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The Look for Less: Make vs. Buy this Trendy Crocheted Bag

Back in the early 2000's there was a show called The Look for Less on the cable network Style (which, sadly, is no more).

Hosted by a model, the show would bring on a regular person who wanted an outfit for something special. She would have a magazine spread in hand for something beautiful and pricey, and they would pair her with a Hollywood stylist who would take her shopping at a mall near her. (Stay with me, I promise this will relate to crochet patterns soon).

The goal of the shopping trip? To help her put together an outfit with a similar high-fashion, expensive look for $150 or less. I loved everything about this. I watched it religiously and tried to learn all the lessons. I ripped out my own magazine pages, I took myself to my local mall, and I had my own little show. 

It is in this spirit that I begin this new blog series, starting now.  

Crocheted bags are having a moment. You'll see them hanging off the arms of fashionista's in the clubs, magazines, and on runways everywhere. You can read more about it all over online, including at Cosmopolitan, Live Enhanced, and Marie Claire.

crochet bag trends 2022I've collected some of my favorites in the shops now and I'm sharing the first one of them here, with suggested patterns to help you make your own with a similar vibe. 

The Inspiration Bag

inspiration bag graphic


First up we have the Lallo Crochet Bucket Crossbody bag by Chloe, one that I particularly love for it's boho style and colorful-but-neutral vibe. The layering of the crochet with the rainbow details is both fun and sophisticated, and I love the pops of leather, too. 

This beautiful bag can be purchased at Bloomingdale's for $3,649.00 (!), but you can make your own version for a fraction of the price. Of course there isn't an exact pattern for this bag, but I've gathered a few that I think will deliver a similar look if you choose your colors and bag accessories (lining, straps, and hardware) thoughtfully. This is definitely a more complicated make, but in the end you will have something very special.  

Patterns for Making Your Own Version

There are a few patterns that evoke the same sort of look as the Lallo bag, depending greatly on your sartorial choices. 
lallo vibe


1) The Mermaid Tears Purse from Bernat Design Studio uses the same crocodile stitch as our inspiration; with the right color choices and by leaving off the flower, it could channel the Lallo nicely.

You could even weave through a leather drawstring at the top and line your strap with leather in the same way. You might consider making an extra long handle separately that you can sew down the sides of the bag, too, as the Lallo has done. Combined with a sewn-in bag lining, your result will be nice and strong, letting you load it up without worrying about stretch.

This Ophelia Talks Crochet video shows you how to crochet and then line a strap using cotton webbing or fabric, but you could easily use a soft, buttery, sewable leather (like lambskin) or Kraft-Tex leather-look paper fabric instead.  

2) The #39 Shell Crochet Bag from Vogue Knitting uses a shell stitch but the shape and bamboo handles still provide that free spirited look. It's also a much easier project than the Mermaid Tears.

3) The Peacock Tail Bag pattern from Tatsiana Kupryianchyk uses an overlay crochet technique that looks quite different from our inspiration bag, but it still exudes that upscale boho-chic vibe. And of course, different yarn color choices would make it more Lallo-like, too. You can get all kinds of color inspiration by scrolling through the projects at the provided Ravelry link -- over 400 people have shared their versions. 

I'll share more crocheted inspiration bags with accompanying pattern suggestions in the weeks to come, as I build out this Look for Less series. 

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