types of washers. My washer at home is a top loading one. I stuffed it into a lingerie bag at first with some towels but it was too small. I ended up putting it in the washer all by itself.

I'd love to try and line it, too, but trust my crochet/felting skills more than my sewing skills. I do have a picture but do not know how to include it here.

Chloe Nightingale wrote
on Jul 22, 2006 1:22 PM

OH! I would love to see the bag. Would you mind emailing me a picture when it's finished?* My mom is a huge Disney fan.

*Same goes fot anybody else who's made the bags! :D

Lynne wrote
on Jul 23, 2006 11:51 AM

I sure will!!! I'm having a heck of a time finding fabric for the inside, but I also haven't been over to Joann Fabric yet. I also haven't felted it yet, but once I finished the body of the bag, I needed a little break. Hopefully, I'll be done in the next week.

Chloe Nightingale wrote
on Jul 23, 2006 7:24 PM

I don't think I mentioned this before, but the *original* big traveling bag was for a trip to Disney World. I have a fun pic I took of myself wearing it at the Polynesian Village. I think I have a picture of my husband wearing it during that trip.. They're somewhere on my computer. I should dig them up!

Lynne wrote
on Jul 28, 2006 11:14 AM

It's funny you would say that because I'm making it for OUR trip to Disney World in December!!! I was working on felting it the other day, but I think I need to give it one more "run though". What is really bothering me is not being able to find fabric to line it with. I just can't seem to find any simply Mickey Mouse fabric!!!ARRRGH!!!

Anonymous wrote
on Jul 29, 2006 4:07 PM

This is a great pattern, I can't wait to finish it. Thanks Chloe.

Eve wrote
on Aug 7, 2006 1:04 AM
I can't wait to try this out thanks for sharing the pattern Chloe.

And my sister is going to absolutely love it too!!

Then my Mum will want one and the list will go on...soon everyone here in Tasmania will want one.....we are very much shopping greenies here and this bag is perfect for the markets.....

Lynne wrote
on Aug 29, 2006 3:11 AM

Hello Chloe

I have a much loved cardigan which is crocheted however I snagged it and it started to unravel. I dont know anyone who can repair it....can you do it or can you recommend anyone? My grandma was great at crochet but sadly she died a few years ago. I hope you can help. I live and work in the West End

Chloe Nightingale wrote
on Aug 30, 2006 12:33 PM
Hey Lynne,
Can you shoot me an email with a picture of the cardigan's damaged bit so I can assess the damage?


Tequoia wrote
on Jan 1, 2007 5:16 PM

hi im looking for a bigger bag since i have my own laptop and i was wondering if u can help me find a pattern for that kind of bag or make up a pattern? thanks!

Rachel wrote
on Feb 7, 2007 6:14 PM

I have been searching for a bag just like that to make, the problem is I am so new at crocheting, I have almost no idea at some of the terms and it is really hard for me to follow. help?

I love the pattern though! it looks gorgeous!

on Jul 3, 2008 9:00 AM
I've learned how to crochet since I was 10 but later I gave it up. I think I still have the skill to try to make on of these bags. Thanks for the idea.

Royal Caribbean

young_one wrote
on Jul 14, 2008 1:49 PM

I love this bag. I think that it would make a very good book bag plus crochet bag. Yeah

young_one wrote
on Jul 17, 2008 8:15 PM

Hi mad this pattern with some big thick chunkey yarn (it was some thing like lionbrand homespun. I bought it at a yard sale 4 $.50 it came with 3 other balls) it turned great I did make a few changes to the pattern.

Thands wrote
on Feb 24, 2009 5:54 PM

Thank you so much for this pattern! Soon, I will be traveling and will now have a place to stash my passport, camera, sunglasses, room key... You get the picture. Anyway, great idea, and well-written instructions. Thanks!

Linda@479 wrote
on Jun 12, 2009 9:11 PM

Absolutely fabulous!!! I can't wait to start on the passport bag, taking a trip in 2 weeks w/my granddaughter to FL. They will be perfect!!! Thanks!!!

ms.karen wrote
on Oct 14, 2010 8:42 AM

Does anyone have a picture of what the finished product looks like for the passport bag?  The picture here doesn't seem to be loading.  I'm very interested in making one, but I'd love to see what the finished product looks like first!  Thanks.  :)