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Sewing: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle a Thrift Store Sweater

January 5, 2009


The Recycled Sweater Bag isn’t quite old enough to be considered a Way Back Craft.  I first started making this bag last year.  It works great with a felted thrift store sweater, but you can also make this bag out of denim, upholstery fabric, or just about any other heavy duty material.

Do I need a reason to make a new bag?  Not really, but recycling is a darn good incentive!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle a Thrift Store Sweater
© Jennifer Ofenstein
http://www.sewhooked.org

You will need:


  • 1 old or thift store wool sweater – felted
  • fabric for lining & pockets
  • magnet purse snap
  • 2 buttons
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • scissors
  • chalk
  • pins
  • rotary cutter (optional)
  • walking foot (optional)




Cut a square or rectangle out of the body of the sweater, cut the same dimensions from lining fabric, remove sweater armss.




Split sleeves up seam and cut off the tops for pockets.




Cut rectangles out of the sleeve tops, cut same dimensions +1.5″ in length for lining.




Using the remaining scraps, cut out 2 circles and trim circles into free form flowers.




Cut 2″ squares out of the bottom left and right, repeat for lining fabric.


Create a long tube from lining fabric for inside pockets, pin pockets to inside, mark center with chalk for stitching line.




Pin sides and bottom, stitch, leave 2″ corners open, leave opening in the side or bottom for turning.




Fold 2” cut out matching side and bottom seams.


The bottom and pockets should look like this.




Add magnetic snaps following package directions. Leave enough seam allowance at the top for stitching recommend 1″ or more, using a folded piece of scrap fabric to reinforce the snap. Stitch around snap to reinforce extra fabric.




Pin sweater pocket to lining, right sides together (lining should be 1.5″ longer), stitch ends.




Line up bottom of pocket, pin, then stitch sides. Leave an opening for turning.


Trim corners, turn pocket and pin openings.




Stitch side seams of bag, leaving bottom open.


Pin pockets over side seams (right side), then stitch to attach.




Stitch across bottom.




Fold 2″ cut out, matching side & bottom seams, pin & stitch.




The inside bottom should look like this.




Trim sleeves to desired width for strap – 5″ or 6″ recommended.




Pin ends of two sleeves together, stitch and trim seam.




Fold lengthwise, stitch, leaving approx. 6″ open for turning


Turn right side out and smooth opening.




Stitch closed with a tight whip stitch.




Pin strap to side seams, matching right sides, stitch.




Making sure the straps are inside, pin lining to outside, right sides together, stitch.




Turn bag right side out, through opening in the lining.




Pin opening in lining and stitch.




Turn lining inside, smooth and pin, top stitch ¼”.




Stitch flower to center of each side over snap, stitch button on top.


Done!


variation from a purple sweater

If you make this or any sewhooked crafts, I’d love to see a photo!  Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy Crafting!

also posted on cut out + keep and YouTube

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ana Lopes permalink
    January 5, 2009 19:31

    You started with a ugly old sweater
    and ended up with a beautiful bag.
    Good one Jen.
    Ana

  2. October 5, 2009 19:36

    hi! love this craft – can you email directions? New to sew and economy got me recyclen! LOVE IT!
    KUDOS!

  3. May 25, 2012 10:37

    I love the way you make the bag of an old sweater.

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