Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Recycled Sweater Pocketbook

This cheerful pocketbook is made of a recycled felted sweater. I made it using a combination of machine and hand sewing.

First I made gauntlets by cutting off the ends of the sleeves. I have been wanting to try this for a while now. The finished edge of the sleeve comes to the base of the fingers. I trimmed thumb holes into the sleeve seams. Cut the thumb holes with caution. You can always make them a little bigger if necessary. I'm not sure yet whether the hole and the unfinished edge at the wrist will need a binding. If so, I will lightly tack on some pink cotton velour.

Then I had almost an entire sweater left. I used the whole bottom of the body of the sweater for the main part of the pocketbook. You can see below that the bottom edge of the sweater is the finished top edge of the pocketbook. I seamed a curve on the other end using my machine. I used bright pink thread throughout.

I used an old place mat remnant to reinforce the inside and outside of the fabric where I attached the handles. The handles are made of a tube of scraps which have been pieced by machine and sewn onto the pocketbook by hand. My machine had a problem with more than a couple of thicknesses of the sweater fabric and I broke a few needles.

I seamed and finished all the unfinished edges, even though, in theory, the felted wool should not unravel.

The picture below shows the inside of the pocketbook, with the reinforcement for the handles, and one of the two inside pockets which I made out of the large sweater collar. One is for my cell phone, and one is for my keys. No more rummaging in a dark and cluttered pit. However, I find that my cell phone and keys slide out when I place my pocketbook on its side. Next time I will make the pockets a little deeper and place them lower on the insides of the pocketbook.

I lined the inside of the pockets with some brown checked cotton flannel.

I loved getting to use some of my vintage button collection.

I usually wear a backpack so I don't have to bother holding my pocketbook on my shoulder. But the wool handles of my new pocketbook are soft and don't slide off my shoulder very easily. I think I am going to love my unique new pocketbook.


Lisa said...

I love your pocketbook! It's really cute! It's great to reuse things, isn't it?
Have a great week!

FairiesNest said...


Sara said...

Oh....I love this bag! I love the stripes and the colors and the fact that it is recycled. I like the fingerless mittens too! I'm going to the thrift today....i think I will look on the sweater rack for some nice wool sweaters to craft with. I like the old vintage buttons too! Thanks for sharing Beth!

Heather said...

oh! very lovely! I am just getting into i am crazy over knits! ;)

Lizz said...