I knit cabled sweaters. I collect cabled sweaters. I wear cabled sweaters. I destroy cabled sweaters. I upcycle cabled sweaters. As you know, I’ve created some lovely sweater memory pillows over the years. The first one I made was from my first hand knit sweater – the Must Have Cardigan. I loved it. But I eventually outgrew it and slightly felted it. So I made a pillow and a hot pad out of it. My family didn’t love the pillow so it eventually it ended up in a pile of old Irish sweaters that I was going to make into a blanket.

Ralph Lauren Bag

Then I saw a Ralph Lauren product – a lovely purse made out of cabled sweater fabric. Price tag: $600+. I decided that I would make an attempt at one and give it to the girls as a gift.

I purchased leather straps from Bolt and Spool – the cutest shop in Cleveland’s Little Italy! I made a test bag using my old Must Have cardigan. There were a lot of struggles along the way and I discussed a lot of the details with my husband. The first was finding matching leather. I ended up buying some vinyl from Joanns because the color matched well and it was less risk.

My machine can handle leather in general but sewing through the leather and sweater material was challenging. If you see my stitches up close you will see that they are all over the place. I bought a thicker thread but that caused too much friction and I had to go back to the regular thread. My machine just didn’t have the power. I thought about using Annie’s industrial but didn’t want to reveal my secret project. I still had fun working with leather and love the look.

For the next bag I improved the construction method by sewing the side straps before making the tube. For both I also ordered a thinner leather strap from an Etsy seller to make the drawstring closure. I love the finished result! I gave this to my oldest daughter and didn’t make Annie one as I was a bit stressed with holiday orders and had plenty of gifts for her. I may still make her a petite version of this bucket bag since she loves it.