This 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
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.
3. 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).
4. 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.
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.
Steps 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.
Some 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: http://shortylamcrochet.blogspot.com/2006/11/nordstrom-hobo-bag.html