skirt upcycled into a tweed bag

February 26, 2014

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:)


This post is linked up here

41 comments so far.

41 responses to “skirt upcycled into a tweed bag”

  1. JOY says:

    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. 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 @

  3. This is such a neat idea!!! Pinned!

    – Brooke –

  4. Connie says:

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

  5. Marlene says:

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

  6. Barbara says:

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

  7. so clever-I love it-thanks for the tutorial

  8. Gina Caro says:

    That is brilliant. You are so clever! Thank you for sharing with #ThriftyThursday 🙂

  9. Adorable bag! I loved the way you used the pleats. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  10. Great job! Thanks for sharing at the Bag Brag Tuesday Linky party at 🙂

  11. 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

  12. Sorry also should have put #blogclub

  13. Claire says:

    What beautiful fabric. I agree, a clever use of the pleats too!

  14. Sonia says:

    Wow that is very creative.

  15. Laura says:

    I love the pattern of this bag, very cute #blogclub

  16. I love this bag! I have a sewing machine that I can’t wait to use but just don’t have the time. When the twins start school I will hopefully get the chance to! #blogclub

  17. I am amazed by your creativity – and I have a corderoy skirt that is lovely bit just doesn’t work for me so I am going to give it a try! #bloglove

  18. oana79 says:

    Very creative and it looks fab, well done!

  19. 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.

  20. An awesome refashion, Vicky!!! Keeping the pleats has just made the bag. Love the colour, too!!!

  21. I love this! Wish I had the skills to make something so lovely #blogclub

  22. Marti says:

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


  23. Ooh I love the material in this bag! Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Tutorials 🙂 #pintorials 🙂

  24. 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 😉

  25. Absolutely love it! I’ve pinned it 🙂

  26. That is such a beautiful bag, I love seeing your creations, you clever lady!

  27. Maria says:

    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.

  28. Jan says:

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

  29. Stella Lee says:

    This turned out so well. I love the fabric no wonder you had to do something fab with it.

  30. 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 !


  31. Mara says:

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

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A passion for sewing, upcycling and caring for the environment - the perfect excuse to haunt charity shops for bargains!

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