Since I started converting recycled clothes into bags I have wanted to make one out of a sweater, but really wasn’t sure if it would work or how to proceed. Of course the best method is to just to try it, but of course it had to be the right garment. Well when I saw this pretty little sweater vest on my thrift store travels I knew I wanted it. I loved the speckled brown color & the bright striped trim. When I first got it I was quite sure I could make a bag, but when I got it home I wasn’t sure what materials to pair it with ,or how to make the straps & nothing I tried seemed to work. Then I pulled out these rusty colored old cord pants of mine & everything started to fit together.
First I tried to undo the shoulder seams but I soon realised it was way too difficult, & I was afraid of cutting the sweater & having the knitting unravel. So I decided to sew seam binding to the shoulders before cutting the seam, to secure the knitting in place.
Next I cut 2 strips of cord material from my pants & pinned them to the inside on both sides of the bottom of the sweater & sewed them on. Then I decided I liked rounded corners for the bottom of the bag so I trimmed the cord & sewed the bottom shut before turning it right side out again.
Now at this point the shoulder seams are still open & I need to add pockets & attach straps. After trying various materials I decided to use some more of the rusty colored soft cord from my old pants for one of the pockets, but found some other beige colored cord & some great scraps of suiting to add another layer of pattern & texture to the bag.
I pin both pockets onto the back of the bag, the rust one on the inside & the beige one on the outside. When the pockets are in the same place & are the same size you can sew them on with just one seam, & the sewing from the inner pocket is hidden behind or with the outer pocket.
Now the sweater already is a bag shape, has it’s own pockets & just needs some straps. I find some strips of material from my old cords left from some other projects, that end in a piece of the waistband. So I play with the fabric until I have pinned 2 strips about the same length that will make great straps for my bag. I am careful to incorporate the old button on one end.
I sew the strips and then pin them to the sweater. On the front of the purse I fold the sweater in half under the straps so that they show on top. On the back where the neckline is higher, I fold the sweater down at the front & turn the sides over so that all the colorful trim shows & the straps are on the inside. Whatever looks best in your eyes will work…….
Now the only thing that still concerns me is whether the sweater will stretch when it is loaded up, & I really want to keep it’s lovely shape. So I decide to hand sew attractive coordinating trim into the inside of the purse connecting between the straps & the bottom cord material in order to strengthen the bag & hopefully avoid it stretching…..
Now I love the way she looks & am quite proud of at last creating a sweater bag/purse, hope you like her too…………