May 23, 2011

Civil War Era Crochet Purse Pattern

If I could crochet, this is one of the first things I would make. I have seen similar originals and they are absolutely gorgeous. These types of purses are made with thin "purse silk" which isn't sold much anymore. You can buy it as "beading silk" but they sell it in short lengths. A fair substitution is crocheting cotton. You can buy it inexpensively and although it lacks the feel and luster of silk, it still makes for pretty items.

Some period examples:
  • Australian Purse circa 1860 :This one looks knitted to me but the style is similar and the striped pattern is pretty. 
  • Striped Purse mid to late 1800s from from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Until I learn to crochet, I'll have to leave this pretty purse to the readers who can. If you do end up making this purse, please let me know. I would love to post some photos.


  1. I wish I could crochet too. This is very pretty.

  2. I wish I too could crochet as I would really make this. Right now I am learning to sew and knit then I will take up qilting. Have a great day .

  3. Thanks. I can sew but not quilt. I am amazed at the pretty quilts people can make.

  4. Thank you very much, this is great! I LOVE your Blog, but i have to admit i especially enjoy your crocheting patterns ;)
    A question about wearing: was it worn visible hanging from a belt, oder hidden between the clothes?

  5. It was carried like a little satchel today but some were hung on a belt outside of the dress.

    Pockets (small cloth bags) were worn under the dress and over the undergarments. This bag isn't designed like a pocket (you can't easily slip your hand in.)

    Thanks for the kind comment! :)

  6. Must... make... I knew I'd seen this pattern, and swore it was Knit, but I crochet, too, just not as good at it.

    1. Got to work on translating this though, for folks who aren't familiar with period terms it is quite befuddling! I'll work on it... and send you a copy- may be a while because I am moving in 2 days but I will get it done

    2. This is all done in Single Crochet stitch. When it says to crochet 2 in 1, that means to do 2 stitches in one stitch of the previous row. If you can understand minimal crochet terms, that is all you really need, after reading this and starting a translation it really isn't as confusing as it looks.

    3. Thanks so much! I know nothing about crochet. I'm a knitter and crochet baffles me!

  7. Thank you for sharing this pattern! I am almost finished, and it is a lovely.

    This purse is not difficult to make. You will need to be capable of producing an even and tight single crochet, and swapping colors. I recommend this method of swapping colors, as it produces a straight and even looking design

    This purse is very time consuming, so don't expect to wrap it up in a weekend!


Tell me what you think!

Copyright © 2008-2020 Stephanie Ann Farra. All rights reserved.

All materials posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by Stephanie Ann Farra. Any reproduction, retransmissions, or republication of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless the author has explicitly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or republish the material. All other rights reserved.