Thrifty Art Thursday: Felted Sweater Bag

Thrifty Art Thursday: Felted Sweater Bag November 18, 2010

So as Thankgiving edges closer and the Winter Holidays are on the horizion my thoughts turn toward warm fuzzies and gift giving. This project combines the two, using felted wool sweaters.

I love these things! I pick them up at garage sales and thrift stores and a little while ago I snagged a bunch of them in a trade with my friend Lara. It’s been felt heaven!

First you cut the sleeves off the sweater. Save them. Next week I’ll show you how to make them into slippers.
Next you make the handles, cutting parallel to the sleeve cap and in about an inch and a half or so. This is what you’re going to be hanging on to, so make it to fit your hand.

Next cut across the sweater from the end of one handle to the other.
Next sew the bottom together. Turn it inside out first. I sewed it by hand because this sweater was so thick I couldn’t run it through my machine. You can do it with a machine if you want.

Flip it back to the right side and this is what you get:
Then it’s time for a little bag origami. Flip it back inside out and turn it so that the side seams and handles are next to one another. The bottom will form two pointy triangle areas when flattened.
Then to make the bottom, sew along the middle of the triangle, straight across, where the black line is.

Then, I just tacked the two triangles down to the bottom of the bag. Because the triangles I made met in the middle I also tacked them together. You only need a couple of stitches.

Turn it right side out and Voila! You have a bag! Even with hand sewing and taking photos of everything I did it only took me about an hour. Without distractions and photo shoots, it should only take a a half an hour. Here’s a couple of other bags I’ve made out of old felted sweaters. They make great gifts and are wonderful to customize. I like to add a small inchy tag or a beaded clasp to make them a little more exciting:

Edit:  If you like my tutorial and would like to support my work please check out my red bubble site and my etsy shop! Thank you so much, and happy sewing!
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  • Alright, you rock, I have an old sweater I wasn't sure what to do with. I love it too much to get rid of it but it's a little out of sort since my husband helped with the laundry and washed it wrong (though he didn't dry it). Now I know what I'm going to do with it! Thanks so much!

  • Your felted sweater bag turned out beautifully! (The other ones look great, too).

  • oh WOW!! What a really really great idea. Thank you for sharing! The sweater bag looks beautiful.

  • The orange one at the bottom is fantastic. I love quick bags. These are super giftable.

  • The orange one at the bottom is fantastic. I love quick bags. These are super giftable.

  • oh i just love it!!! How fab!! Ok i live in AZ soooo not many sweaters to be found but i'm on a hunt!!!

    Thanks so much!

  • What a great tutorial! A couple of summers ago, there was talk on the quilting board (HGTV), about taking old sweaters and using them for mittens! Sadly, the board doesn't save posts that far back, or I'd give you the link…but, it looks like you are talented and can use the idea to come up with a pattern for yourself!!

    I am going to have to keep my eyes open at upcoming garage sales for sweaters…!

    Enjoy your sewing!