Monday’s Guests- Felt bags

Monday’s Guest is The Inadvertent Gardener, Kim.  She lives on a small 10 acre farm in Washington State where she raises organic produce, animals, and 5 kids…4 of which are boys!  Some of their unusual animals include a camel, 4 llamas, a pygmy goat, sheep, chickens, geese, and an occasional turkey now and then.  She is a non-active WSU Master Gardener and has a custom clothing line for little ones called Sweet Grace Designs (sweetgrace on etsy)

Below you will find one of her beautiful craft creations re-purposing wool sweaters and a link to another version.  I don’t sew, but this totally makes me want to hit up Craigslist for a used sewing machine. So so pretty!   Thanks for sharing, Kim!  

Make an Alpaca Wool Sweater into Felted handmade Bag tutorial

Today’s little craft project is turning this Goodwill purchased alpaca sweater into a lovely rose covered bag.  Since I spent the weekend cleaning out the camel house I figured I deserved something beautiful and not smelling like poo!  The sweater was a mens X-large that is felted (washed in hot and dried on hot twice until it shrunk to a large child’s size sweater…you know it felted when you can no longer see the stitches and it will not unravel when cut). I paid $3.00 for the sweater…
Wool sweater bag alpaca
I found two sweaters with this tag…lucky me!
Wool sweater bag cut sleeves
Start by cutting off the sleeves just inside the arm-hole seams  
Next cut at the neck…
Wool sweater bad cut neck
I lined up a straight edge across the bottom of the armpits to make sure my neck cut would be as deep as my arm cuts. Try to make the arm curves and the neck curves match…I had to fool with it a little after these pics to get them even. These will be your handles. After you cuts are made shift the sweater around till the handles line up. 
Wool sweater cut sleeve
Next is the bottom of the bag… 
you don’t have to do this, you can just sew the bottom together straight away but I needed the extra room. I used one of the sleeves I cut off for this.  I made mine about 4 inches wide by the same length as the bottom of my sweater. 
Wool sweater bag bottom cut
Turn your sweater inside out and at the bottom edge of the sweater pin your bottom piece, right sides together.
Wool sweater bag pin bottom
Now how does one fit a square cornered bottom piece into a curved sweater hem? Well I put a little tuck in the corners of the bottom piece…all pointing in…to make it match up better to the sweater.
Wool sweater bag tuck bottom
Stitch along the bottom where you pinned, feed the sweater into the machine.  Don’t pull from the back it will stretch and warp the sweater. Turn right side out. Now you have a perfectly useful wool bag. But…when I noticed all those scraps I knew I just could not let them go to waste.
Wool sweater bag scraps
So I played around with them a little…
Wool sweater bag scrap flowers
Hmmmm…maybe roses?
Wool sweater bag roses first
So I made a couple of roses by handstiching them as I wound them around
And if two were good…
 Wool sweater bag roses leaves
Nine were better, with leaves to boot!
All made from the scraps and hand sewn on.
And what am I going to do with my newly created bag?

Wool sweater bag knitting
It is my new knitting bag!
Wool sweater bag ribbing
I love the ribbing on the bottom…no hiding what this used to be!
   
Wool sweater bag alpaca knitting
There you have it…a thrift store sweater turned new rose knitting bag!
Felted wool bag sweater handmade roses
So everybody run…don’t walk…to your nearest thrift store and grab a armful of wool sweaters.  Let loose your creative genius that I know is hiding in there!  Have fun! 
Update…I have also made a ruffled laptop bag out of an old wool sweater.  The tutorial is here.

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Reposted with permission from The Inadvertent Gardener

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Discussion

  1. Aagaard Farms says:

    Thanks for sharing! That's awesome! Maybe..maybe even I could do that – or visit Etsy, I know where that is!

  2. Stephanie, if you want a sewing machine, it just so happens my mom gave me her old machine that I learned to sew on. I'll have to make sure it still works, but if it does, you are more than welcome to have it as I don't need two machines.

  3. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    What a fabulous bag! Would be great for carting around my knitting. I wonder if I could turned a boiled wool sweater into one? Well, almost boiled…accidentally shrunk it in a very hot wash, and didn't have the heart to throw it out (I should know better…I knit for goodness sake, but we all have the occasional laundry accident :P). Love the felt roses by the way, they're beautiful!

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