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skirt upcycled into a tweed bag

Introducing this weeks Quick Mid Week Upcycled Make, woollen tweed bag.

This weeks quick mid week make transforms a tweed pleated woollen skirt into a stylish recycled bag.

Tweed Upcycled Bag - tutorial

You will need:

  • Skirt
  • Lining (I used an old shirt)
  • Scissors
  • Tape messure
  • Heavy weight iron on interfacing
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Magnetic snapper


  • Zip
  • Rings for handle

To make:


Cut out main body of the bag, taking into consideration the placement of the pleats. This bag has a pleat in the centre of the bag. The piece measures 12″ across the top & bottom (when pleats are neatly folded in), and 14″ down. Use the grain of the tweed to guide you.


Cut an identical piece from the back of the fabric, this will enable you to line up the pleat folds on the bottom of the bag.

Baste stitch the top of the front and back, this keeps the pleats neat and easy to work with.



Pin the right sides together. Take care to ensure your pleats are folded neatly and match at the base of the bag. Stitch together the sides and bottom

Use this as your pattern for cutting out your lining, ensure to add in seam allowance. Insert any internal pocket you would like. Sew up the sides and bottom of your lining.

tweed bag

Turn the main body of the bag right side out, and insert the lining wrong sides together. Pin into place. Place aside.

Next cut out four pieces of the skirt to make the band, and four pieces of interfacing. The main fabric to measure 13″ by 5″, the interfacing 11″ by 4″. Iron on the interfacing. mark the centre on two of the pieces and insert magnetic snapper. You can see I added additional interfacing at this point for extra strength. Stitch the sides of the internal band together, and the sides of the front of the band together (with half an inch seam allowance)

bag band
To make the strap. Cut out two pieces of the main fabric 6″ by 5″ and a piece 25″ by 5″. Cut out tw0 pieces of interfacing 6 by 4″ and one piece 25″ by 4″. Iron on. Fold each piece in half and turn in seams. Stitch down both sides of the straps.

recycled bag

For your two smaller pieces pass through rings and stitch the ends together.

side of bag

Pin the rights sides of the bands together. Insert the base of your straps at the seams. Stitch together. Double stitch where your strap joins the bag. This is a high stress point in the bag. When turned out to the right side it looks like this:

DSC_0027Top stitch the top of your band. If your sewing machine does not cope with the thickness of the fabric I suggest you understitch, as shown. This is a row of neat stitching just on the inside of the inside of the band, which captures all the internal fabric from the seams.


Pin the right side of the band to the right side of the bag. Ensure your external band is next to the top of the bag as shown, this ensures your magnetic snapper ends up inside the bag! Stitch through the three layers, lining, bag and band.



Turn over the band and pin into place. Hand slip stitch into place, and then machine stitch from the outside of the bag following the band round the bag. Hand stitching is not strong enough to hold over any length of time but holds the fabric into places whilst you machine stitch round.


Finally add the main strap, threading through the rings, doubling up and stitching across several times. One finished bag:)

Tweed Recycled Bag

Check out my tutorials page for more inspiring upcycles, or my pinterest bags board for lots of fab bags:)



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  1. February 26, 2014 / 6:37 pm

    Found you over at “Sew Much Ado.” What a creative way to use pleats already made, and the pleats provide so much more room. enJOYed your post.

  2. February 26, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    Really nice, Vicky! I love how you saved the pleat detail 🙂
    Are you on the Stitch Once, Rip twice FB group? You should share it there 😉
    Hugs from Italy,
    MammaNene @
    MammaNene (@mamma_nene) recently posted…twitter hop 2.46My Profile

    • Amylouise5
      February 26, 2014 / 10:47 pm

      Oh thanks for the suggestion:) I have sent a membership request in:)

    • Amylouise5
      February 26, 2014 / 10:43 pm

      Thanks for pinning:)

  3. February 27, 2014 / 12:37 am

    What a neat purse and a great tutorial!! Thanks for sharing.

    Connie recently posted…Iowa BarnsMy Profile

  4. February 27, 2014 / 7:40 am

    Thanks for sharing, that’s such a nice bag!!!

  5. February 27, 2014 / 8:27 am

    Love this bag. I first read it as “tweeted woollen skirt” which proves that I’m spending too much time on the net!

    • Amylouise5
      February 27, 2014 / 8:30 am

      I suspect that is all too common!!

  6. February 27, 2014 / 7:21 pm

    so clever-I love it-thanks for the tutorial

  7. February 28, 2014 / 2:26 pm

    This is such a clever idea I’ll be sure to look for a nice shirt and skirt in the local charity shops to make one for my sister’s birthday present
    Me_andthe_tiny3 recently posted…Window Blind Safety #infographicMy Profile

  8. February 28, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    I love the pattern of this bag, very cute #blogclub
    Laura recently posted…Word of the WeekMy Profile

  9. February 28, 2014 / 10:38 pm

    That’s brilliant, I have some precious old tshirts I want to upcycle into a rug as I can’t bear to part with them.

  10. March 1, 2014 / 8:37 am

    An awesome refashion, Vicky!!! Keeping the pleats has just made the bag. Love the colour, too!!!
    Pam @Threading My Way recently posted…Baby Gift…My Profile

  11. March 3, 2014 / 10:22 pm

    What a creative and cute way to reuse a skirt. Thank you for sharing it with us! 🙂 I pinned it to the party board.

    Marti recently posted…How to Cut BurlapMy Profile

  12. March 4, 2014 / 8:09 pm

    Ooh this looks fab! I found you through Crafts on Sea #pintorials . I too enjoy upcycling and finding fabrics in the form of clothes etc. from charity shops. I make a lot of nappies, bibs and kids stuff though. Will have to branch out into stuff for me when they’re bigger 😉
    Ruth’s all sorts recently posted…Jars of change for LentMy Profile

  13. April 5, 2014 / 9:51 am

    Love projects that are upcycled especially when they end up as bags. It’s lovely.
    Thanks for popping over to my blog and leaving a comment. You are a noreply blogger so I couldn’t reply to your email.
    Maria recently posted…Meet The CompetitionMy Profile

  14. Jan
    September 26, 2014 / 3:53 am

    What a lovely plaid. Sorry, but if I found a skirt like this I’d wear it, not cut it up.

  15. November 9, 2014 / 9:01 am

    Great bag, love it and won’t to make it – Just wondering about the zip at the back, how do you cut two identical pieces ? Doesn’t the zip get in the way ?

    Thanks !


  16. Mara
    December 11, 2014 / 7:04 am

    Wow this is adorable, I love a good upcycled project.

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