recycled sweater felt zip bags

Here are several pouches I made from felted wool thrift store sweaters.  I felted the sweaters in hot water in the washer set on high agitation with some dish soap.  Once felted, they make a dense, matted fabric that can be cut without unraveling.  Felt bags are great for items that need padding like laptops, cameras, or glasses.  They also have amazing insulating properties and would be great for keeping drinks or food warm.  Maybe cold too?  I gave these as gifts for Christmas.  Got some practice putting in zippers and leaned how to use the buttonholer on my machine too.

to make the boxy grey one:
Get a standard 8.5" X 11" piece of paper and use as your pattern to cut a rectangle.  Cut another rectangle 4" X 16".  If using a 7" zipper like I did here, start your zipper cut 4.5" from the edge of the longer rectangle and make the cut 7" long.  Center the zipper right side down on on the cut and pin and sew into place.  (Sew a box around the zipper with it zipped up.)  Cut a strip of felt to use as your loop.  Wrong sides out, pin the corner of narrow side of the long rectangle to wide size of the fat rectangle 3.5" from the edge.  Pin the other corner.  (It should be centered.)  Fold the long rectangle over and pin the other side in place.   Pick a spot for your loop and pin it in remembering to push the loop to the inside of the bag because it is inside out now.  Pin the rest of the bag, unzip the zipper, and sew with an even seam allowance.  Turn inside out, and you've got your bag. 

I actually think it looks cooler with the seams on the outside, and next time I'm going to try that.  (You would just flip the long rectangle with the zipper to the outside before sewing.) 

the fair isle one:
This one was kind of a pain because I wanted a zippered pouch without a seam on the bottom (there are only seams on the sides.)  I took a large square of felt folded in half, inside out and pinned the zipper in place.  I then unzipped it and sewed in the zipper, and luckily it zipped close without any warping.  (I guess the "right" way to do it is to sew the zipper in with it closed so both sides meet evenly.)  I turned the bag right side out and sewed the side seams (also putting in a tab.  If you don't mind a bottom seam then just cut two matching rectangles that are the length of your zipper and sew on the zipper to the top of each piece then fold the two together and then sew around the other 3 sides.  Felted fair isle looks super cool.

for the small green and purple ones:
Take a sweater cuff, and sew a seam across the sleeve a couple of inches up from the cuff.  Cut next to the seam.  Cut 1" off a little bit more than half of the cuff edge (what's left is your flap).   Using the button hole maker on your sewing machine make a hole for your button on a small tab.  Attach tab.  Iron down flap.  Sew on button.

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