Susan Tote Bag – free crochet pattern

Susan Tote Bag – free crochet pattern
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The Susan tote bag is a cute and easy pattern, perfect for girls (and women!) of all ages!

The Susan Tote Bag is a pattern that was designed during last summer. I was feeling a bit blah about my shop-bought handbags and wanted something a bit more original and unique. We live in a seaside town on the north-east coast of the UK. That means that the winters can be biting cold, but the summers are just beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, we rarely get the temperatures of California LOL. But the sun shines occasionally and we don’t need to wear coats all year round!

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A splash of colour

I’ve always been quite bland in the colours that I wear – blacks, browns, an occasional pop of colour here and there but nothing notable. A few years ago I consciously tried to brighten my wardrobe …. that didn’t work, and I reverted back to my comfortable staples.

However, with crochet I have found that I just love to work with and try out colours. I seem to be particularly drawn to yellows and (who knew) some pinks. I love also working with turquoise blues and bright greens. In the autumn I go to the toned down versions of these colours along with the rust, copper and camel colours. Hopefully sometime soon I might start keeping some of my makes for me, which will undoubtedly help brighten me up!

One colour that has started to make its way into my wardrobe is yellow. I love it! I find that I cannot look at a yellow colour and feel sad. Maybe it’s the memories I have with yellow …. I wore it to the funeral of my ‘second mum’ (my best friend’s mum) whom I lovingly refer to as Grotbags (yes, I did actually call her that – it was an inside joke). Anyway ….

The Sedge Stitch

The Susan Tote uses the sedge stitch. If you haven’t tried it yet, its so easy! It looks so delicate and feminine but it really is a sturdy stitch and perfect for bags!

You can also find our YouTube video on how to do this stitch here. The video shows you how to make the Susan Wrist-warmers which is one of our patterns. You can find the pattern links for the wrist-warmers and written instructions for the sedge stitch here.

Versatility and Practicality

There is oodles of room in this bag – much more than you would think. And it is easily customisable to suit your needs. You could add a clasp, a drawstring or pretty ribbon around it, embellish it with your favourite appliqué, or line it and put in a zip. The possibilities are truly endless. I love how the use of different coloured yarn or cotton gives a completely different look to this bag.

It’s big enough to hold your library books, or your essentials for a little trip to the shops. Or notepads, a textbook and pencil case for that focussed study session.

I use mine to pop in suncream, my purse, a hand towel, sunglasses and hats when my daughter and I go adventuring to the beach.

What will yours be used for?


It has had a facelift!!

In January 2022 I eventually managed to get a chance to update this pattern a little. It has been something that I have wanted to do for a while.

It is amazing how such a simple tweak to the pattern can make such a difference! This pattern was designed at the beginning of my design journey. I feel that I have learned so much since then and wanted to spice up some of my older patterns! I hope you like it ….

What you will need:

Materials :

Gauge isn’t essential for this project, but one square inch I got 5sc x 5sc as a guide.

The size ended up being 11.5 inches wide by 14 inches tall before handles. My handles were 37 inches long.

The stitches (US terms) used are:

  • Ch(s)–chain(s)
  • St(s)–stitch(es)
  • Fsc – foundation single crochet
  • rep–repeat
  • dc–double crochet
  • hdc – half double cochet
  • hdc 3rd loop (aka camel stitch) – hdc in the third loop
  • sc–single crochet
  • ss–slip stitch

Pattern links:

You can find the Susan Tote in all of the usual places. when you purchase the ad free pdf from any of these shops you get BOTH VERSIONS at no extra cost plus some photos to show you the placement of the handles etc!

The original Susan Tote Pattern:

Are you ready for the FREE version of the original pattern?

  • Written in US terms
  • Ch1 at the beginning of the row does not count as a stitch unless specifically stated

Round 1                    Fsc 45      (or a multiple of 3) 


Chain 48 and sc in 4th chain from hook and each chain across (45)

Turn your work around so that you are working along the bottom of the row that you just made.

Sc in each st across (45)

Ss to join

Note: you will now have 90 stitches on this row and will continue to work this pattern in rounds.

Round 2-6            Ch1 (does not count as a st) , sc in the same st and each st around (90)

                                    Ss to join



Round 7                This is where we start to work our sedge stitch

Ch1 (counts as a sc), hdc and dc into the same st. Sk2 sts, *(sc, hdc. dc) into the next st, sk next 2 sts* around.

SS to join, turn your work so that you will be going in the opposite direction. 

Note: From now on you will be only working into the single crochets from the previous row.

Rounds 8-39         Ch1 (counts as a sc), hdc and dc into the same st. Sk2 sts, *(sc, hdc. dc) into the next st, sk next 2 sts* around.

                        SS to join, turn your work so that you will be going in the opposite direction. 



Round 40                  ch1 (does not count as a st), sc in each st around. 

SS to join         

Do not turn. (90)

Rounds 41-43       Repeat round 40

For the handles:

Row 1                     Check that your starting stitch is in the middle of the side

                                    Ss 5 sts along,

                        Turn, ch1 (not counted as a st), sc in the same st as the ch1 and in the next 9st’s

Row 2                  ch1 (not a st), turn, sc in next 10 st’s

Row 3-151               Repeat row 2 (or until handle is as long as desired).

To attach the handle at the other side:

Mark 35 stitches from one side of your handle at the end that is attached.



SS or sew the other end of your handle onto the next 10 stitches from the marker.

Finishing off:

To finish off my bag I slip stitched along the long end of one side of the handle and around the top of the bag to here I started slip stitching.

I repeated this on the other side.