5 Ways to Add Fabric to Crochet

I was asked a couple of week ago to share how to attach fabric to crochet. It was a little bit of perfect timing as I was working up a scrap yarn handbag, and it could really benefit from a lining.

There are actually a few ways to attach fabric to crochet.

Hand Sewing

The first method is tried and true, hand sewing. If I am creating a lining for a bag, I cut my fabric the same size as my project. Then I seem the side (this is definitely true for handbags). Now I am ready to add it to my crochet.

Since I cut the fabric the same size and then seemed it, you will notice that it is now slightly smaller than the project….this is perfect. I insert the lining, and now I fold the raw edge of the top of the fabric over. I pull out the hand sewing needle and whip stitch the top edge of the folded fabric to the crochet.

Whip stitching is simply entering the needle from the same side of the fabric. Essentially it is making a loop of thread through both pieces of fabric.

Whip stitch is worked by inserting the needle in the same place and looping through the fabrics

Machine Sewing

Another way to add fabric to crochet is machine sewing. Honestly I do not pull out my sewing machine for what I would view as a small project, but once I did work a bunch of crochet squares to a bunch of fabric squares to make a blanket, and in this case I definitely pulled out the machine. You do need to use a bit of caution and know the machine you are using, but I basically used the fabric and crochet just as I would other machine sewing projects.

Place the fabric on the crochet, if you are turning under a crochet edge (as in typical machine sewing), then just lay the fabrics together and stitch. If the fabric is more like a lining fold under the raw edge of the fabric and stitch to the crochet.

I have found that I prefer the crochet fabric to be the bottom fabric. I lower the feed dogs (the little textured metal tracks that help pull the fabric through the machine), and thus have to help the fabric through with a little gentle pulling. I prefer this approach to having the crochet on top, as I have found the crochet can get a bit hung up on the presser foot or snag on the needle.

Sew crochet on a machine by lowering the feed dogs, and help gently pull the fabric through the machine

As machine sewing will create a tighter stitch then hand stitching, it can, and most likely will create a line across your crochet. If hand sewing this can be easily avoided as you do not have to sew all the way through the fabric, you can sew through half of a crochet stitch instead.

Fusible Interfacing

Another way to adhere fabric to crochet to using a double sided fusible interface. This is a product that works a bit like magic and can be found most places you find fabric. You follow the package direction, using an iron and basically glue the fabric to the crochet. I really have done very little of this, and even then I only worked it in small areas that I wanted to add crochet to large pieces of fabric. It will stiffen the crochet, and depending on the yarn used, it may not appreciate the iron, so beware. Test your fabric and your yarn before going down this rabbit hole.

Needle Felting

In addition you can add crochet to fabric by needle felting. To needle felt crochet to fabric you need to be mindful of the materials you are using. First your yarn, it tend to work best with wool, preferably not superwash. The fabric should be one that can take a bit of abuse, as it is going to be punched repeatedly with a needle. I prefer working with denim, linen or canvas, but have worked on cottons. You need a needle felting needle (it is a needle that actually has small barbs on it that you can feel running you finger up from the needle from the point), and a piece of foam (a pillow can work too).

You place your crochet where you want it on the fabric. Place the foam behind the fabric, and push the needle through the crochet and fabric, into the foam. You repeat this process until the crochet is adhered. You will notice that on the back of the fabric that yarn is being pushed through. Times will vary greatly, and some fabrics/yarns are not suitable and will not stay in place no matter how long you work it.

Needle felting pushes the yarn through the fabric

Crochet Joins

Finally one additional way to add fabric to crochet, simply crocheting it on. There is a little prep work to make you project easier, but it is completely doable. I fold the raw edge of the fabric over, and find a small crochet hook, a steel crochet hook usually works fine, and then I evenly push it through the edge of the folded fabric creating small holes. I then continue working with the small hook and crochet through these holes into the crochet fabric.

Push a small crochet hook through the folded fabric to create holes to help when crocheting the fabrics together.
Working through the holes in the fabric crochet to the crochet. Stitch shown is slip stitch

To make crocheting the fabric on a bit easier, you can take a yarn needle and work a blanket stitch (inserting the needle in the same side of the fabric in a similar movement as a whip stitch, but before the loop pulls closed you insert you needle in the loop, this makes an edge of thread/yarn at the top of the fabric) around the fold fabric in a yarn of your choice. You then crochet in the loop created.

Blanket Stitch, insert needle from front to back of fabric, loop over edge to reinsert into fabric while slipping needle through the loop created. This does not allow the stitch to be pulled tight without completely distorting the edge
The top edging of the blanket stitch creates a place to crochet into, and thus you can crochet through these loops onto the crochet fabric to be joined to.

A Little Extra Padding

To add a little bit of stiffness to the project, or a bit of body to it over all, consider adding a bit of quilt batting between the fabric and crochet.

Some of these techniques are more comfortable than others, and much of that can be related to your comfort level with sewing in general. Just remember like crochet, it can be forgiving, so give it a try.

Teaching Crochet In Chicago!

If you would have told me a couple of years ago that I would be a crochet designer, published in several well-known magazines worldwide, I would have thought you were crazy. Then if you added to that, that I would be teaching on the National Stage at conferences, I would have asked for you to check what was in your water. I never would have seen this is the future journey that I would have been on. After all I was working in a support position for social works in cafe of the elderly. I found my job rewarding, knowing that I was making a daily difference in the lives of people in my community.

Well, changes in the structure of my job, as well as the needs of my young kids helped me envision a new path. I still have to pinch myself at times to realize that I really have accomplished these things, and that I am teaching again this year at the Crochet Guild of America’s annual Chainlink Conference, this year July 26-29, 2017 in Chicago.


Needle Felt crochet motifs on fabric

I am teaching some classes you may not have expected. I am teaching how to Needle Felt your motifs directly onto fabric, allowing you to take your crochet into an entirely new direction with no sewing required! Barbed needles are great tools that can be used to create some fabulous projects, but using it with crochet is a direction that you may not have explored, until now.


Convert It! Learn how to crochet your favorite knitting pattern

I am also teaching Convert It! This is a class that will overload you with information about how to take your favorite knit design and recreate it in crochet. Learn what drives you to choose your pattern, and then understand how to dismantle it and put it together for the exact look you want, while learning and understanding the basic differences between knitting and crochet and how to use the strength and weakness of each to complement each other.


What the Pattern Does Not Say

What the Pattern Does Not Tell You covers all the things that designers, writers, and publishers assume you already know. There are many simple things that can get overlooked in the writing, but can really make a complete difference in the outcome of your success. Don’t let the lack of this information hold your crochet back.

While teaching Re-Invented Broomstick Lace, I have learned so much myself. People have an idea of the basics of Broomstick lace, but there are so many possibilities. This class offers inspiration in how to use this stitch to create stunning fabrics that will leave everyone asking how you did that. It can be your secret, and hopefully you will get inspired to invent even more new approaches to this lace technique.


Re-Invented Broomstick Lace

It will be a fun couple of days in Chicago, and if you can join me it would be great to see you. I don’t know what crazy adventure I will be on in the next couple of years, but I have learned, NEVER, rule out anything!