My friends and I made dozens of purses through out high school and sold them. None of us had to ask our parents for party money, lunch money, clothes money and so on. Okay, a little movie money. But you get the idea.
A purse has to be functional, cute and at least match something the wearer uses. The size can be small enough to fit a cell phone into or large enough to hold a week’s clothes.
Large bags are perfect for running around town, going to the beach and make perfect utility bags. Smaller bags incorporate more expensive fabrics and adornments for evening uses.
One great thing about these patterns is they are perfect for beginners and experienced crafts people alike. If you don’t know how to knit, crochet or sew, websites offering free lessons are listed.
The three bags given here each use something different on the outside, but basically all are lined with fabric.
A knit bag needs a liner to keep it from stretching. If stretching is desired, forget the liner. This pattern assumes the reader knows how to knit. Here are three sights for free lessons:
Using size 10 needles and doubled yarn, cast on 50 stitches. Knit in any pattern you would like to use for your purse- if you need more or fewer stitches, add or leave them off. A moss stitch is a good choice that coordinates with denim jeans easily.
Knit until the piece is twice as long as it is wide plus two inches. Cast off. Lay out flat and measure for lining. Sew the side seams together.
Cut one or two lining pieces with added fabric for seams. The seams will be inside the purse, or cut two linings and make sure the seams are inside. Attach the lining to the top of the purse and tack in place in the inside corners to the knitting. Insert a zipper, hook and loop tape, buttons or snaps to close purse.
Attach the desired strap to the purse and lining. If attached only to the knitting, it will stretch. My favorite is to use a piece of fabric, folded over and attached to the entire outside and bottom edge of the purse, coming over the top in a handle. A simple cotton rope attached at both top edges also works; this was commonly done in the 70’s.
I love crochet. The pattern size and lining is similar to the knitted purse. For those who don’t know how to crochet, here are three sites that offer free lessons:
Begin by using a size K hook and rug yarn. This will be a sturdy purse. Using a 0 hook and number 30 or 60 size thread is something that is daunting to the experienced, but I find it fun.
With the yarn, chain 50. Beginners can make a sampler of the different stitches, use a granny stitch or a shell pattern looks lovely in a purse as well. Work the same length and width as for the knitted purse. Sew the side seams together.
The lining and handle are attached in the same way.
We used to cheat and use old cut up blue jeans for a purse- they’re coming back. Cut off the legs and sew the holes shut. Measure and make a lining, or leave it out. Use the legs to make shoulder straps for the purse, and attach a zipper to close it. Zippers, snaps or hook and loop can also be used to close the pockets. Don’t take those out.
If you don’t know how to sew, here are three sites with free lessons: You can use a machine or sew by hand.
The last one has tons of free patterns to boot- and extra bonus.
Let’s make an easy purse 12 inches square. Cut one piece of fabric, 25 inches long and 12 and a half inches wide. The extra is for seams. Cut a lining piece with the same measurements. In fact, both can be cut at the same time.
With right sides together, stitch a half inch seam down each side, forming a tube. Turn inside out and press. Bring the sides together and join the outside fabrics using a blind stitch.
Turn down and press the half- inch seam at the top. Insert a zipper if desired. On this purse, sew the tops closed with a blind stitch. Mark the center of the front and back and attach a frog closure. One- half of the closure attaches to the front and the other attaches to the back of the purse. Attach a strap to each side.
Although these projects sound simple, they work up quickly and make wonderful gifts. Use all those sequins, beads, ribbons and more from your crafting stash and make a wonderful holiday gift for someone.
Boys can use large utility bags specially measured for their hobbies or sports equipment. Men can use large utility bags for their toys, too.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in crafting: sewing, knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, dyeing and more.