1) I bought the purse ($2). The purse was actually an insulated lunch 'box', which means it was waterproof. This is a good thing for children's purses!
2) I crocheted the head. I started out with a circle, chain 3 and join, crochet 6 sc in the ring. Then, just as if making a hat, you increase the circle in each round until the circle is the correct size (done in double crochet after initial ring). Then you begin decreasing slightly to bring the sides around. This will be about 3 or 4 rows.
3) Using fabric glue, I put a layer of felt on the inside of the head to give it some stiffness. Glue and felt made the facial features as well.
4) I crocheted the arms, dress and ears for the kitty. All were attached to one another and the resultant kitty was sewn to one side of the purse. The head was left open at the top to leave a 'secret compartment'. The right side of the dress was left open as well, leaving room for candy, pencils or whatever she wanted to hide there.
Before giving the purse to her, I put some dollar bills in the head and a roll of mentos in the dress. As you can imagine, my granddaughter was absolutely thrilled with her purse. She is still thrilled with it. Her sister (2 years older) was also enamored with the purse. She 'hinted' that she would LOVE to have a purse that ...., filling me in on what she would like to have on her purse.
So, almost a year later as this granddaughter's birthday approaches, she will recieve her purse. It is a dog with three secret places in it, and I anticipate that she will be thrilled with her new purse. I had already bought the purse when I bought the other one. For $2 each, I bought several.
For this one, I used 'fur' yarn and followed similar procedures. Hello Kitty had a flat face, however, so for the dog, I had to sculpt a muzzle with the yarn. The muzzle was lined with felt as well and then stuffed and sewn onto the head. The head is again open at the top to form a secret compartment.
I used buttons for the eyes and nose. The eyes I painted blue. For the ears, imagine making a small Christmas stocking. It starts with a circle as well, but is then crocheted in dc around until it is about the right size. One side has two extra rows of dc to attach to the head and leave an opening for the secret pocket. I made a similar ear out of regular crochet to use as a liner for the ears, stuffing them inside and then tacking them in various places to make sure they stayed put.
The finished ears are added to the head in the correct position. A bow over one ear and a fuzzy dog collar complete the look. Because the thread for this one did not match the inside of the purse, I used a pillow case (cut to size) to line the inside of the purse.
Will she love it? I sure hope so, but I can know one thing: no one else will have a purse exactly (or even remotely) like hers. I love creating things that are unique. Sometimes the process - creating as you go by trial and error - can make me crazy, but the joy in the faces of those who receive these creations is worth any frustration. I'd love to hear (see pictures) if anyone else tries this. This project is only limited by your imagination.