The inspiration for this purse was actually the leather! I bought a bag of miscellaneous leather scraps from a market in London. I had no idea what I was going to make with them, but I knew they had lots of possibilities! One day I decided that I would like to make a purse with the scraps. Since all of the pieces were quite small, I decided to crochet the body of the purse and use the leather for the bottom and sides, handles, and closure.
I made a paper pattern for each part of the purse, and then began crocheting scrumbles. When I had a large number of scrumbles, I began to join them together, laying them on the paper pattern as I worked to create the shape I wanted. When the front and back were complete, I cut out the leather pieces. Then, I went to a leather shop and bought a leather punch. I didn't have a long enough piece of leather to use for the bottom and sides, so I had to make a seam in the center of the bottom. I punched equally spaced holes along the edges of the bottom and side leather pieces. Next, I back stitched the pieces together at the center bottom, and then made a single crochet into each hole to create an edging that could be sewn to the front and back of the purse. As it turns out, I like it even better that way! For the handles, I cut 2 pieces for each handle and punched holes in the edges. I then crocheted a cord, that I sandwiched in between the handle pieces and made a single crochet into each hole of both layers at the same time, to enclose the cord. For the purse closure, I cut 2 identical pieces, punched holes in the edges and around the buttonhole, and single crocheted the outside edges together as I did for the handles and did a back stitch around the buttonhole.
I really liked using leather in this project and I feel that it breaks up the the crochet and allows you to look at the details in the freeform, instead of being lost in it!