Subscribe to our newsletter

Craft Sewing Projects | Check out our free projects + patterns

Featured Project

Purse?! Sweater?! Purse!!

DIYStyle Vodcast Episode 19

Supplies Needed

  • Sweater (Ladies' or Men's, shrunken or felted)
  • ½ yard woven cotton print
  • 1 set of circular or oval purse handles
  • Water soluble marker
  • Baby Lock sewing machine
  • Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP sewing thread
  • The KIT (Sewing Box Essentials)

How to Make It

  1. Cut body of purse from washed and shrunken/felted sweater (see notes below about how to do quick felting in your washer/dryer), incorporating the neckline as the opening of the purse. 16” x 16” is a good general size; your purse can be cut to whatever dimensions will fit your needs. Set aside the arms and scrap pieces.
  2. Lay out the cotton lining right side facing up. Place the cut sweater face up on the lining, centering the neckline opening. Draw around the opening of the neckline. Set the sweater aside, and cut the circle open in the lining. Clip the circle all the way around, about ½” in to the body of the lining.
  3. Lay the sweater/purse out flat again, wrong side facing up. Place the lining back over the sweater and tuck the raw edges under, around the opening of the neckline, pin securely.
  4. Stitch the lining to the sweater/purse around the neckline edge. Remove pins.
  5. Fold the sweater/purse in half with right sides facing and the lining showing. Mark the bottom and top sides of the sweater/purse using a dinner plate to make a smooth curve.
  6. Pull the sweater taut between the linings and pin the edges.
  7. Stitch around the edge of the purse on markings. Trim the extra fabric and sweater knit. Clean finish the raw edges. Turn the purse right sides out.
  8. For handle casings, cut two strips from sweater remnants that measure 7” across and 6” from top to bottom, using the ribbing along the 6" edge for a nice finish.
  9. Fold both 7" side edges of each strip under and stitch. Repeat for the second strip.
  10. Pin the raw edge of each strip to each side (outside) of the purse opening (what had been the neck opening of the sweater!) right sides together, stitch securely.
  11. Loop the strip through a purse handle and pin the ribbed edge over the seamed edge of the strip inside of the purse, stitch securely.

design NOTES

  • Check out the knit from the wrong side, oftentimes that can be a great contrast within your design.
  • If you can’t find a handle to match, buy one in any color and paint it the color you need!
  • Look for sweaters with interesting details such as necklines or ribbings that can be incorporated into the design of the purse.



  • If the sweater has been washed and felted, normally it becomes so dense that it will not unravel. So, cutting the sweater apart and re-piecing it back together with exposed seams can add a really fabulous look.
  • Look for large sweaters made from 100% wool; these can be felted to add more body to the purse before it is sewn. To felt a sweater, run it through the wash cycle with very hot water; allow the sweater to agitate for along period of time, then place it in the dryer, on high heat until dry. The sweater will shrink, sometimes to half the original size and become very dense.

Download this Project (pdf) for your DIYStyle Notebook

What is a DIYStyle Notebook?

We love our sponsors! Please support them, for they help make our site possible. :)

©2008-2019 diystyle. All Rights Reserved.