Saturday, August 8, 2009

Louisa's Sari Ribbon Bag

I don't know why it is so difficult to finish our own projects, but it is. This Sari Ribbon purse was knit by a friend of mine who was not using it because she couldn't bring herself to install the lining. I volunteered to do the job and in exchange, she is generously allowing me to keep this in the shop as a sample. Now I'm no sewer but I managed to do this lining so I'm pretty sure anyone can do it and boy does it make a difference!
It feels so much better with added body. It has a great drape and is a perfect snag-free nest for a delicate project.
While I demonstrate its use as a project bag, it would make a beautiful evening bag as well. The pattern is no doubt a Louisa Harding pattern as this is her yarn: Sari Ribbon. Unfortunately, we can't locate the pattern so I have written it based on what I see in front of me. Here it is:

Sari Ribbon by Louisa Harding (2 hanks)
Size 10 needles
Tapestry needle to sew side seams and gusset for handles.
Material for lining with sewing needle and thread.
2 circular handles approximately 6" in diameter.

Gauge: 2.5 sts = 1"

Cast on 30 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: Purl

Continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 13" from cast on edge ending with a wrong side row. Repeat Rows 5-8. (These rows create a garter stitch ridge which is the fold line for the bottom of the purse. Continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 12" from the garter stitch edge (i.e., the bottom fold line) ending with a wrong side row. Repeat Rows 5-8. Knit next 4 rows in stockinette stitch. Cast off all stitches on right side.

Finishing: Fold purse in half, wrong sides together, and sew side seams 7 1/2" from fold line towards the top of the purse. Turn bag to right side. The garter stitch ridges at the top of the bag form the fold lines of the gusset which encloses the handles. Fold the fabric over the handle, pin in place, easing the fabric and stitch on wrong side of fabric. Repeat for the other handle.

Cut a piece of fabric 14" by 28". Fold fabric in half and sew 1/2" side seams approximately 7 1/2" from fold line. Place lining inside bag with right sides together. Pin in place. Fold fabric to the inside along the sides and top. Using a blind stitch, hand-stitch in place.


  1. Beautiful! pssttt...I'm the friend who didn't easy knit and beautiful results, and lot's of red ribbon at the Grove!

  2. Really good post, Susan.
    I think you do a great service when you take the mystery and fear out of making, for instance, something as non threatening as a cloth lining. I have always shied away from doing one, but this post makes me want to knit and felt that bag, and sew in a silk lining!