Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yes, yes I can make a purse from this!!

I'm really jazzed with the way this turned out.  The sweater is a cotton-blend with the quilt motif done in intarsia.  I knit the sweater many years ago and wore it quite a bit.  But, I don't wear it any more.  So, how did I do it?  Well, I probably should have taken more pictures, but here's the basic order of events:
  1. Carefully take off the sleeves by undoing the seams.  This required excellent light and small sharp scissors.  Cutting any threads of the actual garment would result in an unraveled mess.
  2. Undo the side seams so you have flat fabric.
  3. I used one sleeve as the back of this bag.  That way I have another sleeve and the back of the sweater to make a second bag.  The sleeve limited the width of the bag but not too much.  The bag is plenty big.
  4. I used the ribbing at the bottom of the sleeve for one top edge so no serging was necessary.  But, for the front of the sweater, I'm cutting into actual knit fabric and need to secure the threads.  I carefully marked the horizontal line where the top edge would be and ran an overlock stitch several times along that line.  That way I can cut and it won't unravel.
  5. I pinned the sleeve to the front, right sides facing.  Then I sewed a basic trapezoid using an overlock stitch to catch all the threads.  Then I ran a second line of stitching just inside the first for extra insurance.
  6. Box the corners and overlock several times through.  Cut out the excess to avoid bulk.
  7. Only then did I wash the piece.  I ran it through my delicate cycle just to freshen up the yarn.
  8. Line the bag and add the handles.  Here's a shot of the lining:

Just for grins, here is a bag I made from half of a dated poncho, also hand-knit by me.  Both these bags will find happy homes with my son's teachers.  And, I still have half a sweater and half a poncho for additional bags.  I don't have a lot of cotton sweaters in my sweater cabinet.  But, there are a few in there that will be seeing new life in the coming years.  Buy less and make do!!


  1. Great bags. I am a big fan of recycling and repurposing. You provide some great inspiration.

  2. I love the poncho bag....the colors are beautiful and the detail at the top is so nice too!