tote and clutch from upcycled sweaters

I saw this idea for a sweater bag, blogged about here, and found a sweater at the thrift store that I thought would be perfect. I liked this sweater because of the texture, but the turtleneck style was not flattering and the pattern didn’t look so good on an item of clothing. The cables were very thick, but after I used Decor Bond on the outside pieces a little of the thickness was compressed.

sweater pattern detail

This bag was actually my first sweater bag, even though I blogged about the yellow sweater bag first. I made this bag for my mom’s birthday present, since her favorite color is purple and she could always use another bag, but had to wait several weeks until I went home for Easter to give it to her.

I used the Lemon Squeezy Home sweater purse tutorial as the basis of this bag. Since this was my first bag, there were a few things I would have done differently. I figured out I should box the corners on the lining to get a better fit. Another change I made was the way I put the bag together. I wanted to keep the narrow ribbed edge on the sweater visible, so I made the inside and outside separately and left the lining longer than the outside fabric. When I inserted the lining into the outside, I turned the top down between the inside and outside for a finished edge and topstitched two rows. If you are going to do this, make sure your pieces are very, very close to the same size. My lining was a little too big and it was a bit of a challenge to match up the tops.

I was all set to make a black lining and handles for this bag (like I used in my Kindle Fire case made from the same sweater) since the purple was kind of an unusual color. Then I found this fitted twin sheet at the store, and even though I normally go for flat sheets, the fabric was too cute and I had to buy it. I bought it to make a baby dress and diaper cover out of, and then the one of the purple shades perfectly matched the color of the sweater! I still have black handles that I’d already made to use for something else, but I’m glad I waited to start assembling the bag.

I was so excited to give a handmade gift to my mom, who is the whole reason I know how to sew. She’s using it to carry her music to church.

Over the next weeks of thrifting and yard sales, I found several more sweaters. One of these was a hot pink American Eagle sweater that I wore for a day before deciding it was destined for its original purchase purpose of becoming a bag.

The pink sweater was a v-neck instead of a turtleneck so there was less fabric to work with than the past two bags. It wasn’t meant to become a tote of any real size, so I decided to make a sweater clutch. My sister-in-law’s favorite colors are white, black and hot pink so I paired the sweater with the black lining I’d already cut for the previous bag and a piece of batting and made a stack.

This is just three rectangles of fabric, the batting, then the lining, then the sweater backed with decor bond. The ribbon loop up there is to fasten the clutch, but it should have been flipped and sewn inside instead of facing out. I also should have left a bigger hole when sewing around the edges so this wouldn’t happen.

It wasn’t a big deal and ironed back into place, but I obviously tried to fit too much clutch through that small opening.

Flip it inside out and sew the opening closed. You’ll have a long sweater rectangle. I topstitched at the edge of the clutch with the ribbon, and then folded the sides up and stitched them in place. Finally, I sewed a button on and it was done. The bottom of the sweater had a wide strip of ribbing so I folded it to where the ribbing would only show at the top to give it a more finished look.

This sweater clutch was very easy to make and the SIL liked it!


4 thoughts on “tote and clutch from upcycled sweaters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s