Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Proper Sweater Bag Tutorial and A-Give-Away

October 22, 2009

A proper sweater bag tutorial.


* A sweater
* 3/4 yard liner fabric
* Embroidery floss
*Quilting thread
* 6 cool buttons (do not use uncool buttons).
* 7 inches of thin ribbon, 1/2 inch wide or less
* Needles; including a long, thin upholstery needle
*Embellishments: buttons, lace, ribbon, doilies and such

Before you start, wash and dry sweater.

1. Cut off sleeves along seam line. Save.
(Save all bits of sweater for future projects).
2. With the front and the back of the sweater together cut two square or rectangle pieces any size.
3. Sew a stay stitch across the bottom and top of sweater.
This will prevent the sweater from stretching out of shape

NOTE: Use the finished bottom of sweater for the top/opening of bag.
This will make finishing the top of the bag easier and neat looking.

4. Add embellishments to sweater now.

My sweater was actually a cardigan with lovely pearl buttons.
I hand sewed the button plackets together then hand sewed pink velvet ribbon over my stitches. I sewed the doily on by hand using small tacking stitches around the outside and inside of doily. (Embellishing steps are great to work on while watching a movie or sitting outside).

5. With right sides facing sew the sweater bottoms together.
*Remember* The original finished bottom of sweater is the top of bag.

TIP: When sewing sweater fabric use a 1/2" seam allowance.
Use a 1/4" seam allowance for liner fabric.

6. Lay the sweater piece unfolded and length wise on top of liner fabric.
Cut the liner the same size as sweater with an extra 1 1/2" at the top and bottom of liner fabric. (This extra fabric will be folded back and sewn to the top of the sweater to finish it ).

Most likely the sweater piece is not exactly rectangle.
Cut the liner (plus 1 1/2" each top side) to the size sweater should be.

7. If you want a pocket inside the bag, make and sew it to the liner now.
I used my phone for a template.
(Since there are 4,000 ways to make a pocket, choose the simplest, best looking, way for you).

8. Fold sweater in half right sides facing.
Press, pin and sew fabric up both side.
Repeat for liner liner fabric.
*Use a 1/2" SA for sweater fabric. 1/4" SA for liner fabric.
9. Turn sweater bag right side out. Push a finger into each corner to make it rounded at points.

10. With the liner still right side out tuck the liner inside the bag. (Wrong sides of sweater and and liner will be together).
Make sure the sweater and liner seams match up and pin.
This will prevent shifting while the top of the bag is sewn.

11. Fold the top of the liner over, wrong sides together, until top of folded liner and sweater are about even.

12. Press a seam into the liner fabric and pin.

13. Using six strands of embroidery floss sew sweater and liner together with a running stitch. Stitch about 1/4" from the top of bag.
This is where I use an upholstery needle.

* If you want the top of your bag a bit gathered pull the running stitches a little tight while you sew.

14. Cut a sleeve up the seam and press.
Cut the sleeve into a rectangle as long and wide as you want your shoulder strap.

15. Fold strap in half lengthwise.
Pin and sew up side with wrong sides together.
Using your fingers, turn strap right side out.

16. Pin the strap ends to the side seams of the bag.

17. Use quilting thread and a straight stitch to attach the strap to the bag.
Turn under the raw edges of the strap as you stitch for a nice finished edge.

18.Reinforce the strap by straight stitching a second row of stitches near the top of the bag.

19. Sew on buttons between the two rows of stitches.
Your bag can now withstand little hands tugging and pulling at it.
Repeat steps 17-19 on the other side of bag.

20. Pick two really cool buttons and a small length of lovely ribbon for the latch.
21. On the front of bag, sew a button that is 1 1/2" and centered from the top of bag.

22. Cut a small length of ribbon to size by looping it over the button and pinning it to back of the bag in the same place as the button on the front of bag.

23. At the cross of the looped ribbon sew a few small back stitches to secure it.
Sew the ribbon to the back of the bag at the cross.
Last, sew the button to the bag at the cross of the ribbon.
Yahoo! Finished!
It was difficult to write and demonstrate making this bag.
I decided the easiest and clearest way for me to teach this sweater bag was to storyboard it.

My sweater bag tutorial in storybook style.
This bag was fast and easy to make.
If you don't want to make a sweater bag but still want to own one, contact me at my e-mail address:

Have a great weekend.
Look for my give-a-way post later this evening.
It's an awesome give-a-way.

Thank You!

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