Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Old jeans to a new bag!

I had a pair o old jeans sitting in my sewing room for a while... I wanted to turn them into something practical and I think a cool sturdy denim bag is as practical as they can get!

So I started planning ahead, but I have to say when I started measuring and cutting I changed the design step by step.... from a simple two squares sewn together bag to a complicated fully edged and lined bag....

Here is the journey in photos:

This is going to form the front of the bag, it took a lot of careful cutting to get the top front part of the jeans to get to a rectangle shape. I also had to secure the pockets with a few hand stitches on the side since the original seam has been cut off.

I decided to lift it up with a bit of embroidery to make the bag look fresh and new not just the same old jeans! 

Here is the design being stitched out on the embroidery machine.

For the back, I decided to add some colourful buttons! 

 And here are the straps... These are made out of a single layer of fabric, folded then turned inside out. If I was to make another one I would probably make the handles a bit thicker by adding some batting.

I have added two long rectangles with a zipper joining the two pieces... Once the zip is in place, will have to pin in the front, the front straps, the zipper piece, the back straps and the back of the bag, all in order. 

The top edges of the jeans (the waistband part) is thick and can be difficult to use as seam allowance, I have decided to keep it showing (that will also give a nice effect to the bag). In order to attach the parts together, I have basically taken it under the sewing machine as you see it in the images. All you need to do is to stitch over the top waistband stitch line, making sure you catch the straps in between.  

 Now I have added the sids. I have cut the sides from the leg part of the jeans, make sure you consider matching the fabric colour fades on both sides of the bag. When cutting allow extra 3cm for the top, you will need to fold it in and stitch before attaching the sides to the bag. 

 Once all 4 sides are done, you will need to hand stitch the top side edges to the zipper part of the bag. To finish the lower edge, turn bag to the wrong side, put the lower edge together and stitch a straight line, then make a triangle on the edges to have a nice deep bag. Cut extra bits of triangle off about 1cm away from the seam line.

Here is how it should look like at the end.

 Side view:

Measure the bag and cut the bag lining, I have used the same dotty fabric inside as well. Using the same method as the bag, make a triangle on the two lower sides and cut away any extra fabric.  Fit the lining in the bag and hand stitch all around the top to secure in place.

And here is the finished bag!

Would love to know what you think?

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