Something Old is New Again

There’s this sweater I’ve had for years.  Years.  It’s my favorite.  It was my favorite.  I’ve had it since college and I used to wear it all the time.  It’s a linen/cotton cableknit fisherman-type sweater and I always wore it with a denim shirt.  It was one of my go-to outfits.  I haven’t worn it for years, but every time I cleaned out my closet I couldn’t part with it because I still loved it.

Fast-forward to 2012 and all of the sewing blogs and tutorials I’ve been reading.  Suddenly, I find one that seems perfect for my favorite old sweater!  (See it here.)

my sweater 

the inspiration 

I washed and dried my sweater on hot to try to shrink it a little.  I followed the basic directions of the tutorial, but finished mine a little differently.  First, I was unable to box the corners of my bag because that many layers just would not go through my sewing machine.  I’m surprised actually that I didn’t break my machine sewing the two halves together.  Then, because my sweater was such a light color, I was concerned about it getting dirty.  I thought about making the straps that hold the handles have some sort of button or snap closure, so that the wood could be removed and the bag washed.  I ended up cutting strips from the sleeves of my sweater for the straps.  These changes make my bag not quite as polished as the example, but I’m still pleased with it.

One change that I’m very happy with is the lining of my bag.  I didn’t have a suitable coordinating cotton in my fabric stash so I went hunting through my closet.  I looked at skirts I don’t wear often, but then my eyes found a denim shirt hanging in the back.  Perfect!  I had always worn my sweater with a denim shirt, so it was the perfect choice for the lining.  As a bonus feature I cut the pocket off the front of the shirt and sewed it to the lining.

I attached the straps and lining by hand since my machine was threatening to explode, and I’m very happy with the results!

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