red sweater purse

It all started with this sale at Goodwill. 75% off all sweaters. Yes, I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

I really did like the sweater, but I didn’t quite like it enough to wear it as a sweater. So I chose to wear it as a purse instead. πŸ™‚

Since there’s not much of a chance that you’ll come across a sweater exactly like this, I’m going to skip the exact details of how I made this purse from the sweater and go about this tutorial a little differently. Here are some things I learned from this purse making experience.

  • Take wide seams. At least 3/4 inch, just to be safe. Since it’s knitted and not a solid fabric there’s a lot more chance of fraying.Β 
  • Triple stitch and sew at least two rows beside each other, instead of just one as you would in a normal seam. This helps prevent fraying.
  • Sew a strip of fabric right into the seam. Place the fabric under the two layers of sweater so that sewing machine fed it through evenly. This keeps the seams from stretching out of proportion, both while you are sewing and also later when you use the purse.
  • Top-stitch your seams. This keeps your seams from getting lumpy like this thick sweater fabric would have. It also prevents unraveling. If you use a thread color that matches your sweater you can hardly see the stitches afterward, the sweater texture absorbs it.
  • Rounded corners are not the best idea if your sweater is a knit like this one. The raised rows make the corners look uneven.
  • Line the handles. I didn’t. The handles keep getting narrower and longer!
  • Be creative! That’s something that I really like about this project. Each different sweater brings it’s own limitations or opportunities.

I’ve been using this purse for several months now, and I’ve been surprised at how well it’s held up. There is a small spot or two where it’s starting to unravel at the seam, but I think if you follow the tips above you shouldn’t have a problem with that.

So there you go. I hope it makes you want to go make something. πŸ™‚


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