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Recycle a thrift store sweater into a snappy new bag!
Take that cute wool sweater you accidentally washed & dried or a snazzy thrift store find and turn it into a cute recycled tote!

Posted by ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen) from Austin, Texas, United States • Published See ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen)'s 74 projects »
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  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 1
    Step 1

    Collect Supplies

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 2
    Step 2

    Cut a square or rectangle out of the body of the sweater, cut the same dimensions from lining fabric,
    remove sweater arms.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 3
    Step 3

    Split sleeves up seam and cut off the tops for pockets.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 4
    Step 4

    Cut rectangles out of the sleeve tops, cut same dimensions +1.5" in length for lining.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 5
    Step 5

    Using the remaining scraps, cut out 2 circles and trim circles into free form flowers.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 6
    Step 6

    Cut 2" squares out of the bottom left and right, repeat for lining fabric.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 7
    Step 7

    Create a long tube from lining fabric for inside pockets, pin pockets to inside, mark center with chalk
    for stitching line

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 8
    Step 8

    Pin sides and bottom, stitch, leave 2" corners open, leave opening in the bottom for turning.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 9
    Step 9

    Fold 2” cut out matching side and bottom seams.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 10
    Step 10

    The bottom should look like this.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 11
    Step 11

    Add magnetic snaps following package directions. Leave enough seam allowance at the top for
    stitching recommend 1" or more, using a folded piece of scrap fabric to reinforce the snap. Stitch
    around snap to reinforce extra fabric.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 12
    Step 12

    Pin sweater pocket to lining, right sides together (lining should be 1.5" longer), stitch ends.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 13
    Step 13

    Line up bottom of pocket, pin, then stitch sides. Leave an opening for turning.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 14
    Step 14

    Trim corners, turn pocket & pin openings.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 15
    Step 15

    Stitch side seams of bag, leaving bottom open.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 16
    Step 16

    Pin pockets over side seams (right side), then stitch to attach.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 17
    Step 17

    Stitch across bottom.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 18
    Step 18

    Fold 2" cut out, matching side & bottom seams, pin & stitch.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 19
    Step 19

    The inside bottom should look like this.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 20
    Step 20

    Trim sleeves to desired width - 5" or 6" recommended.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 21
    Step 21

    Pin ends of two sleeves together, stitch & trim seam.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 22
    Step 22

    Fold lengthwise, stitch, leaving approx. 6" open for turning.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 23
    Step 23

    Turn right side out & smooth opening. Stitch closed with a tight whip stitch.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 24
    Step 24

    Pin strap to side seams, matching right sides, stitch.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 25
    Step 25

    Making sure the straps are inside, pin lining to outside, right sides together, stitch.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 26
    Step 26

    Turn bag right side out, through opening in the lining. Pin opening in lining and stitch.

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 27
    Step 27

    Turn lining inside, smooth and pin, top stitch ¼".

  • How to make a recycled bag. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle A Thrift Store Sweater - Step 28
    Step 28

    Stitch flower to center of each side over snap, stitch button on top. Done!

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Comments

Grace A.
Grace A.
so that's what to do with a shrunken sweater. so relieved to finally know.
Reply
Jacqueline C.
Jacqueline C. · 12 projects
Love it! I did a similar thing with an old favourite top, but I've only just noticed your tutorial. Going to try it out with an old jumper.
Reply
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen)
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen) · Austin, Texas, US · 75 projects
sounds perfect!
Reply
Tigerbaby1981
Tigerbaby1981 · Ontario, Ontario, CA · 2 projects
Soo cute Happy I have just the sweater for a bag like that. Its almost the same sweater but its light pastal colors!
Reply
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen)
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen) · Austin, Texas, US · 75 projects
$35? Wow! Mine probably cost $3 or $4. The sweater was $1.25 and I had everything else. Yay for thrift stores finds!
Reply
Dolly
Dolly · 26 projects
Very cute! I saw one like it at a store for 35 dollars and it wasn't even as cool. It was just the sleeves and the bottem sewn shut. Your's is much better!
Reply
athenamat
athenamat · New York, New York, US · 19 projects
Great tut.
Reply
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen)
ofenjen (aka sewhookedjen) · Austin, Texas, US · 75 projects
Wow, thanks for all the compliments! *blush*
Reply
Joni
Joni · Wales, Wales, GB
awesome I liuv it, xx
Reply
nicgee
nicgee · Manchester, England, GB · 5 projects
Love it! I recently made a similar shaped bag with a pair of worn out jeans lined with a child's stretchy cotton T shirt, must get round to posting up pics Happy.
Reply
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