Lucky me! I got to spend the weekend at Anthony Lakes Ski Resort. Even though the temperature was in the single digits we had a great time. The band Standard Deviation was rockin’ the Starbottle Saloon, the snow was perfect and the sun even made an appearance. It was just what I needed.
Of course, a girl can’t just bring a regular bag up to the mountain. 🙂 This called for a quick sweater refashion. I think it took me longer to decide which sweater to use than to actually make this totebag. I chose a wool sweater that was about 80% wool. It felted slightly after washing it in hot water and drying it on the hottest setting.
First, cut off the sleeves and the collar. The sleeves made a perfect cabin hostess gift for Linda to make some leg warmers. She was thrilled! I can’t wait to see how she styles them.
Next, you’ll need some handles. I chose to use handles from this old purse I found at my thrift store for a quarter.
Decide how big you’d like your bag and cut identical pieces from your sweater, interfacing and lining. You’ll need two of each.
Place the right sides of your sweater together and sandwich it between the two pieces of interfacing. Pin and sew three sides, leaving the top open.
Stitch across the bottom corners.
Right sides together, stitch three sides of your lining together, leaving the top open. Leave an opening in the bottom seam.
Turn the sweater right side out, pin handle, slide sweater into lining so right sides are together.
I started with this ribbon to attach the handle, but later changed my mind and used part of the sweater left overs. I apologize for not having a picture, but I attached it the same way as the ribbon.
Pin and sew the lining to the sweater around the top including the handle attachment.
Now you’re ready to turn it all right side out. Bring it all through the opening you left in the lining.
Pin and sew the opening closed.
Tuck the lining back inside the bag, fill it with some goodies and you’re ready to rock the mountain.
Thanks again, Linda! I had a great time!
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Such a cool bag. So expensive looking too… love it! ‘Drying in hot water’?! 😉
Oops, I’ll go fix that. Thanks for noticing. 🙂
This tote looks great. I particularly like the way that you attached the handles. The additional sweater fabric gives it a substantial look and balances the visual weight of the bag. Another successful refashion adventure!
Thank you Mother Deer. The sweater was a much better choice for the handle than the ribbon. Not sure why I even thought that might work.
I have a vintage sweater set (long skirt and sweater) that I’ve decided I can no longer wear, no matter how much I like it. I’d like to refashion it as an outfit, but don’t have any inspiration. If I sent you a picture of it, would you care to give me your thoughts? Since we are of the same size and shape, I trust that you would suggest something that would flatter “our” figure 🙂 Thanks in advance…
Absolutely, I’d love to see it!!! Send a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org
What a great idea! So cute.Looks either expensive or you spent a whole lot of time knitting it!
Thank you! It was MUCH easier than knitting. I tried knitting once and wasn’t too successful. I think I’ll have to stick to sewing for now.
Have a great week!
ADORABLE!!!!!!……as usual!!!!!!! One of these days I’m gonna get brave and try my own refashion!!!! But love seeing your inspirational pieces!!!!
Oh, Trenna, I hope you do. It’s so much fun and if you use inexpensive thrift store clothes, you’ll be more inclined to take a risk and just start cutting.
Have a great week!
Very very cute I love your design!
Cute, cute, cute!
Thanks, it was fun to make!
Very cute! I bet the leg warmers looked great too!
Thank you! I know my friend Linda will seriously ROCK the leg warmers. I can’t wait to see how she styles them.
So simple, so precious. I can think of many friends who would love this as a gift.:)
This would be the perfect gift! Quick, easy and inexpensive!
Thanks for your encouragement!
Love the tote – plus I am a tote fiend – the more the better:) Happy Monday!
You said it, sister!!! A girl can NEVER have enough totes! 🙂
I love the colors of this tote. I also have some handles that I could use. I bought them for a crochet purse, but I’m thinking I’d rather do this project instead of the crochet purse. I am making myself finish my alterations pile before I do this fun project. Please keep on posting these projects. It is inspiring to see your results. Good instructions. Sharon
Thank you, Sharon! I know what you mean about finishing projects. I have so many ideas floating around in my head, I just need time to do them all. Have a great week!
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I just got a great old wool sweater for $2….. Can’t wait to try this!! 🙂
Oh, I’d love to see how it turns out!
