Crochet Hobo Purse

My Nordstrom Crochet Hobo Inspired BagThis child-size crochet hobo purse was super fun to make; probably because I got to use my new sewing machine. Yea! The pattern was inspired by a purse that sold at Nordstrom’s around 2003. The original bag came in assorted colors of: black, white and red.  Adjustments are easily made to get the perfect size bag, whatever your individual preference.

  • Worsted Weight Yarn
  • Aluminum Hook Set K-F
  • 1/4″ or 1/8″ velvet ribbon
  • 1/4 yard of two (2) fabrics
  • Magnetic Purse Snap
  • Leather Purse Strap
  • Tailor Fray Block (Gel)
  • Needle / Thread / Scissors
  • Sewing Machine or Serger or Hand Sew

1Step 1. Crochet the purse.

It’s a modified shell consisting of 4 dcs without the sc between. It’s made in the round starting with a K hook. Shaping is achieved by decreasing the hook size every 3 rows until you reach the 11th or 12th row, then decreasing the shell to a 3 dc. After 13 shell rows, add 5 rows of sc in the back loops and end with a crab stitch. That completes the crochet outer shell.

I used worsted weight yarn (pound skein) and my starting chain was 32 (=8 sh on one side, 16 shells at end of round 1, 18 shells at end of round 2). To increase size +4 chs for each additional shell. CrochetSplendour (see comments below) had a great suggestion of doubling the yarn. I didn’t do that for this project, but I think it would strengthen the bag; keep it sturdy to eliminate slouching when it’s set down.

Construction begins at the bottom and works upward in the round.
Ch to desired width (the # of chs divided by 4 = # of shells across) [add 3 chs]
1. in 4th ch from hook dc three times (=4dc), *sk 3, 4 dc in next. *Repeat to end, ch 3, rotate for oval
1.1 working in the back loop of the starting chain opposite of each shell, work 4 dc in each back loop of shell, ch 3, join to 1st dc
Note: The first round of shells will look like a shell circle, starting at round 2, they’ll look like stacked shells.
2. sl st to ctr of first sh, ch 3, dc in same st 3 times (=4 dc), *4 dc in center of each sh and add a shell under the turning/rotating chains (thus adding 2 shs in this Rnd 2), join to first dc.
3. sl st to ctr of first sh, ch 3, dc in same 3 times (=4 dc), *4 dc in center of each sh, join to first dc
4-13. on every third round, decrease hook size by one. All rounds are same as round 3. On the 12th and 13th round, decrease sh from 4dc to 3dc
14-20. sc in back loops only for 5 rounds. This causes the front loops to form a horizontal line across the front. End with crab stitch. If you’re unfamiliar with that st, it’s just a sc worked in reverse direction (clockwise, if you’re right-handed. So you hold everything, hook, yarn just as you would to crochet in normal anti-clockwise direction, but you work the stitch behind, in reverse. If it gives you trouble, check for video tutorials on youtube.)

Step 2. Crochet the strap handle loops  (make 2). I did a ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of the two remaining, ch 1, turn. *sc in each sc (3 total), ch 1 turn. *Repeat for 10 rows.  To end, crab stitch the length and sl st the width. Break yarn. Set aside for Step 7.

33. Weave a velvet ribbon through the top shell, tie into a bow and snip ends. Apply a fabric non-fraying gel to the ribbon ends. Then tack (hand sew) the ribbon from the inside of the bag to hold it’s shape, using a thread that matches the ribbon.

Options: Velvet or silk (or both).

44. Make the liner. I used a Michael Miller script fabric for the interior and a silk for the exterior; you want something nice on the outside because the crochet stitch is open and the liner shows through.

To make a liner: Wash and iron fabric first. Identify grain to cut horizontal. Place the crochet purse atop the folded (so there’s 2) liner fabric and trace the outline with a chalk pencil. Cut out the shape (2 total).  To sew the liner: Line up the two fabric pieces front sides facing. Machine sew or hand sew 3 sides (excepting the top/opening). Then hem (outward toward back) and sew the top/opening. Go to step 5 and add the snap closure. OR: If you’re adding a zippered pouch or interior pockets, do that now in step 4.

5. Center and affix a magnetic closure to the liner. Or you could use a hook or button type clasp, whatever your preference.

Tip: Fold in half to measure for centering the placement of the clasp.

6. With liner in purse, hand sew the liner to the purse just under the crab stitched top.

_MG_2231Steps 7 and 8. Hand sew the crocheted purse strap loops to the sides; centered. Attach the strap. If the strap doesn’t have a loop that opens, reverse the order. Tip: Be sure to measure the crochet strap loops so they sit evenly.

Suggestion: With crochet thread, make a matching (same pattern) coin purse.

_MG_2232Some people can make this just by looking at the image, but if you need more help, there’s a pattern available on Ravelry and Dao (“Shorty”) Lam wrote out her instructions here. I don’t know if there’s any difference in our interpretations but her finished result looks great:

Original Bag:

Nordstrom Crochet Hobo

4 thoughts on “Crochet Hobo Purse

  1. Hi..its very pretty and the ivory color gives it a royal look:-)…even I’ve made one similar to this. The pattern suggested double thread, but I made a mini mobile purse with single thread, will display it next in my page:-)

    • Thank you. I’ve seen a few of these that are “in-the-style-of” and it’s such a lovely look. Doubling the yarn is a great idea, especially with softer yarns or wool. That Caron one-pound skein that I used is pretty stiff, but I think doubling would add the strength the purse needs to sit up or hold it’s shape. Cheers!

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