Recently I was approached by a soon-to-be shop owner who wanted me to sell some of my crochet items through her shop. Initially I was very keen to give it a go (and it probably helped that I was flattered to have been asked) but after a little more thought I've been slowly going off the idea. I would need to design a whole range of quick to make items that didn't cost too much in materials and somehow come out in profit after this shop keeper has added on her 100-150% mark up.
Even though I've now decided against following her offer up I've still spent some time working up some simple purse ideas as well as buying a number of pretty 10cm zips. (If you have problems finding 10cm zips anywhere then I highly recommend "ribbon moon" they do stock a number of different colours and have a very helpful service team)
My first crochet purse attempt turned out a little warped... I worked it as all one piece in a continuous spiral from the bottom, so it didn't have nice defined edges and tended to turn in at the corners. Because I was having no joy finding anywhere that stocked little zips I also crocheted a flap with loops for buttons... but I'm not very pleased with the result (I'll probably end up frogging it and reusing the yarn).
For my second attempt I ditched the continuous round idea and stuck with a plain simple rectangle of crochet that I doubled over and stitched the edges together to make a basic pouch. I used an alternating green to do the outlining and I really liked how it brightened up the simple shape. Then I crocheted a simple leaf (if anyone wants to know the pattern I came up with then just leave a message) which I added to the front.
Now the tricky part, adding the lining and the zip. For the lining I used an old (but clean) T-shirt which was nice and soft and stretchy. After making a little pouch slightly smaller than the purse out of the fabric I pinned it into the purse and tried to sew it in with the zip in place too... and yes this was very tricky. I think I'm going to have to try and find some 'how to hand sew a zip' tutorials before I try the next purse. Even though the purse took over 3 hours to make I'm very happy with the results - but unless I get the construction time right down then it isn't really going to be suitable as something I make to sell.
The last purse idea was to make a simple circular purse with another leaf as decoration in the hopes that it will look a little like some sort of fruit, perhaps even an apple. I'm still thinking that it will take me a good few hours to sew the lining and zip in, but you never know, magically this could be somehow faster? Whatever happens at least I'll have a few more purses around the flat, and if I ever get round to it I could try selling them on Etsy.