Marrakech Melody - green

The Marrakech Melody Bag

A Crocheted Mini-Purse

designed by

Lydia F Borin
The Beadwrangler



Marrakech Melody - purple


This is a miniature pattern based on purse designs of the 1800’s. Lydia Borin, The Beadwrangler, created the pattern; it is an original, not a copy or portion of old patterns. Lydia spent 68 hours designing, developing and testing the Marrakech Melody in April 1998. Lydia catalogs antique purses for museums and this experience has inspired her to create new purse designs with an Old World flavor.      

The purse body measures approximately 4" (10cm) long and 2" (5cm) wide. Many of the old purses were about 10" (25.5cm) long and 6" (15cm) wide.  Larger purses are unusual finds and very few were created. Very small purses were called finger purses.  You would put your finger through the ring and let the purse hang down from your finger at fancy galas and socials. This was very "in" back then.

  • Seed Beads size 11 seed beads, approximately 12 strands or 1 hank. Any beads can be used; rainbow, transparent rainbow, transparent pearl and opaque seed beads look very lovely on this purse and the colors are permanent. You can also use transparent and opaque cut beads. You can transfer the beads from a hank using a twisted wire needle. If your beads are not on strands, it will just take a little longer to string them; no brainer work, rather relaxing  actually.
  • Thread  approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of a 100 yard spool; Jeans Stitch was used for the two Marrakech examples. Topstitching and 20/2 crochet thread are good equivalents and make very soft squishy purses. Anchor #8, DMC #8 or 10/2 crochet thread makes a stiffer purse. The purse shape and size will look different with your fiber type and thread size.
  • 1 Twisted wire needle, medium, to pre-string the beads. Bead stores carry these needles.
  • 1 Crochet hook, size 12 (English 4 or 0.6mm), option: use 9 (English 6 or 1mm)
  • Plastic, glass or gemstone ring, approximately 25mm. The example shown is a covered plastic ring.
  • Sewing needle, big enough eye too accommodate thread
  • Scissors
Marrakech Melody - closeup 1

Ready? Let’s go! We will be working from the bottom to the top of the bag in rounds.



To put a bead on a crochet piece, put the hook in the next stitch for an sc stitch, then pull up the last bead you pre-strung on the spool and place it next to the crocheted piece, push it snug against the fiber and yo behind it, then make the 2nd yo as usual. Beads for all sc stitches will be added in the first yo for this pattern. Illustrations and instructions for left-handed and right-handed bead placement and bead loops are included in my book, Beadwrangler’s Hands On Crochet with Beads and Fiber.

  • The Mini Scrunchie on the end of the purple bag is from my crochet book also and you can make it using those instructions; they are not included in this pattern. Instructions for the necklaces attached to the bags are from my Beadwrangler’s Hands on Bead Stringing book. Instructions are not included in this pattern.
  • New crocheters may ask: What’s those stars mean? The star* means you complete the stitches listed from the beginning of one * to the end where the next * appears and repeat the stitches as many times as indicated.
Example: ch1. *1bsc and 1sc in each st,* repeat 6 times and join with a sl st to beg ch1. The star indicates you put both 1bsc and 1sc in stitch of the previous round and repeat the stitch placement 6 times in the current round. The ch1 is outside the * so you do not repeat it in this round.
  • You will be working through the back half of all the stitches except where indicated to go under both stitch halves. If you work very tight, going through the back loop will be great for you; if you work very loose then go under both loops. The soft supple look of these purses is obtained by taking the hook through only the back half of most the stitches. This is the way the crochet pattern purses were created in the 1800’s through the 1950’s.
Marrakech Melody - closeup 2


  • Rounds 2 through 4 require you make bead loops in each stitch. If you find it difficult to make continuous rounds of bead loops and still be able to see what you are doing, work round of 1sc stitches between each round of bead loops.
  • At the end of each round the stitch total and bead loop total of those stitches will be indicated. When all stitches are bead loops, only bead loops will be indicated.
  • Make sure you pre-string beads first, approximately 3 strands or about 1 yards at a time. When you run out of beads, fasten off, string on more beads, attach the hook again and continue.


Go through the back half of stitch unless instructions state otherwise.
1 ch6 and join with sl st to form a ring. (6 sts)
2 ch1. ADD BEADS. *1bsc with 40blp and 1sc in each st*, repeat 6 times and join with sl st to beg ch. (12sts -6blps)
3 ch1. ADD BEADS. *1bsc with 30blp and 1bsc with 15blp in each st* repeat 12 times and join with sl st to beg ch. (24blps)
4 ch1. ADD BEADS. *1bsc with 20 blp in each st * repeat 24 times and join with sl st to beg ch. (24blps).
5 ch3 and 1dc in same st. *2dc in each st* repeat 23 times and join with sl st to beg ch3. Count beg ch3 and dc st. (48sts).
6 ch3. *1dc in each st* repeat 47 times and join with sl st to beg ch3. Count beg ch3. Go under both stitch halves. (48sts)
7 ch1. *1sc in each st* repeat 48 times and join with sl st to beg ch. Go under both halves of stitches. (48sts)
8 ch1. ADD BEADS. *1bsc with 3blp in each st* repeat 48 times and join with sl st to beg ch. (48blps)
9 ch1. ADD BEADS. *1bsc with 5blp in each st * repeat 48 times and join with sl st to beg ch. (48blps)
10 ch1 ADD BEADS. *1bsc with 7blp in each st* repeat 48 times and join with sl st to beg ch. (48blps)
11 ch1. *1sc in each st* repeat 48 times and join with sl st to beg ch. (48sts)
12 You will be making bead chains and attaching them to the previous round with sc stitches.
ch1. ADD BEADS. *bch3, sk 1 st, 1sc in next st* repeat 24 times and join with sl st to beg ch1 below bch3. Count first bch3. (24bchs)
13 ADD BEADS. *bch3, sk 1 st, 1sc in 2nd bch of previous bch3 round* repeat 24 times and join to 2nd bch of beg bch3. Count beg bch 3. Take hook under both stitch halves. (24bchs)
14-24 Repeat Round 13 (24bchs in each round)
25 ADD BEADS. *bch3, 1sc in 2nd bch of previous round, repeat 24 times, join with sl st to 1st bch of beg bch3. Count beg bch3. Take hook under both stitch halves. (25bchs)
26 ch1. *1sc in each bch st of previous round* repeat 75 times and join with sl st to beg ch. (75sts)
27 ch1. ADD BEADS. *1bsc with 20blp in each st* repeat 75 times and join with sl st to beg ch1. (75blps)
28 *ch3, sk 1 st, 1dc plus ch1 in next st* repeat 40 times and join with sl st to beg ch3. Count beg ch3. Take hook under both stitch halves (38dc)
29 ch1. *1sc in next 6 sts, 1sc dec in next 2 sts* repeat with 10 decreases starting in 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 35th, 42nd, 49th, 56th, 63rd and 70th st. Take hook under both stitch halves. (68 sts). Fasten off. Use a sewing needle and weave in all loose threads and cut off excess.

