Lunasa Crochet Messenger Bag with Switchable Lace

Detachable crochet lace panels are fun to make from scrap yarns for this small shoulder bag. Most steps of the pattern are portable. Makes a great gift. Lining is optional and step by step photos for special stitches provided.
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  • Item #: 4-P8711
  • Manufacturer: Vashti Braha

The detachable lace panels of this messenger-style shoulder bag are fun to make from small amounts of pretty yarns. Most steps of the pattern are portable. This Lunasa Bag would also make a great gift. Lining is optional, especially if you use the optional stitches in the pattern, or insert a zippered nylon pouch (see p. 2). 

Lunasa started out as a practical solution to my summer wardrobe crisis: I had new bright white linen clothes that made my purses look dull or old. Inspired by how my mother pairs white with dark blue, I decided that a dark blue bag would be a great "neutral" color for a summer accessory. 

The first fall breezes then came in August. I noticed that my new blue bag was also great with denim jeans, but the white lace was starting to look too bright. That's when I redesigned the flap of this bag so I could switch out lace panels of  different colors. Lunasa is Irish Gaelic for the month of August and for a traditional harvest holiday. 

Skill Level: Easy. Pattern includes choices for you to learn intermediate refinements. There is no shaping. I have written it with a minimal amount of abbreviations, and provide International English equivalents for American measurements, yarn weights, and stitch terms. The English equivalents are in brackets {}.

After following this pattern you will know (if you didn’t already):

  • How to turn a simple rectangle into a sturdy messenger bag
  • How to add designer touches that refine a traditional gusseted bag construction
  • How to link double crochet stitches
  • How to create dramatic lace with selective blocking 

Finished Dimensions

10.5" wide x 7.5" high x 1.5" deep {27 x 19 x 4 cm}; accommodates a standard size 9.5" wide x 7" {24 x 18 cm} slip-out zippered nylon mesh bag in place of a permanent lining. I also include an optional step for adding a fabric lining before you seam the bag.

Supplies List

  • Size #4 Medium yarn, 1 Main Color: Peaches & Creme Solids (100% cotton, 120yd/110m per 2.5oz/70.9g ball), 2.5 balls of Bright Navy.  

 About this yarn size: CYCA Size #4 Medium Weight Yarn is equivalent in thickness to Worsted Weight, Afghan, Aran; however, not all yarns behave like a cotton yarn of the same thickness. For the contrasting colors below, I chose a range of different fibers from my stash, and they're working out great. Some of them are discontinued yarns left over from larger projects, though. Trying out different yarns for the lace flap was my favorite step! Have fun with it!

  • Size #4 Medium yarn, Several Contrasting Colors pictured; approx. 25 yds of each: 
  • Light Blue: Lily Sugar 'n Cream Denim (100% cotton, 120yd/110m per 2.5oz/70.9g), Blue Jeans. 
  • Tan: Berroco Weekend (75% acrylic, 25% cotton, 205yd/187m per 3.5oz/100g), #5907.
  • Soft white: Lang Yarns Amber  (70% rayon, 30% linen, 74yd/68m per 1.75oz/50g), white.
  • Cherry red: Artfulyarns Fable (85% cotton, 15% silk, 184yd/168m per 3.5oz/100g), #93.
  • Bright white (p. 9, left): Lion Brand Cotton-Ease (50% cotton, 50% acrylic, 207yd/189m per 3.5oz/100g).
  • Crochet Hook: For Body, size G/US6/4.0mm hook; for lace flaps, G/US7/4.5mm hook.
  • 4 Buttons, .75" {2 cm}
  • Recommended but not required: 10 stitch markers for seaming.  Zippered nylon mesh bag, 9.5" wide X 7" {24 X 18 cm};  and/or: fabric for lining, with matching needle and thread or fusible interfacing if you're not using a synthetic yarn. Bag is crocheted tightly enough that you might not require a lining, although a lining would help bag retain its boxy shape.
  • Optional: one slightly larger button or magnetic snap for clasp.
  • Skill Level: Easy
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