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Free Upcycled Fabric Bag Knitting Pattern

Updated on May 7, 2016
Free knitted bag pattern
Free knitted bag pattern | Source

This bag is a great way to upcycle some old clothes or linen. It's practical, looks great and would make a wonderful eco-friendly gift, that doesn't take long to make!

Due to the nature of the design, each one is unique and easily cleaned in a regular wash. I'm pondering making a denim one with some old jeans I have waiting to be upcycled!

The dimensions given for the strap make it long enough to go over the head, but can easily be tailored to suit your preferences.

Upcycled Bag Materials

  • 15mm knitting needles
  • 2.5m (approx) fabric cut or torn into 1" (2.5cm) strips
  • 3x fabric strips 1.5"(4cm) x 79" (2m) for strap
  • 12x25"(30x63.5cm) fabric for lining
  • 4x7" ( cm) fabric for pocket (optional)
  • Large sewing needle
  • Pointy object for making holes in fabric (such as knitting needle)
  • Strong sewing cotton
  • Small sewing needle

Knitting Pattern Information

Finished Size

Using a gauge of 8st x 9rows per 4" (10cm)

Finished size 11x12" (28x30cm) approx


  • Sts~ stitches
  • St st~ stocking stitch (alternating one row knit, one row purl)

Have you upcycled before?

See results

Bag Pattern

Main body

  • Cast on 20 sts using the 1" strips
  • Stocking stitch 46 rows.
  • Cast off loosly
  • Fold this rectangle in half (knit sides together) and using the large sewing needle and leftover fabric strips, sew down the sides to form a pocket.
  • Turn right side out

Free bag Knitting Pattern Upcycled Fabric
Free bag Knitting Pattern Upcycled Fabric | Source

Making The Bag


  • As with the main body, fold the fabric in half (right sides together) and sew down the sides using the strong sewing cotton and small needle, to make a pocket.
  • Do NOT turn right side out and fit inside the main body.
  • Turn over the top edge of the lining so that it is hidden between the lining and the main body
  • Pierce holes around the top of the lining, roughly 1" apart
  • Using more leftover strips and the large needle sew the lining to the main body through the holes made previously and using a double running stitch.
  • If you like it to be extra secure add a small round of overstitch using sewing cotton and the small needle...personally I didn't feel the need to do this and I'm using this same bag 7 years after I made it!

Pocket (optional)

  • Fold over all four edges of the smaller piece of fabric (this can be made easier if ironed in place) and pin to lining where you would like it.
  • Using an overstitch, the small needle and strong cotton, sew the left, bottom and right edges to the lining


  • Gather the three 1.5" strips of fabric and pass the ends through the lining and main body (pierce hole if necessary).
  • Tie the strips together, leaving about 4" for a tassel and making sure the knot cannot pass back through the bag...if it can tie again to form a bigger knot.
  • Braid the strips.
  • Copying the other side, pass the ends of the strips through both the lining and main body and knot secure.
  • Cut the end of the strips into 3 lengthwise to make a fuller tassel

Tassel Edging

  • Using up any leftover strips cut into 6" lengths
  • Fold a strip in half and push the loop through the bottom edge of the bag
  • Pull the ends of the strip through the loop and pull tightly
  • Repeat with the rest of the strips, evenly along the bottom edge
  • As with the strap ends, cut (or tear) each end into 3 lengthways to make fuller tassels.


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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very creative and cute knitted fabric bag! And the good thing is that we can recycle some items, which I am very fond of doing.

      This idea is worth trying. Thanks!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Great idea and so pretty. I look forward to seeing your purse made from denim! It's an interesting idea, but I would think that denim strips would be difficult to knit with. Let us know how it turns out! Voted up!

    • KarenCreftor profile image

      Karen Creftor 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      Thanks Sally :D

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Very creative idea, always nice to see people recycling items. Thanks for sharing.