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Recycled Upholstery Swatch Bags

Added Oct 22, 2008

by qsogirl

Baltimore Area, ...






I made a variety of handbags from the Jocole Square-Bottom Bag pattern using upholstery swatches. A friend of mine works at a furniture store, and when a company discontinues a fabric for their furniture, those swatches are removed from the sample collection. Instead of throwing them out, my friend collects them and gives them to me!

Each bag can use as many as 7 or 8 upholstery samples, depending on the size of the sample and whether I resize the bag pattern. I often piece the swatches together to make larger panels, such as on the zebra purse outside, the earth-tone circles purse lining, or the grey-green purse straps.

In order to give extra stability to the bottom of the bag, I insert a medium-weight plastic rectangle that I cut out of the packaging of some camisoles I bought!

Higher resolution and slightly larger photos are available at

Material Notes

Upholstery swatches of discontinued furniture fabrics

heavy fuseable interfacing (some is from my mother-in-law who had it leftover from a previous project, so it’s “recycled”, too!)

large snap

plastic (recycled from packaging)

ribbon (on the zebra-pattern bag)





Jocole Square Bottom Bag pattern, #16001

5 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    Dec 14, 2008, 08.36 AMby chicaroja

    such craftsmanship! i have a pile of upholstery swatches too, from the same type of dealio, my landlady works at an outdoor furniture store…you have inspired me to get cracking and start sewing! nice woik! ;)

  • Missing

    Oct 22, 2008, 02.03 PMby sewdelightful

    Absolutely fantastic! Those fabric pieces make beautiful bags. You must have a craft spot bursting at the seams with fabric eh? :)

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    Oct 22, 2008, 09.40 AMby taffetasilk

    thats a really great idea and the bags look really beautiful :)

  • 30305231fbe4b06487f2d8826b864771c947cebb_large

    Oct 22, 2008, 08.33 AMby emrichkh

    Great way to reuse, beautiful recycling :).

  • Dace1433aac6ec7e99dac9a4a6e3d3ff2afc0bdf_large

    Oct 22, 2008, 08.12 AMby annika

    What a great idea. You could start a business!

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