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,



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