Upcycled Sweater Purse

  • Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
Repurposed Sweater into Bag

If you love the soft, dainty look of knit purses but you don't know how to knit, it is still possible for you to make one. The best part is, it will save you a lot of time over knitting one!

Sweater

1. Find a sweater of your own you no longer wear or go to your local thrift store and pick one up for a few dollars.

Sweater on cutting mat

 2. Turn the sweater inside out and cutting off the sleeves.

Cut sweater on mat

2. Next, using a Fiskars acrylic ruler, cutting mat, and rotary cutter, cut the panels for the purse from the front and back of the sweater and the lining panels from a lightweight denim. The sweater panels were cut to 19 1/2 inch x 9 1/4 inch. The lining panes were cut to 14 3/4 inch x 9 1/4 inch and 14 1/4 inch x 9 1/4 inch.  On the top sweater panel, measure down 5 1/4 inches and cut across the panel and left it in place.

3. Cut a 1 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch notch out of the bottom corner of the panels to create a box bottom to the purse and have a little more room inside of it.

Sweater on cutting mat closeup

4. To connect the panels, stitch a 1/2 inch seam down both sides of the panels and along the bottom of it. When stitching down the 5 1/4 inch section, stitch only the sides down. Zig-zag stitch the seam allowances to prevent the knit material from unraveling.

cut fabric

 5. For the box bottom, pinch the two seams together.

Sewn fabric, closeup of seam

 6. Stitch a 1/2 inch seam across the opening. Keep the lining turned inside out.

Sweater sewn onto cut fabric

7. To attach the lining to the outer layer, begin by placing the edges of the short sweater panel and the short lining panel, right sides together, and stitching them with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Sewn sweater onto fabic on cutting mat

 8. Flip the lining over and tucked it down inside the bag. Folded the other edge of the sweater panel under 1/2 inch and pin it to the lining, attaching the 2 by hand stitching them together. Use this same method to finish the sides of the opening. Finally, slip stitch the ribbed edges of the panels together.

Braided yarn

9. Braided 3 groups of 3 strands of yarn together to make the shoulder strap. Knot close to each end and stitched the knots to the sides of the purse.

Yarn attached as handle to sewn sweater bag

 To complete the purse, I stitched a giant button to the flap. And without a single knit or purl, I have a pretty little sweater knit purse!

Supply List

Thrifted sweater

Material for lining

Thread

Yarn for shoulder strap

Button