yellow sweater turns into a bag (with pockets!)

I get so into some of the things I make, but then I have to wait until the USPS does its work and delivers the gift to its rightful owner before I can blog about it so I don’t spoil the surprise. I’ve been excited about this yellow sweater turned bag since I planned it out in my head on the drive back after visiting Christine last weekend.

I had found the sweater already and thought the color would suit her, but the rest of the bag came together on the drive. I wanted to use a daisy print for the inside since they are her favorite flowers. It had to have pockets since she’s taking care of her nephew and expecting her first baby in September. I had planned on it being larger so it could double as a baby bag, but the sweater I used wasn’t that big.

This tutorial on A Lemon Squeezy Home was the basis of my sweater purse. (You have to scroll down the page a little to get to the tutorial.) I adhered my interfacing and sewed the outside pieces together with the batting before getting to work on the pockets. The sleeves had a long piece of ribbing on the cuffs and I used the end of one sleeve to make a long pocket inside.

I considered using the sleeve to make a vertical pocket, but it would have been too deep for the bag. I probably should have interfaced this ribbed piece, but I didn’t. I ironed it flat and stretched it out as far as I could so hopefully it wouldn’t expand too much more over time, but it was still a bit stretchy. I secured it at the top to help keep it in place.

I attached a button to a piece of broadcloth so the button wouldn’t look like it came out of nowhere or stretch out the fabric even more. I hand-stitched the orange piece of fabric to the ribbing in an attempt to avoid any more stretching issues.

I used the pretty label I’d torn out of the sweater to attach the ribbon loop and hide the end of the ribbon. Normally I wouldn’t care about keeping a label, but this one had aesthetic value and American Eagle was one of Christine’s favorite places to shop when we would hang out at the mall in college.

Jackson helped interfered with the hand sewing. He wasn't happy competing with a purse for lap space.

I really liked the lining fabric. The traditional daisy print was boring and old-looking, so I went with a fun colorful interpretation of daisies.

Next I made a couple pockets on the other side.

The yellow fabric is another sweater part. I interfaced it with Decor Bond (which I used for the outside too, but not the straps), sewed it together wrong sides facing, flipped it right side out, folded the bottom under and sewed the three sides down. The only raw edge is at the bottom of the pocket.

The orange fabric I had from pillows I made for the living room. The orange pocket is a rectangle, sewed on the sides, turned through a hole and neatly pressed. I didn’t close the hole since I was going to sew around the edges anyway. I did topstitch the top of the orange pocket before I sewed it down so the top would match the sides and divider.

Then I sewed the lining together. I boxed the corners of the lining to give it a better shape inside since I had already boxed the corners on the outside.

The straps were made from scraps of sweater sewn together in a long strip. I adhered these scrap straps to a lightweight interfacing so I could turn it easily. I used more orange bits for the backing, sewed them together wrong sides facing, then turned the straps and topstitched them. I don’t have anywhere near me that sells purse handles like the ones pictured in the tutorial, and I imagine they would be heavy and less practical than regular straps.

Following the tutorial, I sewed the lining, straps, and outside together, flipped the lining inside, topstitched around the top of the bag and it was done!

inside/outside view

(flipped inside out) two pocket view

(flipped inside out) stretchy pocket view

Also in the box was this gathered clutch I’ve been meaning to give Christine for a few months now.

I mixed up the colors on this one a bit to make it more fun.

Harvey had to give the bag her seal of approval before I could put it in the mail.

Christine got it in the mail today and said she’s already switched from her old purse to her new purse! I was so excited for her to get it! I wish I could see how it looks “in action,” but hopefully it won’t be long before I get to see her again.


13 thoughts on “yellow sweater turns into a bag (with pockets!)

    • nope! I’ve just used any sweater with fabric I liked, thin or thick, cotton or a blend. The main thing is that you interface the sweater pieces to prevent them from stretching out. From there I just treat the sweater pieces like normal fabric for sewing purposes.

      and thank you!

      • Which interfacing do you use? Do you use an iron on? One more, do you iron it on to the felted wool or just the lining? It is the best looking and most professional looking one I have seen on Pinterest. Thank you for posting! Gale

      • I’ve used Craft Fuse and Decor Bond interfacing, both iron ons, which are thicker and stiffer than regular interfacing and meant for home dec projects. I carefully iron the interfacing onto the sweater piece, not the lining, with a damp press cloth. Lift and set down the iron each time when ironing on the interfacing because sliding it side to side can cause the sweater to stretch out. Ironing the interfacing to the sweater keeps the sweater from stretching out and gives the bag more structure. I haven’t felted any of the sweaters I’ve used actually, though I’d like to try it!

        Thanks for the compliment! Hope I was able to answer all your questions!

  1. Sha in GA says:

    Thanks so much for the info about the iron on interfacing. They have light, medium and heavy weights in these. But I gathered that you use the heavy weight which is stiffer. That’s what I have also chosen. I see that you boxed the bottom but wondered about the bottom of the purse getting dirty. I know the practical Jane in me is always looking at the cleaning end of things. Have you had any experience in that? I thought about using something different for the bottom or perhaps putting feet instead. Do you have any idea’s on this. I’ll be starting this one as a Christmas present for my daughter soon. Thanks, Sharon

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