Princess Louise Bag 1917

Some 8 years ago I made this bag, my very first Irish crochet project. This is from a pattern published in 1917. I would like to make this bag again. I make a copy of the pattern here for you below. Let’s try making this bag. I will use crochet cotton thread size 8 in beige colour, and hook size 1.24mm. There are some minor errors in the pattern which I will try and point out in the step-by-step photos below.


The pattern starts with ch 10 and sl st in the first ch to make a ring.

Make ch 3 (count as dc) then make 23 more dc in the ring for a total of 24 dc. Sl st in first dc to join.

Ch 6 (count as dc and 3-ch), sk dc and dc in next dc, ch 3, sk dc, dc in next dc … and so on, making 12 3-ch spaces. End this row with ch 3, sl st in first dc to join.

This is the Third Round in the pattern – make 12 spokes.

Here the 12 spokes are completed and the next round of spokes will begin.

The next round of spokes is commenced at the back of the first spokes, catching the spokes on the 3-ch of the second round. See the pattern at Third Round.

The spokes being crocheted at the back of the first round of spokes.

The thread is cut at the end of Third Round. At Fourth Round, the thread is joined with a sc at the tip of one of the spokes. Ch 5, then sc in tip of next spoke and so on. Take care not to miss any spokes.

Here, all 24 spokes are joined at the tip with 5-ch spaces between them.

Fifth Round of Pattern – sl st to center of next sp, then a round of 3-dc groups separated by 3-ch is made, with an increase of two groups of 3-dc for each of the four corners.

Sixth Round of Pattern – the double picot stitch is made all around with an increase at the four corners. NOTE that the double picot pattern is such: ch 7, 1 sc in second ch made, ch 8, 1 sc in third ch made, ch 2, sc in next sp …

Seventh Round of Pattern – a second round of double picots is began.

Here the Seventh Round in progress. Fasten off at the end of Seventh Round.

At Eighth Round of Pattern, fasten the thread at corner picot with sc. Then a round of dc-ch 3-dc-ch 4 is made.

The Eighth Round in progress. Remember that this round is worked without widening at the corners.

Here, the last round of the bag is crocheted. Increase is made at the corners of the bag.

The finished piece, two of these are made, then joined at the sides as instructed in the pattern.

One side of the bag finished, the other side is begun.

The two sides of the bag are being joined here, along three edges of the bag, as instructed in the pattern.

The three edges of the bag are now joined together.

The “Border” section of the pattern is worked here. This is worked in rounds around the opening of the bag.

The Border around the opening of the bag is crocheted, then the “beading” is made. The “beading” is where the strings of the bag are woven through.

The Border/Beading crocheted all around the opening of the bag.

The discs and balls completed – ready for assembly.

I have lots of these – cheap nylon cords – good and strong and just the right thickness for the bag’s drawstrings.

The bag with the drawstrings, balls and discs – ready for assembly.

Crochet friend Natalia has these very useful notes about putting the ball and discs together with the drawstrings:

Pass the cord through the bag beading (by the way, that ‘second beading’ they talk about confused me, I had to check the photo to make sure I hadn’t missed a round of stitches), join ends of cord, attach discs to join, pass doubled cord through ball, put join in ball. I didn’t have any cord suitable so I made some with the same thread. I only used just over one bobbin to make the bag and trimmings, I thought I’d be using more! I’m joining the cord ends with a knot, which won’t loosen because I’m sewing the discs to the knot. Then once the knot is inside the ball, I fill it with cotton and tighten the hole a little, the knot will stay inside and won’t move, which I guess is the point of it all -hide the join and have only one of the sides of the cord slide inside the ball to loosen or tighten the bag.

This is the same fabric left over from the lining I used on the first bag I made years ago. It is not the best lining, perhaps, but I like that it is strong fabric.

The lining is drawn out in measurements same as the bag – with longer fabric at the opening of the bag.

Here is the lining all done – this will be sewn inside the bag along the opening just under the drawstrings.

My crochet friend Natalia gives the following helpful suggestions in making the lining for the bag:

The lining is quite simple: make it the same size as the outer bag. Do not fall in the temptation of making it smaller. Just two squares put together, sew together three sides, finish the fourth separately. Put inside the bag and secure. Tips: 
  • do the finishing on the mouth side first and it’ll look neater when you’re done. Since the bag is lace and it shows through, you want the public side of the lining on the outside, or better a fabric that’s reversible. 
  • Secure the lining along the lips of the bag; it takes tension out of the fabric. Also, attaching the lining at drawstring level ensures it will close and open along with the outer bag, which is more user friendly than having it stand alone. 
  • To make seams that look the neatest even if they’re visible, do French seams: sew pieces together face out, trim seams, turn inside out, seam again close to the first line of stitches. Turn again and place in bag. 
Natalia adds: Attaching the lining was less fussy than I expected. I placed a pocket book inside to keep it in place and sewed along the opening, just below the beading. I secured the corners too for stability. And yes, I chose to keep the reverse outside, like in the original model. Why? Because of the tendency of the spikes to curve this way. I thought it’d look better.

