1920’s Inspired Knit Purse

Hi there,

In this post I will share my experience knitting beaded purses, along with some of the history associated with the style of purse that I prefer to knit.

In the 1920’s small beaded purses were very fashionable – all of the most fashionable flappers had to have that perfect purse.  At that time it was also popular to make your own beaded purse – apparently these flappers could do more than just dance!  I recently discovered some reprinted pamphlets from the Hiawatha company that contain many details related to old bag purse designs.  The books include knitting patterns too, which I found quite interesting and exciting.  The pamphlets sold for 15 cents and Hiawatha used the pamphlets to boost their sale of beads and purse handles.

Today it is a bit more difficult to find the purse handles, but I found decent handles on eBay.  After finding a lovely handle I altered a pattern from the 8th edition of “The Hiawatha Book of Beaded Bags”.   The original pattern was intended for seed beads but I altered the design to use a heavier weight cotton and larger, faceted beads.  I love the old world look that the roughly cut glass beads gives the finished purse.  I find it to be far more elegant than the original seed beads.

Now if I only had the right event to attend that would allow me to carry this purse!  When I hold this purse I realize that the purse is not an heirloom given to me by my grandmother, but I know that the purse will become an heirloom when I pass it to my daughter or my granddaughter.

Happy knitting,



3 Responses to 1920’s Inspired Knit Purse

  1. kim dawson September 10, 2015 at 1:38 am #

    Hi there,

    I love this bag and Im getting married soon and would like to knit it for my wedding day. Would you sell me copy of this pattern please.

    Kind regards

    • Kirsten September 10, 2015 at 7:30 am #

      Hi Kim,

      Congratulations. I have given this particular purse away a long time ago. However, I knit a similar one for myself, for which I had started making a pattern. I was distracted by other things… Give me a few days, and I will try to finish and post it.


      • kim dawson September 16, 2015 at 8:38 pm #


        Also are you able to tell me where you purchase, hopefully online the clasps.

        Much appreciated Kim.

        Are your replies meant to come to my email? As the last one didnt.


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