Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Belted Sweater Purse

I started with a large sweater, corduroy pants, and a large belt.  I also used some iron-on interfacing, and your standard sewing supplies.

I had used part of this sweater already as trim on this dress.  With the remaining sweater, I cut the main portion of my purse.  It measured 16" x 16".  I also cut the same from my iron-on interfacing.  The corduroy lining was also cut 16" wide, but I added an extra 2" to the height to allow for the top edge of the lining to eventually fold over and finish off the top of the purse.

Iron the interfacing to the back of the sweater pieces.  The interfacing will give you stability when sewing the stretchy sweater fabric.  It will also give your purse some needed shape.

With right sides together, stitch across the bottom of the purse.

I pressed the bottom seam open and then stitched it in place to reduce bulk.  You won't see this stitching as it will be covered in the next step.

Cut a piece of corduroy 16" wide by whatever height you want.  I made mine about 7".

Press under both edges of the corduroy fabric, center the fabric on the bottom seam of the purse, pin and stitch in place.

Fold the bag in half, right sides together, and stitch the side seams.  Turn the bag inside out and stitch a boxed corner on each side.  Trim away the excess.  (Trimming not shown.)

If you want a pocket on the inside of your purse, now's the time to attach it.  Once it's sewn in place, stitch the bottom and sides of the lining.  Box the corners like you did with the sweater fabric.

Cut and stitch belt loops.  I made mine long enough to accommodate the belt and then have the excess be stitched into the top binding.  (Refer to the picture of the completed purse at the beginning of this post.)  I left the top edges unfinished since they would eventually get covered by the binding.  The bottom edges were folded under and stitched in place.  I placed two belt loops in the front, and two in the back. 

Slip the lining into the bag and roll the excess fabric over the top to create a binding.  I stitched this in place by hand since it was getting pretty thick.

Cut two straps approximately 3" by whatever length you desire.  Fold in half lengthwise, right sides together and stitch, creating a tube.  Turn them right side out and press.  Topstitch 1/4" along the edges.  Pin in place on the purse and stitch.  Measure the belt to go around the purse, cut off any excess.  Punch new holes for the belt buckle.  Use any leftover belt scraps as embellishments.  I used the pieces to cover the raw edges of the straps where they attached to the purse.  I also had enough to create a flap that keeps the purse closed with a button.  (Refer to the photos of the finished purse.)

Hopefully, this tutorial has been helpful.  The hardest part was probably the thickness of the sweater and corduroy.  Make sure you use a heavy duty needle!


  1. WHA?!! NO comments? Was this post hiding under a rock? Where is everyone? OMG! This purse is Awesome!!!!I am SO going to GW or Savers in search of a sweater, some corduroy anything & a lovely, wide belt. I LOVE your tutorial! So easy to follow & the colors of this bag are so perfect as a neutral accessory for a Fall and/or Winter outfit. Again, Awesome post & Fabulous job! Thanks for sharing this GEM! Your newest FAN :)

    1. Thanks, Chelle, for the enthusiastic endorsement!! Actually, any comments on the purse have been left on the original post with the corduroy dress. Good luck in your search for the supplies to make one for yourself! I really like mine and use it often and hope it will be the same for you. Caution: Get some heavy duty needles, because it does get pretty thick!

  2. Your finished purse looks amazing! You are very talented!

  3. Gorgeous! I love this bag and can hardly believe it is from recycled clothing! :) Well done! Christine
    - ChrisW Designs

  4. You are very creative! Amazing ideas, and thanks so much for sharing. :-D

  5. You are very creative! Amazing ideas, and thanks so much for sharing. :-D

  6. I have been looking for a purse to make and have finally found it. I Love this tutorial. Thank you so much.

  7. I love this idea. And i have old corduroy material and an old sweater in my stash. Excelllent job!

  8. I love this idea. And i have old corduroy material and an old sweater in my stash. Excelllent job!