Finishing Touches

Strap for purple bag
This bag has a bead strap strung on Soft Flex wire and a crimp bead on the end of the Soft Flex. Then a beaded scrunchie is sewn to the end of the crimp bead. Use my bead stringing book instructions for this technique. You can also string seed beads onto the same thread as the bag, knot the end and add a decorative bead or threads to the end; however the fiber strap will wear from the weight of the bag and you may have to restring again if you wear the bag often.  Save a small amount of beads and thread as replacement supplies.

Strap for green bag
Use same thread and optional metallic thread. Use the size 9 or 12 hook to Ch145 or approximately 10" in length, remove the hook and put a safety pin in the loop. Thread a sewing needle to the other end of the chains and weave the needle through the bag; *start in through 1space between dc sts and skip 2 spaces* repeat until you are at the other end and meet the chains where you started.  Take the needle out through the same space where you begin. Pull the two ends of chains together and close the bag. Take out the safety pin and put in the hook. Take a plastic ring and make sc sts around the ring. When the ring is covered, take the hook through the other end of the chain and join with a sl st. Work 1sc to connect both chain ends coming from the bag and fasten off. Weave in loose threads.  Complete instructions and illustrations for covering rings are included in my crochet book.

Adding beads to the ring
Attach the hook to an sc stitch on the outside of the ring next to where the chains are attached, work 1bsc with 3blp in each stitch around, when you come to the strap chains, work the sts in front of the chains running from the purse and join with a sl st to the beg bsc st. Fasten off. Weave in loose thread and cut off excess.


You now have a Marrakech Melody Bag! You can make a chain stitch necklace with or without beads, a braided necklace or a Why Knot necklace like those in the color images. The instructions for these type of necklaces are in my bead stringing book. The purple bag has a necklace that is finished on the end and the green bag has a necklace that has the crimp bead showing before finishing. They are attached using a lark’s head closure so you can take the bag off and put on other crocheted items or wear the necklace only.

Crochet Page   The Junction

NOTE: This design is the property of Lydia F Borin and is for personal use only. No part of this project may be used as part of another project, magazine article, book or other printed or electronic publication without the written permission of the owner.  For further information contact

A crochet story by the Beadwrangler
Marrakech Melody Bag is the first pattern from the series of patterns Virginia received.

The Mysterious Package - Is There A Crochet Fairy?

Virginia was anxiously waiting for crochet patterns to come in the mail. Every day she ran to the mail box anticipating a package. Then one day Virginia pulled a letter from the mail box that was from the pattern company. They stated the patterns she ordered were no longer available. This was so disappointing as Virginia had planned to make several crochet goodies from the patterns for family and friends and for patients at the local hospital where she volunteered many hours. A week went by and Virginia continued her search through pattern catalogs trying to find substitutes,  She was going through another catalog when she heard the mailman and went to check the mail. Inside the mail box she found a strange package with no return address. The paper was very old and smelled of lilacs. "What could this be?" she thought. Virginia opened the package and inside were lovely crochet patterns, more lovely than those she had ordered. There was also a handwritten note on lace white fabric inside:

"Dear Virginia,

I just happened to be checking on my grandsons that run our pattern business and saw your letter and the responding letter that we no longer carry the patterns you ordered. I was bothered that those patterns were discontinued, so I went to my abode, gathered some patterns I designed years ago and am sending them to you in place of those discontinued patterns.

From one Crocheter to another, keep the Link alive, Genevieve."

Virginia was overwhelmed and amazed that these old patterns, originals, were sent to her. They appeared to have been printed from the 1900s to 1940s. She called the pattern company to thank Genevieve and was surprised when the company representative stated Genevieve had died several years ago at the ripe old age of 100. Virginia was confused but very grateful for the patterns and definitely planned to share with many crocheters.

It is apparent to the Beadwrangler that crochet sharing breaks all boundaries, and Yes, Virginia, there is a crochet fairy!

When you make copies of these instructions to share with your friends, please tell them you got them at Beadwrangler's.

For more crochet projects like this one, check Lydia's latest book, Beadwrangler's Hands On Crochet with Beads and Fiber.   For information and photos of projects, click here.

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