How To Make the Most of a Simple Purse Design

Runaround Bag Lakehouse FabricsLazies, Our Runaround Bag is one of our simplest purse designs, but that doesn’t mean it has to look simple. Think of ‘simple’ as meaning ‘a blank palette waiting for your love’.

Dress-Up With Details
Here, we’ve dressed-up this small bag with three simple details. We made a funky shoulder strap, fussy cut our fabric to showcase the large floral and added a touch of ribbon to the zipper pull.

This simple shoulder strap technique might be just the answer for your next small bag project. I could have used some coordinating fabric to make the shoulder strap, but I wanted a little flair to go with the fun floral prints.

Use What You Have On Hand
So I reached for my stash of ribbon spools and pulled a few colors that matched the fabrics. Then I grabbed my size ‘I’ crochet hook and crocheted a length of simple chain stitches.

Click on the image of the bag to see the detail of the shoulder strap.

I chose three different widths of ribbon ranging from 1/8″ to 1/4″ wide. There’s no magic to my formula here. These were the sizes of the ribbons I had on hand. One of the ribbons has these cute little thread loops on the edges and that added a nice texture to the project.


Hold the three ribbons together and crochet as you normally would with one strand. Consider adding yarn or other fibers.

Chain stitch for the length you desire then knot the end. This shoulder strap is close to 40″ and it used a bit more than two yards of each of the three ribbons. Construct your bag project as you normally would and sew the ends of the strap to the bag. This is a great technique for short handles, too.

Add Color For Balance
I used a few leftover pieces of ribbon to embellish the zipper pull. Cut two or three 12″ pieces of ribbon. Trim one end to a point so they’re easy to feed through the zipper pull. Match all the ends and tie in a knot close to the pull.

Make Your Fabric Do The Work
I love the big flower on the front of the bag. Both of the prints you see are from Lakehouse Dry Goods. The big flower was just the right size for this project. The big yellow flower came from a panel of single flowers on a black background. Perfect – we’ll let the fabric is do all the work for us!

There was enough black fabric around the flower that I simply cut a piece of fabric big enough for this part of the project and I didn’t have to do anything else to it. The hardest part was choosing which of the fabulous flowers I liked the most.

I almost forgot to mention that the zipper is just a polyester all-purpose zipper from Coats & Clark.



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7 Responses to “How To Make the Most of a Simple Purse Design”

  1. Connie Villas — August 29, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

    Hi Joan,

    Love the “new” look to this pattern and the new tips, too.
    This is the first purse I ever made with a zipper inserted and it came out so nice–in fact, I had placed a call to the number on the pattern and you answered! Helped me to understand what I had to do.

    Well, I decided this would be a nice purse to make for my granddaughters–all five of them! My problem is to find where I have my pattern! I know the minute I go out and buy a new one, I will find my original pattern…LOL…

    Love your designs.

    😉 Connie
    Broomall, PA

  2. Karen, Monticello NY — September 21, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

    I made your purse last night and was so easy! The quilt shop where I bought it put their own fabric in and raised the price to $15, I changed the fabric selection and made it differently. Now I want to experiment and make more! Your website is fantastic. I have so many ideas floating in my head. I embroidered my name and hearts on it below the zipper before putting it together. Now I want to make some for my friends for birthdays and Christmas. They all want one! I have the pattern to make the towne purse next. Your designs are great. I love washable purses too!
    I love your designs.

  3. Sandy — January 30, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

    I love this smiple bag…….I would like to know where I can get the shells, That are on one of the samples. The one that has the button or charm like ones acrross the top

  4. Bev — February 13, 2008 @ 11:02 pm

    I made the Runaround Bag purse today. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I was nervous about the zipper because I never used a zipper.

    Your zipper method is so easy. I plan to make several purses for gifts. This old lady has learned a new trick, thanks to you.

    Thanks, thanks, Bev

  5. thanks! — September 28, 2008 @ 7:13 pm

    This looks much like the bag i just made,
    I had no place to put my once worn Pjs
    You know how yu wear a pajama or gown one night and you do not think it should be washed yet?
    You have no place to put them?
    You can’t put them in a drawer with clean clothes,you can’t throw them in the hamper with dirty?
    So what do you do then?

    You get two pieces of fabric about 1yd long and 2yds wide
    you sew them together to form a lined giant rectangle
    attach three straps which will be used to tie it to the foot of the bed
    all mine is are two rectangle fabric pieces and the straps
    which are attached very well…
    and there you are a place for not quite dirty not quite clean jammies…

  6. Jeanne — February 13, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    Love the Runaround Bag. Made for the grand daughters who always love my Lazy Girl pattern box. They choose their own fabric and some are really far out! Grand mum is learning to use their choices instead of mine..


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