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Crochet purses seem to be all the rage lately, I will help you learn everything you need to know to confidently crochet your own purse. I’ll lay out the best materials, tips, and some of my favorite patterns from across the Internet.
My Favorite Yarns to Make Purses:
Let’s start with choosing the correct yarn. Start by thinking of the aesthetic you are going for. Are you looking for a summer raffia bag or a tough tubular yarn similar to the popular The Sak bags. The following are some of my favorite yarn options for making purses:
Ra Ra Raffia from Wool and the Gang
I first used this yarn last year to make my star stitch bag and immediately fell in love. The yarn is far from what you would traditionally think of raffia, itchy and stiff. It crochets like a dream and creates beautiful stitch definitions. Also, after extensive use, the raffia holds up like a dream. Another great benefit of this yarn is the beautiful color options. Skies the limit of possibilities. From natural colors like Dessert Palm to gorgeous shiny pearl colors that add a touch of sophistication.
A down fall of this yarn is once you start unraveling and using it, be prepared for the yarn to begin rapidly unrolling. With that in mind, I keep my spool in a small plastic box with a lid to make it easier to transport while I work on my project. Another down fall, is the price. It is definitely a little pricey. To find similar alternatives, I always recommend Yarn Sub for great information on substituting.
Lion Brand Rewind
Lion Brand Rewind is an absolutely wonderful yarn that, in my opinion, isn’t given the attention it deserves. This yarn is a flat, ribbon shape made of 70% polyester and 30% rayon. The fiber content creates a durable yarn that can handle being machine washed. This yarn is wonderful for bags, hats and even summer time apparel.
I don’t think I have ever seen Rewind in person in a big box store but it is readily available online. I personally, have been buying all Lion Brand yarn from eBay. Lion Brand themselves is a seller on eBay offering all the colors and varieties in 3-skein packs. The prices are competitive with the best coupons and the shipping is incredibly fast.
Lion Brand for the Home Cording
Lion Brand Cording was the answer to my dreams of creating a high end, durable, purse that looks like it came from a department store. I ended up using 5 skeins with a size 6mm hook and worked in the round with the right side facing me. I got a sturdy purse bottom and splurged on a 12″ leather strap/handle. I’m really glad I did this because it’s really comfortable on my shoulder!
I constructed the bag using a waistcoat stitch to create a dense, sturdy fabric. The waistcoat stitch is great aesthetically because it looks knit and is easier than you’d think. To crochet the waistcoat stitch, you simple work a normal single crochet but in between the two vertical bars of the stitch in the previous row (versus the top horizontal bars you would normally work into).
I honestly made my bag a little too tall, but when I was ready to create the v-shaped slope for the top center of the bag, I had a special technique. In the very center stitch of each side, I worked 1 slip stitch, waistcoat style in the center, then marked that stitch. The next round I added two more slip stitches, one on each side of the previous rows. I continued adding two more with each round until I had a v going all the way to where I wanted the d-rings for the straps to the attach to.
100% Cotton Yarn
This one is an easy option and odds are you already have some in your stash! I personally love worsted weight 100% cotton, such as Lily Sugar n Cream for crocheting the perfect summertime bag. I made this bobble hobo bag holding together 3 strands of Lily Sugar n Cream at the same time. Making it a really great stash busting bag. Check out the link for my free pattern. 🙂
Lion Brand Let’s Get Cozy: Lazy Days
Lion Brand Lazy Days is a relatively new yarn, I would basically describe it as Bernat Maker Home Dec’s little cousin. If you are familiar with Home Dec, you will love this yarn. It is a 100% polyester tubular shape yarn and is categorized as a heavy worsted, recommending a 6mm hook. The skeins are only 179 yards each so be sure to get a 3 pack or more for bigger projects. I have yet to use this yarn for a project but have worked a few swatches and loved the results.
Hook Size Matters
If you are like me then you are probably planning on winging it and making a purse without a pattern. I absolutely encourage you to do so! That being said, I highly recommend making a few swatches to experiment with stitches and hook size. Once you determine the stitch you are going to use, try a few different hook sizes within the range. I recommend always trying a hook size, or two, smaller than what the yarn label recommends. You want your purse to be a tight-knit fabric with minimal holes so the whole world can’t see your purse contents. We’re going for that handmade, not homemade look!
Straps and Accessories
This is the fun part! You can crochet your own, use a premade fixed ring or go the versatile route with removable straps, there’s so many options. I personally enjoy adding a d-ring that will be crocheted to the bag so that I can change out the handle. Here’s a link to d-rings on Amazon, they’re much cheaper at your craft store in the sewing department but just so you can see what I’m talking about.
When picking out your strap or handle, the skies the limit to what’s available on Amazon. I recommend thinking of what you are going to use the bag for and what kind of straps your go to purses have on them. For example, if you dislike heavy metal chains but like the appearance, then check out a plastic alternative. Another really great option to buy purse straps for your crochet bag is to visit your local thrift store. You can easily take the straps off an existing purse for your project. Anyways, I like the idea of removable straps.
Kits Available to Purchase Online
I recently purchased a really great kit online to make matching backpacks for my kids. I already had some blue and pink Lion Brand Rewind in my stash so I wanted to get some high-end leather accessories to make the backpack durable and efficient.
I found a shop on ETSY called KnitznPurlz that sells really great leather kits and high-quality, t-shirt yarn to make your own bags. I ordered two backpack kits, without yarn, and they arrived very quickly! I was extremely impressed with the quality and even more excited to learn there was a free pattern and video tutorial on the website to make the backpack.
Whether you feel intimidated about crocheting a purse or you want that high-end luxury look. I highly recommend you check out a kit from KnitznPurlz. The quality was great and having the patterns available online was extremely helpful. Plus you’re supporting a small business!
For reference on the backpack I made, this is the kit. I used the hook sizes recommended and held two strands of Lion Brand Rewind at the same time.
Crochet Purse Photo Inspiration from High End Fashion
With crochet being all the rage in high fashion, here are some screen shots of my favorites to hopefully inspire your next project!
Crochet Purse Patterns
Crochet Crush Book – intermediate, unique purses that look runway-ready. I just got a copy and I’m very impressed with the quality!
Toni Lipsey – a variety of detailed, high-quality bag patterns that are perfect for anyone. You can’t go wrong with any of her patterns. The Harper Bucket bag is waiting in my Ravelry library for all the fun Lion Brand Rewind in my stash.
Magnolia Tote Bag – from Mama in a Stitch, this granny-style tote has endless uses.
Hosta Bag – this advanced bag pattern, has drool-worthy texture.
Crossbody Bag – from MJ’s Off the Hook Designs, this bag is ready for weekend adventures.
Royal Antler Mock Cable Bag – from Brianna K Designs, the mock cables are the perfect texture for the winter season.
Comment below with your favorite crochet bag pattern!