Orchid Crochet Purse From Scratch

My Posey Purse in Orchid

Did you know that Red Heart offers free knit and crochet patterns right on their website?! While browsing through their hundreds of patterns I came across this crochet Posey Purse. I instantly fell for the bag. It looked cute, simple, and big. Since I tend to carry my whole life with me wherever I go, those are my three basic requirements for a full-time purse. I even had a skein of Red Heart Super Saver in Orchid that I had been dying to use. Even though this is technically an intermediate-level pattern, I decided to try it out since the instructions looked simple enough for a beginner.

The whole body of the purse is made up of rows (and rows, and rows) of single crochet. The single crochet stitch is very basic, so I had no problems whipping up the main part of the bag. I think I can even single crochet in my sleep now! Just as I was wondering why the pattern was marked as intermediate, I got to the part where I had to do the edging. At that point my bag looked like a huge rectangle, however, the finished purse is gathered at the top. The edging is what gives the purse its trapezoidal shape.

The instructions said to ‘evenly space’ a row of stitches across the edge of the purse body to create the gather. Being new to crochet I had no idea how to go about doing this. Were there specific places on the edge of the piece that I was supposed to stitch into? Was this some super-secret crochet technique that I hadn’t learned yet? Since I wasn’t sure what to do I asked the experts on Ravelry. As it turns out I was WAY over-thinking things. There isn’t really a “right” or “wrong” way to evenly-space stitches – you just have to be consistent.

Once the edging was done the handle flaps were really easy to complete. I decided not to use the bamboo handles that are recommended in the pattern though. I like the way they look in the sample photo, but I wanted to keep the whole purse crochet. I also prefer longer straps on bigger purses. Something about threading my arm through a tiny handle just to have a bag crammed into my armpit doesn’t really appeal to me. Insane, I know.

Broomstick Lace Crochet

Broomstick Lace Handles

The purse itself was too basic to just add any-old-strap to it. Considering I only know a few basic stitches, I figured I would have to learn something new if I wanted to make the bag unique. A while back I came across this tutorial by Sandra from Crochet Cabana on how to crochet broomstick (or “jiffy”) lace. At the time it looked way out of my league, so I bookmarked it in my ‘Attempt MUCH Later’ folder. Desperate for a new and interesting stitch, I dug up Sandie’s tutorial.

I was a little disappointed when I saw that I would need a special “jiffy” needle in addition to my regular crochet hook to make the lace. I don’t have a jiffy needle or even a knitting needle like Sandie used in her tutorial. I really didn’t want to buy a special tool, especially since I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to pull off the stitch, so I improvised. I used a big highlighter instead of a needle, and the handles turned out great!

All done - inside and out!!

I’m so happy with with the finished purse! It’s even bigger and better than I thought it would be! Now it just needs a pretty posey or two! What are your requirements for an everyday purse? Do you carry your whole life with you or do you like to stick to carrying the essentials?

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