This is a free crochet pattern for a Southwest inspired crochet crossbody bag. This pattern uses worsted weight yarn and waistcoat stitches for a solid, non-stretch fabric.  

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Tapestry Crochet Crossbody Bag Pattern

I am not much of a purse girl, but when my son and I take day trips, it’s always nice to have a crossbody bag to carry our things in. Preferably,  I always opt for a crossbody style bag as it’s truly a hands free option. There is nothing to hold. I don’t have to deal with a purse that’s always sliding off my shoulders. Win-win if you ask me. 

Although I am practical when it comes to my accessories, I do still love a good eye-catching bag. The contrast of colors and fringe on the bottom are two elements I wanted to make sure to include in this design. 

FREE CROCHET CROSSBODY BAG PATTERN

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Southwest Crossbody Bag Free Crochet Pattern

The Waistcoat Stitch

I chose the waistcoat stitch for this pattern for three reasons: One, I love knit-like stitches. Two,  color changes in tapestry crochet are cleaner. Three, the waistcoat stitch creates a solid, non-stretch fabric that is perfect for crochet bags. 

I don’t know about you, but I avoid sewing at all costs. If there is an alternative to sewing, I will take it every time. If there is no alternative to sewing, I will make an alternative! 😆 

Using the waistcoat stitch for this bag means that I don’t have to sew a bag lining inside. It also ensures that my bag will not stretch, nor will things fall out in between stitches when using my bag. Not having to sew a lining is another win for me.

Wanna watch my most popular YouTube tutorial? Learn how to make a Boho Wine Tote:

Free Crochet Pattern for the Tapestry Crossbody Bag

MATERIALS:

  • Approximately 5 oz. worsted weight acrylic yarn for main color. Approximately 3  oz. worsted weight acrylic yarn for contrasting color.
  • I-9 (5.50mm) crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle

SKILL LEVEL:

  • Intermediate. This pattern uses tapestry crochet and the maker should already have basic knowledge of how to do this.

PATTERN NOTES:

  • This pattern is written using standard US crochet terms.
  • This bag pattern is worked in the round and the strap is worked in turning rows.
  • The chain 1 at the beginning of each round does not count as a stitch.
  • Photo tutorials for color changes are included below.
  • The waistcoat stitch requires the makers to have very loose tension! You may need to do a few rows to get into the swing of it first. I have included photo tutorials and detailed instructions below.

Southwest Crossbody Bag Free Crochet Pattern

STITCHES USED AND ABBREVIATIONS (US TERMS):

  • ch = chain
  • st/sts = stitch/stitches
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • sc = single crochet
  • ws = waistcoat stitch
  • MC = main color
  • CC = contrasting color

The Waistcoat Stitch:

The Waistcoat Stitch is a knit look stitch that requires loose tension. However, it’s quite simple – it’s just a single crochet! The only difference is where you make the stitch. The most important tip I can give you is to make sure you make this stitch with very loose tension! Otherwise, this will be a very frustrating experience for you. I suggest making a few rounds first just to get the hang of it. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO TUTORIALS.

GAUGE:

  • gauge is not important for this bag but this is what my gauge is: 4″ square working the waistcoat stitch = 10 ws x 11 rows (worked with 5.5 mm hook)

FINISHED SIZE:

  • Approximately 14″ x 14 although depending on your gauge it might be slightly different.

Waistcoat Stitch Photo Tutorials:

WAISTCOAST STITCH PHOTO TUTORIALS: crochet crossbody bag pattern.

Normally, we insert our hook under the loops on top.

WAISTCOAST STITCH PHOTO TUTORIALS: crochet crossbody bag pattern.

Instead, you will insert your hook in between the V or ‘legs’ of the stitch. Here, I’ve inserted my needle behind the V so you can see better what I’m talking about.

WAISTCOAT STITCH TUTORIAL: crochet crossbody bag pattern.

Here, I’ve inserted my needle in the center of the V to show you exactly where you will be inserting your hook to make the stitch.

Working the Waistcoat Stitch in Turning Rows:

When making the strap, you will be working the waistcoat stitch in turning rows.  Making the waistcoat stitch for turning rows can be a bit different. You will still make the stitch the same way – in the center of the V – but since you are working in turning rows instead of the round, you will be making the stitches on the other side now and it can be more tricky to spot the V.

It’s almost more important to make sure your tension is even looser when working in turning rows. Trying to insert your hook through the V in the backend of a stitch can be very frustrating if your tension isn’t loose enough!

How to work the Waistcoat stitch - crochet crossbody bag.

