Resources for knitting purses and handbags

It seems like most knitters like to knit alot of different things but are really interested in one main area like sweaters or blankets. Well, for me its handbags. I haven’t tried making one yet although as soon as I make a trip to a yarn store I am going to try out a bag like KK made (the pretty red one!). That seems very basic and I think I could figure that out.

But I have so many questions about purse making in general. I don’t want to do felted ones (yet) but if we ever get a washer with “hot” mode that will be the first thing I do :smiley:

I have all sorts of questions like how and when to do purse lining ( I really wish I could sew now) and how to attach purse handles because I’ve seen some really cute ones online. And I also don’t know much about what kind of yarn to use since if I don’t have lining it will stretch out. Can anyone recommend a good website or book that would explain all this to me? Most books I’ve come across only deal with felted bags. Argh. Although…I might just have to spend all day at the laundrymat sometime to do that booga bag…hehehe.

Thanks for any help!!!

Susan :XX:

Hmm, I’ve just come across a few patterns that might help–this one from knitty.com explains how to attach handles, and if you look at their pattern archive and scroll down to the bottom section for bags, they have some examples of ones with and without linings. So that’s not really a source for answers to your questions, but you can use different patterns as examples, I suppose!

I know what you mean about wanting to sew–I bought fabric to line a felted purse I just made, and I am sooooo bad at it. I’m not sure it’s even necessary, but I thought it would add support. Who knows if I’ll get that finished… :frowning:

Thanks for the reply Mer. I have read a few of those patterns and ‘sort of’ feel like I could try one out. I think I’m just gonna have to buy some purse handles and try it out. The bamboo ones last night were calling to me… :XX: :XX:

Design your own lining: Lay your purse, tote bag, etc. on paper (or fabric if you’re feeling confident. Draw around the bag an inch from the outside edge. Cut out template, then pin and cut two layers of fabric right sides facing. Sew a 1/4 inch seam around the sides and bottom, iron seams out flat (yes, you can “finger press”, but ironing is neater), fold over the top edge 1/4 inch so that the right side is showing, press. Insert into knitted bag, handstitch (it looks nicer) lining to knitting. You don’t have to stitch all the way through to the outer layer, so it won’t show on the outside. If your bag is open work knit, cut double the pieces of lining, sew them separately, turn one inside out, place it inside the other and sew them to the top edge of bag as before. Voila! Your pretty lining shows through!

So your template formula is one extra inch cut out around the bag and 1/4 inch seam allowance. If you have a bag with height, width AND depth, use this method to make pattern pieces for all sides and bottom of bag. The extra 3/4" adds some “give” to the bag. If you’re really tricky and you have a bag with a rectangular bottom, sandwich a piece of flexible plastic (like lightweight quilter’s template), cut to fit inside the seam allowance, in between two layers of fabric to give the bag support.

You CAN use any kind of fabric for a lining, even very lightweight vinyl. But keep in mind that it’s harder to sew slippery stuff.

Sewing For Dummies can help out if you are clueless about sewing. But if you are able to knit, ladies and gentlemen, you are definitely with it enough to sew! It’s all about following directions.

Thanks Sara! I’m feeling more confident already!! I think I should look into Sewing for Dummies. I wish I lived closer to my mom. She’s an awesome sewer and can make anything. Next time I go visit, I think I’ll have her give me some lessons on a few things :smiley:

Thanks for the sewing guidance, Sara! I’ll have to try my lining again. For some reason I’m really impatient when it comes to sewing.

My pleasure. I think high school home economics soured a lot of people on sewing, unfortunately. I enjoyed sewing a great deal more after I moved away from my mother. Yes, I feel awful about it, but it’s true.