This afghan stitch purse has a beaded crochet apple applique; it is also decorated with hand stitching.
Here's the free pattern for the afghan stitch purse, with links to the free apple pattern and also to photo tutorials to help you understand how to do the beaded crochet technique.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:
To achieve similar results, you'll need about 6 ounces of worsted weight yarn.
Feel free to experiment with yarns, because this bag pattern lends itself well to using with a variety of different yarn textures and weights. This sample bag was crocheted using two strands of a finer yarn that, when used together, works up at the same gauge as a worsted weight yarn.
I also tried a variation using textured bulky yarn. If you're interested in seeing how that bag turned out, you can see more details in my striped crochet bag pattern.
- I used a size 10 / 6.0 mm afghan hook, measuring 10" long, to make the sample bag. Use that as a starting point, and adjust as necessary.
- I used a regular size J hook to do the finishing and some of the details. Again, feel free to adjust as necessary.
- Sewing needle
- Thread that matches your chosen yarns
- Safety pins
Materials Needed to Make the Beaded Apple Applique:
The free pattern and materials list for the beaded apple is posted on a separate page.
You'll also need several skeins of red embroidery floss to do the stitching inside the apple motif.
The bag measures about 15" high from top to bottom, including the handles. The body of the bag measures 10 1/2" high by 9" wide.
Working in afghan stitch, 10 sts and 11 rows = 3"
Make the Apple Applique:
- Crochet the apple using this free pattern.
- If you don't know how to do the beadwork, this tutorial for the beaded crochet technique clarifies it.
Using your afghan hook, work 34 rows in afghan stitch.
Upper Edge of Purse:
When crocheting the upper edge of the bag, you might wish to switch to a shorter crochet hook. If you notice a significant difference in your tension as you crochet this part, adjust your hook size accordingly.
Row 35: Work 1 slip stitch in each vertical bar all the way across. Work one slip stitch in the same spot you would normally work your last afghan stitch in the row.
Row 36: Ch 2, turn.
(Sc, ch 1, skip next st.) Repeat sequence in parentheses 13 more times. Sc in the last stitch in the row.
Row 37: Ch 2, turn.
(Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 1.) Repeat sequence in parentheses 13 more times. Sc in the last stitch in the row.
Row 38: Ch 3, turn.
(Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 1.) Repeat 13 more times.
Row 39: Ch 2, turn.
(Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 1.) Repeat 13 more times.
End off and weave in all the loose ends.
Crochet 2 identical pieces using these instructions.
Crocheting the Purse Handles:
Ch 5. Work 34 rows in afghan stitch.
Do not cut the yarn yet or end off, but stop and weave in the loose end from the beginning of the row.
Row 35: change to shorter crochet hook. Work slip stitches in the vertical bars, plus a slip stitch in the last stitch in the row.
Finishing the Purse Handles:
Fold the piece in half to form the purse handle. You can pin the pieces together if you wish; pinning can help you keep the work together as you crochet.
Working through both edges of the piece, work slip stitches evenly spaced all the way across the purse handle to form a tube.
Make 2 identical handles using these instructions.
Blocking the Purse Pieces
If you use synthetic yarn, blocking is not necessary. If you've used a wool yarn or another natural-fiber yarn, you may wish to block all the pieces of the purse before joining them.
Adding the Apple Applique:
Center the beaded apple motif onto one of the afghan stitch purse pieces, and pin it down using safety pins. Adjust it as necessary to make the apple shape as even as possible, then stitch it down.
Cross Stitch the Apple
Fill in the entire area inside the apple with cross stitching in red embroidery floss.
Joining the Purse Handles to the Body of the Bag
You have a couple different options for joining the purse handles to the body of the bag:
- You can stitch the handles to the bag using a sewing needle and coordinating thread. This is probably the easiest method.
- You can use slip stitches to attach the handles to the body of the bag. This is the method used in the sample.
Joining the Purse Handles Using Slip Stitches
To accomplish this, I held the right sides together. I inserted my hook a few stitches ahead of the place where I'd be crocheting through all the layers, and drew up a loop. Then I slip stitched across the handle, working through both layers of the handle and the upper edge of the bag.
After I'd stitched the handle, I made a couple of more slip stitches on the body of the bag, just to be sure the handle was firmly attached. I then ended off, leaving a long tail of yarn, and wove in the ends securely.
After you've attached the first handle, make sure you match the placement precisely when you attach the second handle.
Weaving in Ends:
Be sure to weave in all your loose ends very carefully before finishing the rest of the bag. You should take special care with this part. Do not leave long strands of yarn exposed, because things could catch on them when you use the bag.
Joining the Pieces of the Bag:
To join the pieces of the bag, place the wrong sides together. You may find it helpful to safety pin the corners of the bag together, and remove the pins as you go along.
Start by drawing up a loop of yarn. Ch 2, then work one sc stitch per row, working through both pieces of the body of the bag. In the corners, sc then ch 2 to form the corner, and resume working sc all the way across. When the piece is completely joined, end off.
Turn the bag inside out, and weave in the loose ends securely. After ends are woven in, turn it right side out again.
We've posted a variety of free crochet apple patterns! You're invited to check out the others. Enjoy!