A couple weeks ago, I was invited to spend the weekend at my friend’s cabin near the Anthony Lakes Ski Resort. Of course, I couldn’t show up with a regular tote so I upcycled a thrift store sweater to a make this Winter Sweater Tote.
It was made from the body of this old sweater.
The sleeves were given to my good friend, Linda, as a hostess gift. And in no time, without doing a bit of sewing, she was rockin’ them as cute leg warmers.
Check this out for more ideas on how to upcycle thrift store clothes:
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I love your new creations, especially the leg warmers, they look so comfy 😀 xxx
They were perfect for last week when we were in the middle of a deep freeze.
Linda did a great job!
She always has fun with her clothing and looks great!
When I did this with and old sweater, the cut edge raffled (sp) and curled. How do you prevent that without any sewing? Thanks for any help.
I loved the recycle idea, but mine was a fail 😦
Hey, Karen! The sweater I used was 80% wool. It felted slightly when I washed it in hot water and dried it on high heat. The fibers became tight so it didn’t fray. I hope you have a chance to do it again with a different sweater for better results. Happy Saturday!
You can also purchase Fray Check at any store selling sewing items. Even Walmart! It’s a type of ‘glue’ (if you will) that binds the edges to keep them from fraying or unraveling. There are a couple other products that do the same thing, just don’t remember them by brand name right now. Enjoy!
I just wanted to add that to prevent the fraying and curling you could always add a bit of serging or an overcast edge. Yes, it would take the no-sew portion out, but would save your project.
Thanks for the good tips!
So cute! I love the colours in the original sweater.
Thanks, Jo! Aren’t the colors great! That’s what originally drew me to the sweater.
You are just too dang good at this 🙂
Too cute, Beth. I love seeing what you will come up with next. 😉
Thank you, Cara! So nice to hear from you!!
Love these boot warmers! Wish it was cold enough to wear these here 🙂
Just a few more times up to the ski resort and I’ll be wishing for warm weather, too. But it is fun to be able to wear sweaters for awhile.
This is a fantastic idea! Your post was well-timed. I was just about to donate a sweater that no longer fit with my wardrobe, but I loved the color. I will now be cutting off those sleeves (which I just confirmed fit my calves).
YAY! I’m so glad it’ll work for you and you’ll get to still make use of your sweater!
I bet you could put in a little elastic to keep them up too. These would look cut with boots too. Might have to re-post this we’re expecting snow, finally!
Luckily the sleeves on this sweater were perfect for leg warmers and didn’t need elastic, but great idea just in case they were a bit loose. So Denver hasn’t had much snow?
Very little. It snowed tonight but it’s been so warm it’s not really sticking. 😦
We’re in the midst of a winter storm warning right now. A couple feet of snow is being predicted. Many think I’m crazy but I actually like snow storms. 🙂
Great idea and full use of that sweater… I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, go here to see how to accept http://versatilestylebytracey.com/2013/01/28/very-inspiring-versatile-blogger-award/
Thanks so much, Tracy!! I’ll go check it out!
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I love the leg warmers, I need a cute old sweater now! Just wondering if you can tell me where the shoes are from… I love them!! I’ve been trying to find myself I pair of oxfords and I just love those!! Either way the tote and the leg warmers are great =)
Thanks, Katie. I’ll ask my friend, Linda, where the shoes are from and get back to you. She has some of the greatest shoes, ever!
Found your leg warmers on pinterest. I love them. I live in the mountains in Australia where it gets really cold in winter I will definately make some. I will go to the op shop and try and buy a cream wool jumper and felt it then I will do some natural eco dying with eucalyptus leaves which will come out with red leaf designs. thanks for the great ideas!
Hi Yvette! I’d love to see how your leg warmers turn out. I’m intrigued by the eucalyptus dying process you mentioned.
Love, love, love this! What a clever idea, thanks so much for sharing it.
You are so welcome, Claire! Thank YOU for your comment!
I love the sweater you chose! I have a lot of wool sweaters that I got second-hand in order to use for refashions. I have had a hard time finding cute colors and patterns though. Nice find! And cute refashion!
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Jen! A good time to find sweaters is actually in the summer. No one else is looking 😉
Good idea! I’ve actually had some luck in the summers at garage sales. I’ve actually found a lot of pre-felted wool sweaters in the “free” box, because the owner thought they ruined them! 🙂 My stash is mostly dark blues, blacks, grays and reds though. The pretty patterns and colors are harder to come by. Maybe I just need to go looking more often. 😉
What do you make from your sweaters?
I make hats, mittens, ear warmers, scarves, purses, leg warmers, socks, etc. I used to work for a company in Northern MI called baabaaZuzu. They make most of the above (except socks and leg warmers). I got to work from home doing hand stitching. Then we moved and I could no longer work for them. 😦 So now I make my own stuff, mostly for gifts. Do you do a lot with felted wool?
Just a few things, a clutch, some mittens, a couple of hats, the tote and leg warmers. I have collected quite a few wool sweaters. I’d like to make a quilt. Have you thought of opening an etsy shop?
I have one, but nothing listed at the moment. I opened it several years ago. At the time I only had children’s hats listed, but didn’t have a lot of luck selling them. I just recently changed the name to MadMama Designs (to go with my blog), but I haven’t listed anything yet. My blog is still really new, so I haven’t decided what to try to sell yet (plus I need to make some more things first!)
Do you have an etsy shop?
I’m loving your blog by the way! It’s like the mother-load of awesome tutorials! I get a ton of inspiration from all of your refashions. And it looks very professional. 🙂
Thanks so much! I love to sew and having this blog to share it with other people makes it even more fun for me. I don’t have an etsy shop. I used to design custom invitations and cards and had a shop for a short time, but I don’t have time to do that anymore now that I’m back to teaching full time.
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Did you wash your sweater (felting) before or after you cut it up? Thanks!
Yes, I did wash and dry it.
Love this, it takes me way back! I used to do this all the time when I was away at ballet school. I couldn’t afford the expensive warm ups and leg warmers the other dancers wore, so I started making bodysuits and leg warmers from old thrift store sweaters. Soon I had a part time job selling my re-fashioned warm ups to the other dancers.
Hi Trista, Sounds like we might be cut from the same cloth, so to speak. 🙂
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What am I missing? I can’t find the tutorial for the leg warmers from old sweater??
Since this was felted wool, all we did was cut off the sleeves and use them for leg warmers. No sewing necessary. Quick and easy!
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