Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Born-again bag

Remember when I said I wasn't going to allow myself to buy any more sweaters for felting until I made something out of one? Well, I'm free to buy more, because I finished a felted sweater creation this weekend. I'm so excited about it. The before picture is this sweater on the right, the Nordic-looking one with the reindeer. Pay special attention to that red placket.

Ta-da! It's a purse!

I made this without a pattern. I cut the cardigan up then played with the pieces until I got this. The main section of the bag is made from the back, folded in half and trimmed to be angled on the sides. The pocket is a piece from the front, including part of the button placket, so the pocket can be closed with these two buttons. Clever, hey?

Here's the back: that's where the reindeer pattern shows. The handles were made from the ribbing all around the bottom, each end of which has a piece of red placket on it. I folded it in thirds lengthwise, stitched it up and then reinforced it with zig-zag stitch.

The rest of it I handstitched, including this lining, made from one of my husband's old shirts. I cut it so the pocket on the front of the shirt became the inside pocket in the lining. Perfect size for a cell phone! I added the magnetic clasps.

It's a little bulky in some areas, but all in all I'm pretty proud of it. The Nordic-y style is not really me, so I may gift it to someone this Christmas. Or maybe someday I'll open an esty shop and sell some of these. Right now it's hanging on my closet door handle, where I can stop and admire it several times a day. You know how it is when you are so excited to finish something?

Since the sweater only cost $1 or $2 and the clasps another $2, my materials costs is next to nothing. It took me several hours on Saturday, then another one on Sunday. Still, a nice little creation, if I do say so myself!


Anonymous said...

Wow, Heidi! I love your creation. YOU SHOULD be proud! I'd admire it several times a day as well. May I ask, how do you felt the sweaters? Great idea on your lining. Using the pocket was genius. :)

Very nice work!

Barb said...

I love this idea. I keep looking in thrift shops, but most of the sweaters aren't pure wool. I'll keep looking. A wearable arts magazine (Belle something...I can't remember right now) has an article this month about making cardigans for kids with sweaters, but they patchwork them. Such a great concept.

jen said...

Very cool results! Just today I found an offwhite cableknit sweater worth buying ($2) for just such an attempt. I finally got tired of looking for a wool one so I could felt it. Oh well. btw; BRILLIANT idea using dh's shirt and pocket like that for the lining. Thanks for sharing!

Rae said...

Truly creative!! I love the whole idea and process you went through!

Creative Genius? said...

Oh that looks terrific! If you want it to "stand up" or something like it - just add a little bit of interfacing to the liner and you'll get a stiffer bag! It's too cute - making bags out of old wool sweaters is my favorite!

Also - if you find fabric placemats at the sales you are going to - buy them and I'll tell you how to make purses out of those too!

Too much fun!

Creative Genius? said...

I wanted to send you a specific link but can't seem to find it now... so check out this one http://whipup.net/2006/05/24/30-minutes-to-a-recycled-sweater-bag/ from whipup... they make the bag but in a different style - this could keep you going for years!

Cricket said...

This bag is darling! What a great way to repurpose a thrifted find or a sweater that you treasure but that has seen better days!