You are always so nice!!! Thanks!
Really like this idea for a bag!!
This is such a great idea and so well made. As usual, I’m so happy you share your ideas with us because I wouldn’t think of these things on my own.
Thank you, Jo. I got this sweater at the thrift store last October, I knew I wanted to make some kind of a bag, but it took me awhile to decide how to do it.
Absolutely fantastic & the colours are divine!
*Let me know if you’d ever like to do a swap: http://awesomesauceasshattery.com/swap-with-me/
Oh, thanks!!! I’ll have to check it out!
Thank you, Terri!
Beautiful! I love felted wool. This sweater has a mellow and gorgeous color combination, and the bag looks fantastic.
Thanks so much, Jenny!! I loved the colors, too. I gave the sleeves to a friend of mine for leg warmers. We’re going to have a photo shoot on Friday. Hope to post how she styled them this weekend!
How cute! I can totally do this and what a great gift it would make. Going to the thrift store right now.
YAY!! I hope you find something great to use.
fantastic bag/tutorial…you always inspire me! thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement!!!
This project looks like it could be fairly easy for someone with no sewing skill, but would like to learn?
Yes, this would be a good beginner project!!
Thank you, I knew you would be truthful. I love purses and hand bags, so this would be great for my collection.
Let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help.
Thank you so much, Nonny!!!
Another fantastic idea – and beautifully executed, as usual! Thanks for sharing this, Beth.
You are so welcome. This was a fun project and I use it everyday to carry my laptop.
I look at clothes in the thrift store differently since I’ve been reading your blog! I now think, “Can I use this for another sewing project?” Thanks! 🙂
Oh, I’m so glad. This is so much fun, I want to share it with everybody!!
This is beautiful! I love all your posts. Your tutorials are easy to understand and the photos are perfect. Thanks for all you do!! 🙂
You are so welcome, Jeni! I have so much fun refashioning and blogging about it for people like you!
Enjoy your day!
LOVE this! Bright colors and turned out BEAUTIFUL! (Wish there was a drawing for this one – LOL, and that I would win it!)
Thanks, Cindy! I’ve been using it to carry my laptop and I gave the sleeves to my friend Linda for leg warmers. We’re going to do a photo shoot of her this week so everyone can see how she styled them. Linda has the long lean legs that are perfect for leg warmers.
Hope you’re staying warm. I heard it was -42 wind chill in your neck of the woods. YIKES!
Loved the bag! Be sure and show us what the leg warmers look like on Linda! I am looking forward to your tutorial on making bias tape!
Hey, Jakki! If the wind ever stops howling, we are doing a photo shoot of the leg warmers. Linda has just the right long lean legs that look great in leg warmers. And yes, the bias tape tutorial is coming soon, I promise. I just got distracted by that cute little baby in Nampa.
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I love this! I found a great wool sweater at the thrift shop planning to make mittens. I can totally see both the mittens and tote.
Thanks, Susan! I’d love to see your mittens and tote! Check out this post for an idea on how to use the sleeves: https://chicenvelopements.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/upcycled-no-sew-leg-warmers-from-an-old-thrift-store-sweater/
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You have such WONDERFUL refashioning projects! I am always checking in to see what you’ve done next! I started with this posting and did my own refashioning, linking to you here: http://whittskitsfabricscrafts.blogspot.com/2013/02/weekend-wanderings-refashioning-sweaters.html
Thanks so VERY much!
Thank you, Carrie! I’ll head over to your site and check it out! Have a great week!
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Hi. I work in an op shop in Australia, and often post ideas on Facebook ( op shop site) of what to make and upcycle stuff…would it be ok if I posted a pic of your lovely bag and leg warmers to give people an idea? I won’t post the tutorial
Hi Sue, I’m sorry it took me so long to reply. I’d love for you to post it on your site. Thank you for spreading the word!!!
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A great way to repurpose a beautiful pattern sweater! You have inspired me to try using a cable pattern sweater piece as an accent on the front of a zip fleece jacket. The jacket is a darker grey and the sweater is light peach which I think will look good together. Thank you for a very instructional post.
This sounds wonderful Dianne. I’d love to see a picture when you’re finished.