I didn't use a pattern, and in fact this is the result of me trying to "improve" on the bag I had made at first.......I really messed it up, and had to cut it apart, and start over. I'm really happy with the result, and more importantly so is my daughter!
I went on to make a second purse from another sweater that I purposely felted (shrunk). Since I don't have (and I'd bet neither do you) any two sweaters that are alike, no two of these purses will ever be alike......that's kind of fun don't you think?
Step 1: Step 1 Gather Your Supplies
OK, so now you have your sweater. You also need:
ruler or tape measure
purse handles (either new from the craft store, or handles from an old purse. You could also use a reclaimed belt
sewing machine, and/or serger
Fray Check or other product that locks thread
Step 2: Step 2 Take the Plunge and CUT
Step 3: Step 3 Sew
Step 4: Step 3 Make Corners
Keeping your bag right sides together, open your bag, and then turn it 90°. Lint the point of the corner up with the seam that you just sewed. Measure down 1.5 inches, mark and pin it. Repeat for the other side.
Now sew across each point at the 1.5 inch mark. At this point I used a drop of the Fray Stop just to make sure my sewing did not come apart (even though I knotted off the thread) I'm just cautious.
With matching thread, hand sew each point in place on the main bottom seam.
Turn the purse right side out and admire your work!
Step 5: Step 5 Finish Top
I decided that I wanted to tun the edge under, so I just followed one of the stripes, and top stitched two rows by machine. Double top stitching adds a design element, that I will carry through on the bow, to give a more finished look.
Once the top stitching was completed, I trimmed off the excess fabric VERY close to the stitching
Step 6: Step 6 Create the Bow
I cut off the cap of the sleeve, leaving a straight edge. Next I measured, marked, and cut down 7.5 inches on each sleeve.....making sure that I cut on the same color of stripe on each sleeve. If you are using a solid color that won't be an issue.
I opened the sleeve with RIGHT sides together, keeping the seam in the middle, pin, and sew across to finish one end. Turn Right sides OUT, making sure that the corners are nice, and square (use a blunt object to poke the corners out).
Top stitch the double rows around each side of the bow. Overlap each side of the bow 1 inch. With your fingers "PLEAT/GATHER" the bows together for a uniform look. I tightly wrapped thread around it to hold this in place until I could more securely sew the gathers in place by hand.
I cut a small piece from the scraps that was long enough to go around the middle of the bow and overlap in the back.
Step 7: Step 7 Attaching the Handles
Once I determined where I wanted the handles placed. I cut 2 pieces (6.5 X 4) from the scraps of the sweater that would hold the handles in place with one piece on each side.
I determined the middle of both the bag, and the handle, then looped the attachment over the handle, and pinned it in place. I then sewed the piece in place making sure to remove the pins just prior to sewing over them (NEVER a good idea....hitting a pin can break the needle). Once I was happy with the placement, I repeated it on the other side. I trimmed the excess fabric from both sides.
I attached the tails making sure that none of the attaching stitches would show once the bow was applied.
Step 8: Step 8 Attach Bow
VIOLA You're done! Enjoy
Step 9: Step 8 Other Ideas
I also added a magnetic closure, and little metal "feet" that I purchased at the craft store.
Next time I will combine parts from more than 1 sweater to vary the look.