Shoulder Bag And Purse – No Sewing Required

bag and purse

finished bag

These are both lined and can be knitted in DK or 4ply (fingering) following the same instructions and adjusting the tension dial to suit the yarn.

The shoulder bag measures approximately 7″ x 6″ in DK and 6″ x 5″ in 4ply.

The purse measures approximately 5″ x 4″ in DK and 4″ x 3″ in 4ply.

The shaping is done by short rowing and all the seams are joined using the sew as you go method which means there is no sewing up to do once it’s off the machine apart from sewing on a button and loop if you want to add them.

You don’t have to sew as you go, you can sew the seams when it’s off the machine but it is a little bit fiddly.

If you’re not sure how to do short rowing or sew as you go this video shows you how.

For the shoulder bag handle I used a detachable handle from a bag I already had but you can make your own using icord. It would probably be better to knit three lengths of icord and plait them together.

For the fastening you could sew on a small icord loop or crochet a loop and add a button . You could use press studs or even velcro.

It’s probably better to knit the bag and purse at a tighter tension than you would normally knit your chosen yarn. I knitted the DK at T8 and the 4ply at T5.

You shouldn’t need more than 100g to knit both the bag and purse, you will need your main colour and a contrast colour for the lining.


Instructions for the purse are written first, instructions for the bag are in brackets.

Using main colour, e wrap cast on 30 (46) sts.
Knit 24 (36) rows at main tension minus 1

Short row shaping:
Set carriage so that it doesn’t knit needles that are in holding position.
Put one needle into holding position at opposite end to carriage then knit the row.
Continue doing this on every row until there are 20 (30) sts left in working position, remembering to wrap yarn around the first needle in hold to prevent any holes from forming, and add weights to stop work from coming off the needles.
Now put one needle back into working position at the opposite end to the carriage before knitting the next row.
Continue doing this until all the needles are back in work.
Set the carriage so that it will knit needles that are in holding position.

Knit 24 (36) rows at main tension, joining the sides of the inner front flap as you knit using the sew as you go method.
Hang the cast on row onto the needles.

Knit 2 rows

Knit 2 rows.
Transfer the 3rd stitch from each end onto the 4th needle, this will form the eyelets for attaching the handle.
Knit 2 rows.

Mark the last row knitted.
This can be done by pulling all the needles out to holding position and weaving a length of ravel cord over and under the needles. The ravel cord will be knitted in when you knit the next row.

Knit 26 (40) rows at main tension.
Complete short row shaping as before.
Knit 26 (40) rows at main tension, joining sides of back of bag as you go.

Change to contrast colour.
Knit 26 (40) rows at main tension minus 1
Complete short row shaping as before.
Knit 26 (40) rows at main tension minus 1, joining sides of front lining as you go.

Pick up the stitches from the row you marked and put them onto the needles.

Knit 1 row at tension 10 and cast off using the latch tool method.

This is what it should look like:

bag off the machine

Now you need to push the lining into the main bag, so it looks like this:

bag open

The loose ends can be threaded onto a darning needle and pulled to the inside, out of sight.


Add your fastenings and handle and that’s it.

purse with button and loop

dk and 4ply bags and purses

If you didn’t use the sew as you go method, you’ll end up with something like this:

un sewn bag


This is how you’ll sew the seams:

pinned up

And finally you’ll join the cast off edge to the marked row:

final seam


Then finish off as explained above.



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6 Responses to Shoulder Bag And Purse – No Sewing Required

  1. Carol Muller says:

    How cute they are!

  2. Yvonne says:

    Really pretty Susan.

  3. Morag Walker says:

    Hello Susy These are gorgeous. I like the no sewing bit. I will try that. Sounds good. Best wishes Morag W

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