Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Fat Bottom Bag: A Tale of Two Too's

The fat bottom bag was one of the first in what is now an extremely long and ever-growing list of crochet patterns I obsessed over.  After spending hours looking at photos of every finished project I could find, I decided that I wanted one in every color and, as any crafter's wont to do, almost immediately began hoarding the yarn I needed to see the dream through. To give you a rough idea of what that colorful dream looked like in my brain, here's a photo of one of my favorite versions of the bag, made by Anna of Anna Virginia Fashion:

Photo used with permission
Thanks to Samantha Margano's free Fat Bag pattern (English translation here), I've since made two fat bottom bags for myself, each of which I've already been able to use once. Here they are in action, in optimal-angle (granted, blurred and dim) glory.


And yes, there's a reason why the "optimal angle" shots are ones that show them at rather hard-to-make-out angles.  It's because the size of each is nowhere near what I want them to be.  Teal Fat Bottom Bag came out on the small side and is rather floppy (having been crocheted at a loose gauge), whereas Yellow Fat Bottom Bag is too big, or perhaps I should say gargantuan.  (Yet another blurred image coming right up, this one's blurred to a point of photographic unacceptability but I feel I have to include a more truthful representation of the bag and this is the only one I have on file).

my fat bottom bag version


Perhaps the worst part about the wrong turns I made with these two bags is that they were either deliberate deviations I'd made from the pattern or due to important steps I'd skipped in my eagerness to be working on the actual project.  If only I'd paid attention to gauge! If only I hadn't added those extra stitches! And most importantly: if only I'd had a clearer idea of how big it was supposed to turn out anyway!

That said, I hope I've made it clear that the errors were my own and not the pattern's.  Really, if you like to make bags, you should try making this one.  It's simple, clever and guaranteed to present new insights about bag construction. Which is why I must soon try my hook at another fat bottom bag in the near stash-busting future, during which I resolve to:

  • Crochet a swatch.  I'd prefer the resulting fabric to be on the sturdy, un-drapey side as this will show the gathers of the bag better.
  • Work out the final dimensions in inches or centimeters (on an aside, may I ask, which do you prefer to use?)
  • Make every necessary computation.
  • Come up with a formula to share with everyone.  

So just you wait, you elusive Fat Bottom Bag, you. I'll have the better of you yet.

12 comments:

  1. I love your descriptions...hehe...the teal and yellow bags turned out well and I congratulate you! Having projects that somehow disappoint you is very helpful in making you determined to come up with more projects that will make you happy. I should know, I have a closetful of projects that I'm not exactly proud of. But some of it I got to like after some years ;)

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    1. Oo nga Mimi, eh, I've only recently just learned the advantages to not frogging a project right away however disappointing it is. Especially kung sizing yung problem, kasi meron ka nang perfect large-scale gauge swatch. And you can always frog it when you need the thread.

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  2. Swatching... It's such a pain to do, but it's necessary! XD

    I love these bags! Galing mo! I always use BIG bags whenever I go out cos I like bringing my whole room around with me hehe. What hook size did you use?

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    1. For the yellow fat bag, I used an 8.0mm hook to crochet two strands of Red Heart acrylic yarn. It used up a lot of yarn. (Like, 28 of those small balls they're sold in.) For the teal bag, I used a hook my boyfriend carved out of chopstick for me, the size is somewhere around 4.0 or 4.5 mm. :)

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    2. 28 balls of RH o_O

      And it's awesome that your boyfriend carved a hook for you! That's so sweet :) It feels good when the people closest to you support your crafting.

      The meet-up is just a couple of days away and I'm envious... I hope you'll be posting about it after! Haha pressure! :)

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    3. Awww, it's too bad I won't be seeing you there. :(

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  3. I tried to fat bottom bag from the Happy hooker book before, I didn't make any progress on it. I just can't understand that main stitch on the pattern... I tried one of those fat bottom bag from Pierrot ravelry page, the same one that ate mimi used, but it turned out too small for my taste. I frogged it and made adjustments, but I still don't like the output even if it's bigger hahaha
    There is another fat bottom bag from keito dama magazine.. that one is a handbag type, I also like it but I fear that if I made adjustments to the yarn and hook,it will not look like what is has to look like ahahaaha so I gave up making a fat bottom bag :) I like your bag, that one in the bottom though, even if you said it is too big. I like big bags, because I want a bag that i can put a lot of things in. Don't give up on it as I did :) Maybe we can put up a CAL for a fat bottom bag in our forums :) Once we are both ready to give it a try ehehheeh

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    1. Thanks Bheng for the comment! The yellow fat bag was just a bit too big for me, but my mom really liked it so I agreed to sell it to her. She's my loyal customer too, hehe.

      With the teal bag, I used the herringbone stitch called for in the pattern, but I was only able to manage thanks to a video someone uploaded in youtube. The yellow bag is done in hdc, and I think it's a good substitute, the texture the stitch creates seems to go well with the chubbiness of the bag.

      A CAL sounds like a great idea, I love the handbag version too! But what I really want to make right now is a bag with the exact same dimensions as your wine bobble bag! :)

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  4. how to make it bigger (based on the diagram)? increase in the middle or increase on the right and left?

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    1. Hello! I started with 9 sts in the center section between the increases. This made the bag deeper.

      To make the bag wider, you can crochet more of the brown rows in the diagram (i.e., the rows where no increases are made). Hope this helps! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

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  5. OMG I love your personality!!!! I LOVE the bags you made! Especially the big yellow one!!! I am currently working on a flat bottom bag, and although it seems easily written down on paper, the calculations seem to be off :) Keep up the good work and I hope to see your bags that you are completely happy with... when finished

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    1. Hi Connie, thanks for dropping by my little dormant blog! The fat bottom bag is such a cute design, I never get tired of looking of variations and I would love to see your take on it as well. Please feel free to add me up in Ravelry if you've an account there, my user name is catyanna! :)

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