Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Recycled

When I was doing some drawer cleaning I came across this sweater. It was one that I loved when I bought it many years ago and I wore it quite a bit. But I haven't worn it in a few years because its short boxy style is no longer in vogue. It was handmade in Bolivia and I hated to just give it to the thrift shop, where most of my no-longer-wanted clothes go.


The crocheted flower was never sewn on, but attached with a big safety pin from the back. I always thought that was amusing.

I thought that if I felted it it would make a nice bag and so I did.

 I washed it twice in very hot water and detergent in the washing machine. Not sure which is which, but it did shrink even more on its second washing.
Felting makes it very stiff and the fibers are so matted together by the felting that you don't have to worry about any fraying or unraveling.


But it does make it very fuzzy, or at least it did with this sweater. I thought I could fix it with my old sweater shaver, which is used for taking pilling off sweaters and other fabrics, but it barley touched this heavy duty fuzz, so I got out some inexpensive safety razors and went to town. I went thru 5 razors! Here you can see the difference on the left side which has been shaved.




 Here's the finished bag. I used all of the body for the bag and the sleeves for the handles, shown below. The bottom of the sweater with its crocheted edging makes the top of the bag. It is a good size, about 14" wide and 11" deep. I made the straps long enough to be a shoulder bag. I only put the flower through one washing and it did shrink a little.




I lined it with a pretty batik and used a different batik for the inside pocket. I always like a bright lining, making it easier to find things inside.

Attractive, but out-of-date sweater made into a cute bag. What do you think?

I haven't had anything to share on Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, but this week I do, so hop on over and see what's going on there.

15 comments:

helenek said...

The bag came out fabulous! Great job recycing. I love the yellow flowers.

Heather Pregger said...

I think it's fabulous! And such a great idea for a special piece of clothing that you just can't bring yourself to throw away!

Julie Bagamary said...

What a great idea and purse!!

Linda M said...

Wow! What a great idea and a new life for a favorite sweater.

LA Paylor said...

OH my gosh!!!!
That was amazing. First of all I could never have given away that sweater. But to actually use it instead of hoarding it was brave and fabulous. The way the bottom edging is not the top! Special! I am forwarding your link to my sewing group! Wonderful Norma, happy creative new year my friend.
LeeAnna

Kathleen Loomis said...

Hi Norma! just dropping by to say Happy New Year and how much I enjoy keeping up with you and your work on the blog. (Without the internet, we would never be friends!!)

kathy

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Clever, gorgeous and useful-great idea.

Quilt Rat said...

Great transformation! I always enjoy seeing items given a new life

Sue Kaufman said...

Sweet outcome Norma! Happy New Year!

Sarah said...

How clever, I love it! Off to search my wardrobe for an unwanted jumper!

Cindy Green said...

What a clever transformation! I'm so impressed! I have an old wool sweater I've set aside for felting and now I've got to figure out some creative project for it (it's a cardigan...). thanks for the inspiration and Happy New Year!

Donna Mateyka said...

Beautiful transformation!

Donna Mateyka said...

Beautiful transformation!

Shannon said...

What a great thing to do with a beloved wool sweater! I have an old one that was shrunk by a partner doing laundry and I may have to take the next step and felt it/stitch it up since I never wear it! Thanks for sharing!

Vivien Zepf said...

Oh My Gosh you are so clever! This is adorable.