Create a Winter Tote from an Old Houndstooth Sweater

eHow Crafts Blog

Ring in the New Year with this adorable DIY winter sweater tote.


Along with all of the self-improvement resolutions you make this New Year’s Eve, be sure to include a declaration to make a new sweater tote to go with your winter outfits. If they all turn out this cute, it’s a resolution that’ll be easy to keep.


Things You’ll Need

  • Old sweater
  • 1/2 yard of lining fabric (any color/pattern you like)
  • 2 wooden handles
  • 1 1/2 yards of heavy-weight fusible interfacing
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pins


I was actually going to use this thrift shop tote until our new puppy got ahold of it. Yikes! Oh well. The handles are perfect for this project, and I’m sure those beads will come in handy later. Gotta love those new puppies. :)

If you don’t have a thrift shop bag to use, you can find handles that are similar to these at most craft stores.


Remove the handles with a seam ripper.


Cut 11 inches off the bottom of the sweater. (Save the sleeves for next week’s project.)


Close the front sweater opening with a slip stitch.


Remove the buttons with a seam ripper.


Cut eight 11-by-16-inch pieces — two pieces from the sweater, four pieces from the heavy-weight fusible interfacing and two pieces from the lining fabric.


Use a hot iron to fuse the interfacing to the wrong sides of the sweater and lining pieces.


Place the right sides of the sweater pieces together and pin the sides and the bottom. Leave the top open.


Sew a 1/2-inch seam around the sides and the bottom of the bag, removing the pins as you sew. Clip both bottom corners with a short diagonal cut.


Place the right sides of the lining pieces together and pin the sides and the bottom. Leave an 8-inch opening centered at the bottom. Leave the top open.


Sew a 1/2-inch seam around the lining pieces, leaving 8 inches open on the bottom and the top open. Clip both bottom corners with a short diagonal cut.


Turn the sweater piece right side out. Leave the lining piece inside out.


Slide the sweater piece inside the lining piece so the right sides are together.


Pin around the top edge of the bag.


Sew a 1/2-inch seam, removing the pins as you sew.


Pull the lining bag through the bottom opening to turn it right side out.


Tuck in the raw edges of the lining opening, press with a hot iron and pin.


Sew the opening on the lining bag closed using an 1/8-inch seam allowance. You could also hand stitch the opening closed if you’d like.


Tuck the lining inside the sweater bag and press the top edge with a hot iron.


Top stitch around the top edge of the bag.


Hand stitch the handles to the bag. Be sure to center both handles on the bag so they line up perfectly.


Now you have a cute winter bag perfect for carrying your laptop and favorite books.


Stay tuned next week to find out what’s to become of the sweater sleeves.

Happy New Year!


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