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I saw this sweater in a charity shop sale for £2 and thought it was a lovely material, so I decided to make it into a bag, and sketched out a design.

It is 100% acrylic, and I wasn't even going to attempt felting it, but I wanted to stop it stretching badly.  My solution was to back each piece with cotton sheeting.  I added iron on interfacing to the sheeting and used my overlocker to join them, wrong sides together.

You see I thought I could use them like that, and have the overlocked edges on show.  Two problems, one was even with Woolly Nylon the edges weren't covered thickly enough, and secondly it didn't allow for inside pockets.  I tried hand sewing one in with invisible thread but unpicked it and thought again.  I decided I would have to line the bag, and wanted to do a pull through one rather that a drop in as I wasn't sure if it would all get too thick for my machine.

So I made up the flap and the handle and lined them.  I then worried about the thickness of the handles being too much too, so I bought matching yarn and hand stitched them on.  

Then I hand stitched the flap on, and added the big button.  I had intended to put a magnetic catch under it, then realised cutting the sweater to insert them would create more problems!

I made a lining, with my usual zipped pocket on one side, and a divided slip pocket on the other, with a flap with velcro fastening for the smaller mobile phone pocket.

So finally I fitted the bag inside the lining and machined them together. I had left a narrow gap when I fitted the handles, and to make sure the foot would fit I used my Universal Zipper foot and put my machine needle on the far left (an option on my Janome DC3050).


It looked okay, so I pulled it through the opening I had left in the lining. I have to say the experience put me in mind of it those shots of vets helping bring a colt or calf into the world!  I am soooo glad I reinforced the stitching on either side of the opening!

So finally it has come together.  I look at it now and see I should have made the flap wider where it fitted over the top and onto the back.  It might benefit from a bag bottom too, but overall I am pleased with the result!

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Replies to This Post

Great job!  It is beautiful!  Seems like no matter how hard we try to think of every want and need on an original project, there is always some way to perfect it next time!  Enjoy!

Hi Suzy

All part of the learning curve!

The bag is lovely, hard to believe it was once a sweater.  I liked how you got around the fact that the acrylic wasn't going to

felt but you didn't want it to stretch.  Well done.

Anne in Dunedin

Hi Anne

I just loved it and thought there was a way I could wear it!

I love it, who knew. just wish I was that talented to see a sweater and than turn it into a shoulder bag wow !

Hi Patricia

Well I find turning a garment into a bag easier than designing a bag from scratch.   I got the flap the wrong shape because I don't usually add one!  Learning by trial and error!

What a great idea and i loved how your's turned out!  

I am thinking that this is a great way to continue to use a very much loved sweater that one no longer wants to wear but loves it....and the love keeps on in a new life!

hmmmmm going to check my never wear but keepsake sweater bin!  i know i have one or 2 that would make a great bag!


one mentioned 'bag bottom'.  are you talking about a seperate piece sewn in or just square off the corners?


Hi Jane

I meant a separate piece of stiffener covered with lining material.  I have already squared off the corners, as a gusset would have been more difficult!

ok..i understand now!  thank you for explaining! 

Love the bag!


Very Nice !!! 

Thank you kindly!

Very cute bag!!


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