Meet the slip stitch * Free crochet clutch bag tutorial

Today I’d like to talk about the slip stitch and its different uses in crochet.

>>> Click here to go directly to the clutch bag free pattern <<< 

Abbreviations used:

  • SC : single crochet
  • SL ST : slip stitch

This simplest crochet stitch has more power than you may imagine.

You know it as a joining stitch. We use it to close rounds, to attach pieces together, or to almost invisibly shift place in a pattern without cutting and reinserting yarn. More of an utilitarian stitch than an artistic one 🙂

But did you know that the slip stitch creates a beautiful fabric?

crochet slip stitch fabric


It looks a bit like the garter stitch in knit. The biggest difference being that the slip stitch is almost non-stretch, meaning they look close but are NOT interchangeables if used for a garment that needs some stretch in it.

Here’s how I started :

On a chain, I did a first row of single crochets. These chains and SC row have to be quite tight. Chain 1, turn, slip stitch in the front loop only for as many rows as required: FLO (front loop only) is the good way to do it.

Crochet to the end of each row, then chain 1, turn, and start slip stitching directly in the 2nd stitch. Again, slip stitch till the end of row (your last SL ST falls in the chain 1 from previous row). Chain 1, turn… Like you would do for SC rows.

Ths is the side edge:

The result is, as shown, an opaque fabric, with a flexible texture, very soft, very flat, and good-looking. It is reversible, looks the same on both sides.

On the pictures you can see that my starting chain wasn’t tight enough. That will be allright for this project since all edges will be assembled.

Yes there are white cat hairs on all my crochet stuff 🙂

For all these qualities, I chose to make a clutch bag for my daughter, so she can put in it some personal products when she packs for the week-end.

I think it’s a great stitch for a small purse: it’s supple yet sturdy. 

I say small bag because, though it would obvisouly work in any size, it is quite long to crochet! Indeed, each row is very thin. It’s possible, even recommended on some blogs, to use a bigger hook: I tried it, I found that makes work a little bit easier but the fabric less delicate.

Stay with me!

I did many swatches using varying methods, here are my findings working in the round: It creates stitches I have never seen yet in crochet! It may be interesting for amigurumi enthusiasts.

First, this is SL ST in the back loop only worked in the round on the right side: how beautiful!

This is SL ST in the front loop only, on the right side : I obtained vertical lines.

This is SL ST in the BLO seen on the wrong side: that looks exactly like the garter knit stitch.

And this is SL ST in the FLO on the wrong side: the closest stitch ever to the stockinette knit stitch!



Don’t mind the right part of the picture, I was just playing with single crochet.

Funny note: in French, « slip » means… underpants!

I still have to investigate if I can obtain knit-alike stitches worked flat, these are only in the round for now.

I hope you like these findings about the slip stitch. Now let’s be creative and find new patterns to have fun with them 😉



The clutch bag pattern will arrive in a few days.


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