Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sweater into Shoulder/Book Bag Tutorial

I got this idea from Make it and Love it, but mine turned out WAY different, and not as fancy! :) I started out with an old sweater I got at a thrift store for $2. I wasn't ready to part with any of my sweaters, but you could definitely use one of your old sweaters.
Materials Needed:
Old Sweater
Sewing Machine
Felt (optional)
Glue Gun (optional)

First you start with an old sweater. I liked the pocket detail on the front, but it isn't functional

Next, Cut a square from the middle of the shirt. You can measure if you want to be exact, I didn't. Also cut off the arms.
Here are the two arm pieces cut.

Next you will cut up both sides of the arm so that you should have 4 arm pieces when you are done.

After they are cut, go up the sides to make sure they are pretty even and about the same size. Again, you can measure if you want to be exact, I wasn't too concerned!

Next you put two arms together, and sew right side to right side. Leave the cuff portion open so that you can flip it right side out when you are done. Do this with both of your arm pieces.

Next, sew the two long arm pieces together, right side to right side, leaving both ends open.

Do the same with the square piece from the middle of your shirt. Sew Right side to right side, leaving the top open.

I ran an iron on all the seams because they didn't hold down very well. It will depend on the type of sweater you are using, mind was kind of thick.

Here are the two finished pieces before they are attached to one another.

The next step I did is optional, but I wanted a little color to my bag.

I used pieces of felt to line the top of the bag. You could just fold over the edges and hem it normally, or you could take some binding tape and do what I did, or use any scarps that don't fray to seal the top.

I pinned the felt pieces to the top of the bag, and did a zig zag stitch all the way around the bag.

The final step is to attach the shoulder strap. Line up both open ends of the strap to the side seams of the bag. Pin in place, and sew a few times back and forth so that it will be a strong stitch.

I embellished mine with a little flower I made from felt also. I found the basic flower idea at Tater tots and Jello. I did mine a little different, and will have a tutorial up shortly!

So many possibilities with old sweaters and fun embellishments! Have fun!


  1. I love upcycled projects and this purse is so cute!!! I love that you chose to accent with red!!! Visiting from Creation Corner Linky Party

  2. This is just adorable! I love the color. Love the shape. Love the red flower! Love love.

  3. You know, I almost did this yesterday with a striped shirt! But I made something else instead that I'll post soonishish. Yours is so adorable! I love that pocket on the front.

  4. That is stunning!!! I'm off to raid my wardrobe for an old jumper so I can make one!

  5. I love it! I'm gonna try and make one this weekend!

  6. This is SUPER cute!!! Please share at Fancy This Fridays!

  7. What a functional idea. I love it and wanna try it.

  8. Very Cute! I made a bag from an old blazer and a sweater, too. It's become my fav bag of all. Here's the link, if you get bored and want to check it out:’_Bag.html

  9. What a fabulous Idea! I'm going to steal this today! I hope you don't mind! Watch for a feature coming up soon!

  10. What a cute little grab and go bag! You did a great job! Would love for you to come visit me at Sew Chatty and link up to Made with Love Monday!

  11. Just saw your tutorial on Made by You Monday. Love it! I have a few sweaters I've been hanging onto for a project, so I can't wait to try this out.

  12. This is totally adorable! I'm going to go through my sweaters and try to convince myself that it's ok to cut up clothes! =] Thanks for the inspiration!


  13. Hey I just adore this! You did an awesome job!! I featured you at my blog today. I'd love it if you could stop by and say hey! While your there I've got a widget on the top right hand side. For each click it gets P&G will donate 1 days worth of clean water! I'd appreciate a click! Easy way to give back! Thanks!


  14. Ooh this is an excellent redo (did I spell that right?) Hummm, you have my wheels turning but I need another bag like I need a hole in my head.

  15. That's really cute! Great project :)

  16. I just wanted to say thanks so much for linking this up at Fancy This Fridays!!! I love it! Hope you'll come back again!!

  17. very cute- I love the color it really makes the purse "pop"!

  18. Great idea! I have lots of sweaters sitting in my wardrobe, none of which ever get worn up in the tropics here! But I can't bear to part with them! Now I know what to do with them!!

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    And thanks for linking to A Round Tuit.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success.

  19. NO WAY!!!! This is fabulous! The red trim really makes it. Thanks for linking up!

  20. Hopping!

    Newest follow on GFC, Follow back at

  21. Very very fun! I love sweaters, and a sweater bag is a great idea! Thanks for linking up Topsy Turvy Tuesday's!