I’ve decided to post a new tutorial for my Carla Fabric Crochet Purse. This project assumes knowledge of 2 crochet stitches- the chain stitch and the single crochet stitch. This is a beginner project.
To begin, here is the supply list:
Crochet Hook- size P
Fabric: Strips of fabric in at least a dozen colors (your choice of color palette)- Approx. 1/8-1/4 yard of each color needed for sample purse. I prefer batik fabric or hand-dyed because the color is saturated on both sides.
Fabric needed for purse lining to match purse- approx. double the size of your bag.
Sewing Machine and basic sewing supplies
Rotary Cutter, Ruler and Mat
Magnetic snap closure
Decorative cording for handle (I used drapery cording). Alternately, you can use a pre-packaged handle or braid your own fabric to make a handle. Construct your own out of batting and fabric using your favorite method.
Eyelet or grommets (I’ve used them to attach the quilted fabric on the outside of the bag flap in the projects shown) Buy smallest available and appropriate sized setting tool. I’ve also used eyelets in my embellishment phase, too.
Optional: cool textural yarn to use with fabric to provide added texture. Here is an example:
Step 1: Use your rotary cutter to cut your strips, ( I cut mine typically 3/4″) then join the strips using one of these methods:
Step 2: I start with about 10 strips connected, then I add colored strips as I work. This allows me artistic freedom to select colors where you want them.
Step 3: Make a slip knot and chain stitch your first row to the desired width you would like your purse to be (mine was approx. 24 chains).
Second Row: Single Crochet to end of row.
Third Row to last row- (height of bag is personal preference)- Continue to single crochet stitch back and forth until completed. When you are happy with the size and shape of your bag, then tie off.
Here are some sample shapes I have used to create my crochet purses (click to enlarge the image below):
Step 4: The Lining- I use my finished crochet purse shape as a template for my lining. I add about 1/4 inch to allow for the seam. You can also double it or quilt the interior lining for added stability, though this is optional.
Here is a diagram of how I sew my lining, I simply double my fabric to match the size of the bag (plus 1/4″), turn over the top of the lining (wrong side together) and stitch a clean, pretty seam. Then put right sides together and sew up both sides to create a pocket, then set aside. Click to enlarge instructions below:
(Note: If you are using a magnetic closure or zipper closure, you insert it into the bag/lining before sewing the lining into the purse.)
Step 5: Close up the sides of your purse by using left-over fabric strips. Any technique may be used to close up the sides of the bag, including crocheting it closed or using a familiar sewing stitch such as the whip-stitch. Here is an example where I’ve laced up the side of the purse:
Step 6: Sew Lining into Crochet Purse- Right sides together, insert lining into the purse and pin in place. Using your favorite stitch (hem stitch, etc.) to attach to the inside of the purse.
Step 7: Attach handle to Purse: Your handle options are endless. In the sample photo at the top of this tutorial, I simply used a drapery tie back. You can also make your own by crocheting a thick enough diameter cording. Alternatively, you may wrap a cording with contrasting fabric, then tie onto the sides of the purse. Another option is to purchase a commercial, manufactured handle. Length of handle is your personal preference.
Step 8: Add Embellishments and closure- This is my favorite part, the embellishment. I sometimes will quilt a matching fabric, then attach it with grommets, then add a focal point on the front such as on the purse above.
And here is the focal point flower I created for this bag:
Here is another example of a purse embellishment:
and the back of this purse showing how I used eyelets to attach the quilted fabric to the purse:
Closure- If you don’t want a magnetic closure, you can instead choose another closure such as:
Frog Closure, Button Cover, Buy and use a unique Button, Install a zipper at the time you are making your lining, Snaps, etc.
Embellishment- The ideas are endless!! Use beading, paint, fiber art , charms, lettering, quotes, anything that strikes your fancy. In the two purses shown, for the autumn colors I painted pellon, then stitched it to make the leaves. Then for the flower on the brown purse, I made a 3-D flower, stitched and beaded the center.
Viola! You are finished! Use your purse and be prepared for the attention it will receive.