I made a knot near the end of the drawstrings so that the balls won’t slip out.

The finished Princess Louise Bag.


Princess Louise Crocheted Bag No. 275



Ch 10, sl st in first ch to make a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (count as dc), 23 dc in ring, sl st in first dc to join (24 dc made).

Rnd 2: Ch 6 (count as dc, 3-ch), sk second dc, dc in next dc, *ch 3, sk next dc, dc in next dc, rep fr * all around, ending with ch 3, sl st in first dc to join (12 3-ch sps made).

Rnd 3: Make 12 spokes as follows: *Ch 15, dc in fourth ch fr hook, dc in each remaining 11 dc, sl st in next dc of round 2; rep fr * all around. Now working behind the spokes, sl st in next 3-ch sp, **ch 15, dc in fourth ch fr hook, dc in each remaining 11 dc, sc in next 3-ch sp; rep fr ** all around (24 spokes made). Fasten off.

Rnd 4: Join thread to tip of spoke with sc, *ch 5, sc in tip of next spoke, rep fr * on all 24 spokes. End with ch 5, join with sl st to first sc.

Rnd 5: Sl st in 3-ch sp, ch 3 (count as dc), 2 dc in same sp, *ch 3, 3 dc in next sp; rep fr * three more times to make 3-dc in each of five sps; in next sp work (ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) to form a corner; **ch 3, 3 dc in next sp; rep fr ** four more times, in next sp work (ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) to form a corner; rep all around to make three corners ending with ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc in the last 3-ch sp to form the last corner; ch 3, sl st in first dc to join.

Rnd 6: Sl st back into the sp just after a the corner, ch 1, sc in same sp, then *ch 7, sc in in sixth ch fr hook to make a picot, ch 8, sc in fifth ch fr hook to make second picot, ch 2, this forms one set of picots; 1 sc in next 3-ch sp and rep fr * all around, widening by putting an extra set of picots in each corner. Sl st in first sc made to join.

Rnd 7: Sl st up to sp between two picots, ch 1, sc in same sp; proceed all around as in round 6. Fasten off.

Rnd 8: Fasten thread in sp at corner picot, ch 6 (count as dc, 3-ch), 1 dc in same sp, *ch 4, work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc) in the center sp of next picot and rep fr * all around, not widening at the corners.

Rnd 9: Sl st to sp between dc, ch 3 (count as dc), 2 dc in same sp, *ch 1, 3 dc in next sp; rep fr * all around, widening at the corners as in the fifth round. Ch, sl st in first dc to join. Fasten off. This completes one side of the bag. Make second side in the same manner.

JOINING Join the two sides of the bag by putting 1 sc through first sp of both sides, *ch 5, sc in second ch to form picot, ch 1, sc through next sp and rep fr * all around, putting an extra picot in each corner. Fasten off.

BORDER Sc in sp, *ch 4, sc in next sp, rep fr * all around. Then make a round of beading as follows: *Two treble crochet stitches in sp, ch, rep fr * all around. Fourth Round – One sc in sp, *ch 5, 1 sc in next sp and repeat fr * all around. Final Round – Same as the joining round.

DISCS Chain 4 and join in a ring. 8 sc in ring. Do not join Second Round – Two sc in each stitch taken through the double thread. Third Round – *Ch 3, 1 sc in each of the next 2 stitches and repeat from *. On four discs, ch 10. On two more discs, ch 13 and fasten off.

SLIP BALLS Chain 6 and join in a ring. 12 sc in ring. Second Round – Two sc in each stitch. Make 6 more rounds of 24 sc followed by 2 rounds skipping every third stitch. Fasten off but leave long end of thread. Slip ball on cord and after running the end of cord through the beading and fastening it firmly, fasten 3 discs on the joining, then slip ball over the joining, fill with cotton and draw up with the thread left. Run the second cord through the other beading and proceed as before, working from the other side of the bag to make the cords draw properly. Line the bag with pretty pink, blue or any other colour silk or pongee.


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