Upcycled Purse From A Ruined (shrunken/felted) Sweater

Picture of Upcycled Purse From A Ruined (shrunken/felted) Sweater
  I've discovered the thrill of making something WONDERFUL from a mistake! I washed a sweater a while back that I could have sworn said it was machine washable only to find out it was dry clean only. Before I tossed it in the Goodwill bag, I checked the Internet and found several ideas for turning felted/fulled (shrunken) wool sweaters into other items. 

  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?
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Step 1: Step 1 Gather your supplies

Picture of Step 1 Gather your supplies
First and foremost you need a wool sweater that you have "felted" (fulled or SHRUNK). Earlier I provided VERY simple INSTRUCTABLE on how to do this......just in case you haven't already done it by ACCIDENTLY washing, and drying a wool sweater.

OK, so now you have your sweater. You also need:
matching thread
ruler or tape measure
straight pins
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

Picture of Step 2 Take the plunge and CUT
This was one of the hardest parts for me. I REALLY liked this sweater and so was a little nervous about cutting it apart.......Just take a deep breath, and cut!  Remember it will be a bit smaller once you sew the seams, so don't cut off too much.
tracy.shudo2 months ago

Ok tried to do this but I don't think it worked. I would like to TANK the lady who did these very clear instructions, I am going to do this as well. not that I don't have enough things I am doing, I will make one for myself and then maybe some for some friends. See how it goes and then maybe make some to sell. So to friends out there that a sweater they cant wear any longer pass to me and see what happens. The sweaters work best if they are 100% wool. I will post what it looks like when done.

bifaerie791 year ago

WOW! These are beautiful! I've been saving an awesome (but felted) Norwegian sweater (with the really cool metal buttons and colorful trim) that my mom shrunk and gave me to do something with. Until now I had no idea what to do with it, but now I'll make a beautiful purse. Thanks for the great instructables!

Hi Mary,

I posted your purse on Craft Gossip Felting and hope you stop by and leave a comment, lovely work :)

Linda Lanese
MaryT8M (author)  Linda Lanese2 years ago
Thank you SO much for the kind words Linda. This is a first for me for sure! I Love, love, love working with wool, and fabric, and wood, and beads, and buttons......oh you get the idea! LOL

Thanks again.
mygibzone3 years ago
Very fun, and easy idea! I'm not a purse person, but I think they would make great gifts! I'm glad you retired so now you can share all these awesome things with us! :)
MaryT8M (author)  mygibzone3 years ago
Thanks for the compliment! I HOPE I can stay "retired", so I can continue as well!
sunshiine3 years ago
So cute! Thanks for sharing and please have a terrific day!
MaryT8M (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
Thanks I DID have a reaaly fun day......everyone was gone, so I had a whole day to myself, and my crafting........I made a batch of soap as well! Look for yet another INSTRUCTABLE on that!
Sounds like fun! I love soap!
scoochmaroo3 years ago
This is really cute, and a what a great tutorial!
MaryT8M (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
THANK YOU I had a lot of fun doing it. I LOVE this site!
I love this! I like that sweater design you used; so adorable!
MaryT8M (author)  Penolopy Bulnick3 years ago
Thank you so much. I found this sweater at a local Goodwill for $3.89.......can't beat that price. I think Wool sweaters are getting harder to find :-( It's fun to try to look at a sweater, and try to think about how it will look when felted, and how it will work with other sweaters, or fabrics.

Next I plan on making a pillow!