Monday, October 13, 2008

A Used-to-be-Sweater Bag

My Thanksgiving weekend was a busy one. Besides preparing the turkey feast for the immediate family and a couple of guests, I managed to get lots of craft time in. This bag is one of the projects that I finished. A few others got started and will be featured later.

This bag was once a cardigan that I bought in a kit from Koigu a million years ago. I remember the name was Tutti Fruitti and I loved the colourful pattern. The Fair Isle type design wasn't too difficult to knit, since at no time were you carrying more than two colours. The front and back were knit in one piece - the button bands were to be added once it was all assembled - and it wasn't until I sewed the shoulder seams that I realized it was not going to fit. Despite me saying it wasn't difficult, it was very time consuming, so it was put away in that far corner where projects that disappoint go. But I always believed I would get back to it one day and it would live on. (I have since used a lot of the remaining wool for whipping and a trim for a few other projects, so it was already being put to good use.)

I received a book for my birthday on making purses, and a bag made from a sweater inspired me to try to "felt" this sweater and see if I could cut it up to make a bag. The felting went well and after two rounds, it had a nice denseness that I knew I could cut into without worry of ravelling. So I made a paper pattern, following the biggest areas of the back and fronts and figured out how to make a rectangular bag that would be a good size. The finished dimensions are about 15 wide by 9 high, which is plenty large.

The pieces are blanket stitched together and the top edge of the front and back are rolled under to give a bit of a "lip" to the edge. I had some leftover batik cotton that had all the same colours, from which I made a duplicate bag for a lining, so it looks as cheery on the inside as it does on the outside.

Two more of the beautiful Graydon leather handles were put to extremely good use and I have a bag that will travel with me to Amherst, since it will hold all my necessities plus a book and perhaps my sock knitting on the plane (once I figure out whether or not bamboo needles are allowed in carry on).

I am happy that I have been able to salvage this sweater, since it cost a fair penny way back when. I will continue to look for a better button for the closing tab, but otherwise, I think this bag will be a good addition to my recycled projects collection.


Gayle said...

Your purse is absolutely beautiful! I've been wanting to try this method for awhile, but I'm never sure if you sew the purse from the sweater FIRST, and then felt the finished item - 'or' if you felt the sweater first and THEN cut out the purse and sew it together. Maybe you can enlighten me?

Sheri said...

Wendie, I have 2 old suitcases full of felted sweaters. Just haven't made anything with them yet. Now I'm inspired. I LOVE your purse. Where can I get the Graydon handles? Do they sell online, or do you know?
Great job!!

Wendie Scott Davis said...

Hey Sheri,

I went to your blog again today and left a comment re the leather purse handles. Hope you fetch this at one or t'other.


Wendie Scott Davis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbe said...

Gorgeous purse! I was wondering about sewing the thick sweater pattern pieces on my machine but now see that you blanket sititched them together! Brilliant, and so tactile looking,another fall project once I get to Coldwater...

Thanks also for the handle site, I will order some...I have promised myself this year that I am ONLY making gifts, NO BUYING!! Only handmade gifts for everyone!! (well, maybe cheques for Hanukkah for the boys, as sweater purses don't please them much,lol!) Hugs,Debbe

Big Bird is Coming Along Nicely

First of all, welcome to another "theme" for my blog. The last one was just too hard to navigate - as an author or a visitor. This...