It looks like an upside down V from the wrong side. I’ve inserted my needle behind it to show it better. You will insert your hook in between the legs of this upside down V when working the waistcoat stitch on the wrong side.

How to Change Color in Crochet:

Color changes are actually quite simple! When you see on the graph that you need to change color, here’s what you’ll do: When making the stitch before the color change, only make the stitch halfway. So, insert your hook into the stitch and draw up a loop. Before you yarn over again…! Drop your working yarn, pick up the contrasting color and draw through the loops with that. Now you’re ready to work the next stitch with the new color! You will repeat this process to change back to your original color.

COLOR CHANGE STITCH TUTORIAL for the crochet crossbody bag.

A couple things when crocheting with multiple colors:

  • Always ‘carry’ the other color so it’s easily accessible when it’s time to start using it. To carry the yarn, you simply lay it across the stitches and work your stitches over them so they are actually crocheted into the project. Whether you are using the MC or the CC, always carry the color you aren’t using.
  • To keep your yarn from getting tangled: always drop your yarn the same way each time you change colors. For example, when switching to the CC, always drop the MC to the back of your work. When changing back to your MC, always drop the CC to the front of your work.

Want more southwest inspired patterns? Check out these designs:

Instructions for the Crochet Crossbody Bag:

The color graph starts from round 1, even though I have written instructions for rounds 1 and 2. So you can either start using the color graph right from the start OR you can use the written instructions for rounds 1 and 2 – just make sure that you start from round 3 on the color graph if you do it this way.

using the main color, ch 72, join with a sl st to first ch being careful not to twist it. ch 1. (72 ch)

Round 1: sc in same ch as ch 1 and in each st around. (make sure your tension is nice and loose) join with a sl st to the first st, ch 1. (72 sc)

Round 2: ws in first st and in each st around. Join with a sl st to first st, ch 1 (72 ws)

From here, you will continue to do each round as round 2 but you will now use the graph make sure to start from round 3 on the graph if you started with the written instructions (scroll down for the graph) for the remainder of this pattern. At the end of each round, make sure to always join with a sl st to first st and ch 1. Your stitch count should always be 72 at the end of each round.

Closing the Bottom of the Crochet Crossbody Bag

Fold your bag so the design is in the center on both sides. Insert your hook through the front and back stitches. Pull up a loop and ch 1. Sc in same set of sts. Continue to sc through front and back sts all the way across. Fasten off. Rather than weave in the end, you can add it to the fringe.

How to close the bag bottom - Cactus Crochet Wall Hanging-2
How to close the bag bottom - Cactus Crochet Wall Hanging-2
How to close the bag bottom - Cactus Crochet Wall Hanging-2

Making the Strap for the Crochet Crossbody Bag

ch 99 loosely or to your desired length.

Row 1: make a sc in the 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. ch 1, turn.

Row 2: make a sc in first st, ws in next st and in each st across. ch 1, turn. This is the most challenging row working the ws. So it’s super important to make your stitches loosely! After this row, it’s easier, I promise 🙂

Rows 3-6: repeat row 2.

Using a tapestry needle, sew each end of the strap to your bag. Fasten off and weave in any loose ends.

How to Add the Fringe to your Crochet Crossbody Bag

  1. Cut one piece of yarn 16″ long. Cut in half.
  2. Line both pieces up together and fold in half. You will now have 4 pieces of “fringe” at the bottom.
  3. With your crochet hook, pull the loop through the first stitch at the bottom of your bag.
  4. Pull the fringe ends through the loop tightly to secure it. Trim the ends to make it even all the way across.

How to read the color graph for the Crochet Crossbody Bag:

Each square on the graph represents one stitch. Just as we crochet from right to left, the graph is to be read from right to left for each round. The graph is shown flat, but you will be working in the round. To keep the graph small and easier to read, you will start from round 1, square 1 and repeat the sequence for the duration of the round.

*Please note: to keep the graph at a manageable size, this is only half of it. To make each entire round, you will work through the graph twice. For example, start from square 1 and work all the way to square 36 – you are now halfway around. Start over at square 1 again to finish the round.

Color graph for the crochet crossbody bag.

Once you have finished closing your bag, adding the strap and fringe, be sure to weave in any loose ends. Your crochet crossbody bag is now ready to use!

If you love this pattern, please be sure to tag me @spottedhorsedesignco on social media. I adore seeing your makes!

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These photos are the property of Spotted Horse Design Co. This tutorial is for your personal use only. Please do not copy/paste, distribute, or alter and claim as your own.

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