Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Itchy Sweater Purse

Hello Readers. Do you have a wool sweater that you never wear. I had this pretty, gray, floral sweater. It was really warm but I hated to wear it because it was so itchy and scratchy around my neck. Life is too short to be uncomfortable and I always found something else to wear on cold days. So what should I do with the sweater?

It fit well and it was in great condition. It was 100% wool, that was why it was so warm. If you check the care directions it will say not to machine wash and dry it. That will cause wool to shrink quite a bit. (Sometimes people do this by accident, or so I hear.)

I washed the sweater in hot water and dried it on high in my dryer.

As you can see it shrank a lot. Not only is it smaller, but it is thicker now too. The material tightens up and creates something really easy to create and play with. The wool is strong and tough. It needs no lining and it won't fray at all when cut. I have seen bags that were crocheted with wool yarn and then shrunk. That works too, if you can crochet. 

I started by cutting off the arms and neck band. This sweater is open in the front, I will have to connect the front and close it.

I turned the sweater inside out and stitched the two front pieces together. I also closed the bottom of the sweater. It looks like a little shopping tote bag. I cut the shoulders of the sweater more to  begin make two narrow straps. I also cut some extra pieces. I need to make longer straps so I can carry this purse over my shoulder and I am going to add a pocket to the front. I like a place to put my phone and a pocket will cover that big seam in the front of my new purse.

I hope these pictures help you see how I put it together. The pocket doesn't hide the entire front seam but it covers most of it. I added the button that was at the neck of the sweater. I used the seam from one arm as a closure around the button. It was thick like a piece of soft cord after washing and shrinking. The back of the bag was plain gray. 

I used one long narrow piece of sweater material to make a long shoulder strap. I connected the two little shoulder pieces from the shoulder area to the long narrow extension piece. One strap might need some reinforcement so I added some black ribbon to the underside of the strap. the wool material is really strong but over time it will stretch and it might get longer than I want.

The shoulder strap looks twisted but it lays flat and snug over my shoulder.

This is a picture of my mom at Home Depot. I tried to get her to take my picture but she couldn't use my phone very well. She kept taking video. I have a 10 minute of video of me telling my mom to take a picture, "Just touch the little camera icon Mom. Just touch it. The little circle with a camera in it." Oh, well.

I made this blue bag 4-5 years ago and it is still in good shape. It was a ladies sweater and it had a zipper down the front. I used a long piece tied in a bow to cover the top of the zipper where I cut the neck of the sweater. These bags have the most comfortable shoulder straps and they don't seem to slide off my shoulder. 

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.


  1. Molto bella, ottimo refashion, complimenti!
    Un saluto dall'Italia

  2. My ears really perked up when I heard "doesn't slide off shoulder" ... that is my biggest problem with shoulder straps. I need to find a wool sweater to do this refashion! We don't have anything wool because, yes, you guessed it, we find it too itchy to wear :)

    1. I hope you can find one. I don't know why my shoulders can't hold a purse strap but they always fall off, it drives me crazy. Good luck.