A secondhand sweater

I’m not really sure what "BOO-YAH!" means, but I feel like saying it when I look at this purse I made . . .


out of this.


The purse is not blocked, I haven’t attached the handle, and I can’t decide on a closure–a snap, a button, a staple, a nail? The binding covering the raw edges is a little bulky on one side, and pretty decent on the other. Know how when you’re trying something new your technique gets better as you go along? Yeah, that.

I bought this 100% wool sweater at Deseret Industries, Utah’s premiere thrift-shop chain run by the LDS church. The "DI" is so. much. fun. for a thrift-shop junkie like me. I love spotting a cool piece of clothing or furniture and quietly thinking to it:

"Oh my heck, WHAT are you doing here? Your previous owners simply didn’t understand you. You’re coming home with me."

Thrift-store shopping is an art, I tell you. It’s taken me years to get it right. And sometimes I still get it wrong. When I was in college I moved to an apartment in a third-story building. I hit the DI and bought a huge secondhand couch covered in funky flowers. My good friend Matt and I carried that couch up three flights of outdoor stairs, only to find that it wouldn’t fit through the front door of the apartment. Back down the stairs. Back to the DI. (Hmm. Writing this, I realize that my error in judgment wasn’t due to being an inexperienced secondhand shopper. It was basically me sucking at math.)

I bought five more secondhand sweaters this week. I’m looking forward to making more, I dunno, stuff. Whatever I can dream up. Repurpose, reduce, reuse, recycle. Sure, all that is dandy. But really, I’m just having fun.

3 thoughts on “A secondhand sweater”

  1. That’s so ingenious! Me and my wife love visiting thrift stores too. I’m looking for any kind of bargain while my wife looks for clothes and jackets in good condition. One time she spotted a beautiful Finnish fur sweater made from 100% arctic fox fur. It can cause thousands of bucks in the store but she snagged it for only five dollars. It was in very good condition too. We still use it during the winters and it’s quite effective in blocking the cold.


  2. Such a clever lady!!! Have you tried fulling the wool? Looked at your sight because I am trying to find projects using old sweaters that I can cook in the washing machine to make really tightly weaved fabric and then into something fun.
    I just love your bag!


  3. LOVE THE BAG!!! I’m glad you’re not down here in St. George. Otherwise we’d be fighting over the sweaters at DI!!!! It’s my favorite place to go when I’ve got a couple of hours to kill.


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