White Crocodile Purse

Intricate or unusual stitches always fascinate me so when I found some tutorials for the crocodile stitch, I knew I had to use it.

I decided to place the stitch on the flap of a purse with a textured stitch for the panels to set it off.

I’ve included links to two tutorials (written and video) to help you learn the stitch. While it looks complicated at first, once you make the first few of them, you’ll find that it’s actually quite simple to make.

This purse is made using Red Heart Luster Sheen but it can be made with any weight of yarn depending on how delicate or substantial you want it to be.

Errata: Beg ch count updated.

Sizes and Materials List …
Size: 9″w x 7″l x 2″d
Hook(s):

US F/5 (3.75 mm)

Yarn: Red Heart Luster Sheen [100% Acrylic, 335 yds/113 g skein]
Colors &
Approx. Yardage

White, 350 yds

Notions Yarn Needle
Purse Strap or Chain
Attachments to join strap to purse
1 yard Cotton Fabric for Lining
Scissors
Straight Pins
Sewing Machine
Straight edge ruler
Pencil
Gauge: Gauge is not that important for this project
Skill Level - Intermediate Download pattern in PDF format
Notes …
Repeats

Crocodile scale repeats are 6 sts plus 5 chs at the end. If using a thicker thread, adjust the number of chs on the beg ch so your piece is 9-9.5″ wide (or as wide as you’d like).

Stitches Used

Chain (ch)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Single Crochet (sc)
Half-Double Crochet (hdc)
Double Crochet (dc)
Foundation Single Crochet (fsc)

Special Stitch: V stitch= 2 dc in same stitch

Abbreviations

Each (ea)
Repeat (rep)
Skip (sk)
Space (sp)
Stitch(es) (st / sts)

Instructions …
Purse Flap
Base Chain Ch 57.

Note: Do not use an fsc for the base ch.

Row 1 Two dc in sixth ch from hook (beg dc and ch 2), *ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2, 2 dc in next ch,* rep from * to * to end of ch ending with one dc in last ch.
Row 2 Ch 1, *turn piece 90 degrees, sk beg dc, 5 dc around post of first dc of first v-stitch, ch 1 (bottom point of scale), rotate piece so the 5 dcs you just made are on the left and the second dc of the v-stitch is on the right, 5 dc around post of second dc, rotate piece so top of “scale” is at top of the piece, sl st around next dc to anchor top of scale,* rep from * to * across ending with a sl st in top of beg dc.

Written instructions are not easy to follow without seeing a video so I highly recommend you view the following:

Row 3 Ch 3 (beg dc), turn, dc in first dc, ch 2, *dc in center space of next scale, ch 2, 2 dc in next dc, ch 2,* rep from * to * across ending with 2 dc in beg dc.
Row 4 Rep row 2 but this time, start the scale in the first v-stitch and end with a scale in the last v-stitch. The scales will be in between the first row of scales with the first and last scales hanging over the edge of the first row.
Row 5 Ch 1, sl st in side of dc of scale (usually two sl sts will do), sl st in center sp of same scale, ch 5, *2 dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in center sp of next scale, ch 2,* rep from * to * to end, ending with one dc in center sp of last scale.
Row 6 Rep row 2.
Row 7+ Rep rows 3 through 6 until flap is at least 3″ long. Example purse has seven rows of scales. If you want a longer flap over the front of the purse, continue until it is as long as you like. Do not fasten off.
Flap Top
Row 1 Ch 1, turn, sc across with one sc in scale center sp, two sc in each ch-2 sp, and one sc in ea dc. (54 sc)
Row 2-3 Ch 3, turn, dc in ea st across. (54 dc)
Row 4 Ch 1, turn, sl st in first dc, *hdc in next dc, sl st in next dc,* rep from * to * across ending with a hdc.
Row 5 Ch 1, turn, sl st in first hdc, hdc in first sl st, *sl st in next hdc, hdc in next sl st,* rep from * to * across.
Rows 6-14 Rep row 4. If you want a deeper purse, add rows as needed to cover the required depth.
Row 15 Ch 3, turn, dc in first sl st and in ea st across.
Row 16 Ch 1, turn, sc in ea dc across. Fasten off.

