After 3 weeks of knitting, sewing, photographing, pattern and tutorial preparation, here is the Entrelac Messenger Bag I did from the rectangle piece of woven-look I have shown you… Yippee, I am completely thrilled of its outcome, never thought it could turn out so perfect and practical.
At first, I just blindly made the entrelac piece without knowing what to do with it. A few options ran through my mind… I could make a different kind of bags, cushion or throw pillow cover, maybe join a few pieces to become a baby blanket…. but ended up with an Entrelac Messenger Bag.
I added long straps which act as a gusset for the bag. Added a side pocket to house my giant smartphone. This time I don’t want to sew any zipper, instead I fold the bag down as a closure, so I needed another 2 smaller pieces of gusset for the fold down. I always love to line my bag and this time I made a center divider plus a pocket in the bag. The divider inside the Entrelac Messenger Bag is great for holding books and flat item like documents.
Entrelac Messenger Bag
Dimension & Pattern: Download pdf document here.
Bag: 12″ (W) x 14″ (H) x 4″ (D) (fold down and exclude strap)
To convert the measurement, please use the Conversion tool here.
Materials & Tools:
1. Yarn, Lion Brand, Lion Cotton Yarn/color: Natural (beige) #760-098 & Evergreen #760-180, qty= 2 balls for each color.
2. Knitting needle & crochet hook (if needed), 4.5mm
3. Lining & pocket fabric, 1 yard
4. Divider fabric, 1/2 yard
5. Tapestry needle
6. Sewing machine and kits
k = knit
p = purl
1. Bag body – entrelac stitch (click here for the details). I used 6 stitches per pattern instead of 5 shown in the videos.
2. Strap & Gusset – seed stitch, Row 1: *k1, p1; rep from * Row 2: *p1, k1; rep from *
3. Gussets – seed stitch, 2 pieces
4. Pocket – k6 row (beige), *p2 row (green), p1 row (beige), k5 row (beige)* Repeat * 5 times.
1. If you are using different yarn weight that has different knit tension/gauge as mine, you may adapt your own number of stitches and rows to make up the size.
2. The last row of the entrelac will be wider than the first row, some stitch reduction is needed when sewing together.
3. Adjust the strap dimension to your preference. Since the strap can get elongated when use, remember to stretch it and measure the longest length it can get.
4. Block each knitted piece to the nearest dimension on the pattern or as per your knit tension gauge. Don’t skip this step
5. Due to the cotton yarn I used, the bag is a little heavy than I thought. You may substitute it with other similar yarn weight.
Knit 5 pieces according to the pattern sheet.
The arrow indicates the knitting direction for each piece.
Adjust the length of the strap to your preference, do remember to include 2 x 14″ of gussets length on the strap. Note that the strap can get elongated when use, remember to stretch it when measure.
Place the gussets at the sides of the bag, align the top with the right edge of the entrelac bag (please note the arrow of the knitting direction).
Mark the stitch on the first row of entrelac bag that aligns with the bottom of the gusset. Mark the same to the last row of the entrelac bag, aka, if it is a little more than 2 triangles on the first side, the other side must also mark at a little more than 2 triangles.
Join gussets to the entrelac bag with mattress stitch. The joining doesn’t have to be in 1:1 stitch, as the knit tensions of entrelac and seed stitch, are not the same. Adjust as you sew and make sure they are sewn evenly.
Click here to see how to do mattress stitch.
You may sew the strap to make it thinner, otherwise, wide strap gives a different style too. It is absolutely optional.
If you prefer to sew it up, join both edges together then make a stitch to the middle of the straps about 2″ interval just to keep the strap flat and neat. Again, don’t pull the sewing yarn too tight to cater for the stretching, but not too loose either.
To stop the strap being stretchy, you may add a fabric strip and sew to the inner side of the strap or hide inside the sewn strap.
Prepare the lining of the entrelac bag but this is optional. You may leave the bag without lining if you are not a sewer. Neaten up the yarn ends and the bag is ready for use.
However, the knitted bag is always better if it has a lining, you can put heavier belonging and don’t have to worry about the stretching that leads to a funny shape, or, something small and pointy pokes out from the bag.
Cut the fabrics according to the pattern.
Place 2 pieces of divider right side facing each other, sew with 1/2″ seam allowance on the top edge only. Flip over, press seam and double topstitch on the right side top edge.
Do the same to the pocket. I embellished the pocket with some appliques, but it is optional.
Align all layers at the bottom. My divider is slightly larger but if you follow the pattern’s dimension, they should align neatly.
Sew 1/4″ around the 3 edges of the divider, then sew double line at the centerline of the pocket (to divide the pocket into 2 equal size compartment).
Bring the sides of the lining down and align with the corner of the bottom seam line. Note that the cutout squares of the lining are now folded into diagonals. Sew side seams with 1/2″ seam allowance, stop at the bottom seam allowance point.
To sew the gusset of the lining at the base, bend 1 clipped divider seam allowance together with the lining bottom seam to 1 side, and bend the side seams to the other side. This will flatten the base.
Sew the gusset with 1/2″ seam allowance.
Double fold the top edge down, press and double topstitch.
Turn both sewn lining and knitted bag wrong side out. Align the gusset lines, make a few stitches to sew the bottom gussets together. This will ensure the lining sit properly inside the Entrelac Messenger Bag.
See… me carrying my Entrelac Messenger Bag during a photographing outing with friends. Thanks to Mandy who captured this beautiful moment, caught in the act of photo shooting… lol… love it!!!! *** mmmm… I think I need a hair cut soon… ***