I first spotted a sweater bag in France - women carrying them whilst strutting down the cobblestones teettering on high heels...students carrying them stuffed with books while scrambling for the bus or train - and I really wanted one! So the mister and I went on a hunt...we started with the more fashionable shops, they laughed and ushered us out the door as fast as they could...a sweater-hobo-bag was not part of their inventory! So then we went to the mall...nada...and even little boutiques that were desperate for business had nothing like them. So where did they come from?!? I have no idea! Luckily I drew a sketch of one so I could remember it -I had to draw it because that was the day my camera battery died! With the sketch on the wall in my workroom...staring at me for months now...I finally decided to make myself a bag...so off I went to Value Village where I found the perfect men's sweater!
The sweater is 70% wool and 30% acrylic, it's an XL and it was in good condition. (Next time I might use a sweater that is 100% wool and felt it, which would give this a totally different look...but I really wanted the bag to look like a sweater so I went with a blend.) After a good washing and drying, it was ready to cut into. The bottom of the sweater becomes the top, sides are sewn, wrong sides together, and then turned right side out and resewn, making a French seam. The bottom of the bag, where the neck used to be, is cut straight across and then another French seam is made. I used a tight straight stitch and then went back over it with a zig-zag stitch.
The seams will be thick, so if you try this make sure you use a very strong needle, I broke one before I got the clue.
After the sweater sides and bottom (neck) have been sewn, all that's left is a strap. I didn't have any black webbing on hand, only had hot pink, and I didn't think it would work...so I covered it with black cotton fabric. (I didn't want to use the sweater leftovers for the strap because I didn't want the strap to stretch.) The strap was sewn to the sides of the bag, and I added some bows to give it a little charm...good, no?
Love it? I do...I love how it "closes in" on itself on top...but for a little added help I sewed two small black pieces of ribbon to the inside so it could be tied shut.
Super easy project...and I'm thinking my fashionista-nieces might be getting these for Christmas...it's adorable, super soft and if they get cold they can always throw it over their heads!
Cost of sweater: $4.99. Everything else came from my stash and here's the most important thing...it took less than ONE HOUR to make. No lie. Merry Christmas!