Purse Back and Front Panels (make 2)

Base Chain Make an fsc of 54 sts. Make sure that if you increased or decreased the flap size or used a different yarn that you make the base chain to match the number you used on the flap.
Row 1 Ch 1, turn, sc in ea st across.
Row 2 Ch 1, turn, sl st in first sc, *hdc in next sc, sl st in next sc,* rep from * to * across ending with a hdc.
Row 3 Ch 1, turn, sl st in first hdc, hdc in first sl st, *sl st in next hdc, hdc in next sl st,* rep from * to * across.
Row 4-46 Rep row 3. If making a different sized purse or a different yarn weight, make a note of how many rows you made as this will be needed to make the other pieces.
Row 47 Ch 1, turn, sc in ea st across. For front panel, fasten off. For back panel, see instructions below, do not fasten off.
Attach Back Panel to Front Flap
Hold back piece and front flap together with right sides together. Back piece should be closest to you with working yarn on the right. Join the two pieces by crocheting together through each st with a sc. Fasten off at the end.
Purse Side Panels (make 2)
Row 1 Make an fsc of 14 sts (about 2″ wide).
Rows 2-47 Rep rows 2-47 of purse back/front.
Purse Base Panel
Row 1 Make an fsc of 54 sts (or how ever many are needed to match the front/back panels you made).
Row 2 Ch 1, turn, sc in ea st across.
Row 3-15 Rep row 2.
When you finish row 14, check the short end width against the short end of one of the purse sides to see if the width matches. Add or remove rows as needed to match.

Join Base to Front and Back

Decide if you want the seams inside the purse or outside (the example purse has them on the outside).
For inside seams, hold the pieces right sides together and sew or crochet together.
For outside seams, hold the pieces wrong sides together and crochet together with a sc in ea st.
Join the base of the front and back pieces to the long ends of the base. Fasten off.
Join Side Panels
Join the side panels to ea short side of the front and back panels and short end of the base panel. Make sure you join them the same way as you did the base to the front and back so the seams are consistent. Start joining at the top of one long end, down the side, across the bottom, and back up the other side. Fasten off.
Finishing …

Weave in ends. Wash and block as needed.

Lining
You will be making two bags for a double lining with a flap inserted at one edge.
  1. Measure the width of the purse front and one side then add 1″ for the seams. This will be the width for the lining. Example purse is 10.75″ plus 1″.
  2. Measure the length of the purse front, base, and back then add 1″ for the seams. This will be the length for the lining. Example purse is 13.5″ plus 1″
  3. Measure the length and width of the flap from the seam where you joined it to the back panel to the top of the first row of scales and on the sides to about 1/4″ in from the edges. This leaves the bottom edge of the flap without any lining. Example purse is 5.25″ x 8.25″ plus 1″.
  4. Cut out two pieces of fabric for the inside lining to match the width and length you measured, i.e., 11.75″ x 14.5″.
  5. Cut out two pieces of fabric for the flap lining to match the width and length you measured, i.e., 6.25″ x 9.25″.
  6. With right sides together, sew three sides of the flap together (top and both sides).

  7. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press sewn edges. Sew a running stitch along the open end at about 1/4″ to hold it closed.

  8. For inside lining pieces, fold each piece in half and sew the short sides together. Bottom of piece will be the folded edge.

  9. Press the seams of each bag to one side.
  10. Press along the fold to use it as a guideline for the base.
  11. Open one of the bags and lay the side seam along the pressed edge of the base to form a triangle.

  12. Pin together on the seam then place the ruler along the triangle to match the width of your sides and base and use the pencil to mark the seam. The example purse base is 2″.

  13. Repeat for other side and second bag. Trim off corner and press the seam to the underside of the bag (along base).

  14. Press under the top of each bag 1/2″ to the inside.
  15. Turn one bag right side out and find the center of one side. Mark with a pin.
  16. Find the center of the flap bottom and mark with a pin.

  17. Place the inside out bag inside the right side out bag.

  18. Match the seams and pin on the seams and along the unmarked side, matching up the pressed edges.
  19. Insert the flap in between the two bags on the marked side, matching the pins.

  20. Pin the flap in between the two bag edges, matching up the pressed edges.

  21. Sew the bag edges and flap close to the pressed edges, making sure to reinforce at the edges of the flap.

  22. Place bag inside purse and pin along edges. Sew either by hand or by machine. If sewing by machine, only sew up to where the scales start on the flap and sew along the scales and bottom edge of the flap by hand.
Add Straps
Attach the straps based on the type you’ve chosen. For the example purse, I crocheted around the metal attachments to hold it to the purse then attached a chain I’d purchased in the jewelry/bead section at Roberts Arts & Crafts. JoAnn’s Fabrics had a nice assortment of handles including a chain with lobster clasps at the ends.
Pattern and photos © Darlisa P. Riggs, CatBird Studios