Denim Purse Made From Jeans
April 29, 2014
Sewing bags and purses is one of my favorite types of sewing projects. Recently I made this purse using old jeans – a pair of mine, a pair of my husbands and a pair of one of my sons – to create this fun purse that has a zipper closure and is fully lined. I really like how this turned out and have been using it daily as my purse for at least a month now. This was actually a project I had started back in the fall and finally got around to finishing it. I don’t know why I waited so long as I am very pleased with how it turned out.
This purse is approximately 13 inches wide at the top, 10 inches wide at the bottom and 10 1/2 inches tall. It has a nice size outer pocket on the one side and I just did an embroidered letter for my name on the other side. The pocket is perfect for my keys or for my cellphone.
Below is the information on how I made this if you are interested in creating your own. One of the things I like about using the jeans and upcycling is that each time you make something it looks different because of using various colors and weights of denim.
Supplies for project:
- 3 pairs of jeans in different shades of denim
- cotton fabric for lining – approx. 1/2 yard
- 1 denim zipper at least 20 inches long or longer
- thread for sewing the bag and decorative thread for embroidery design and topstitching if desired
- denim sewing machine needles – size 90 or 100
- Cut 6 pieces of denim from jeans 13 inches long by 6 inches wide for outer bag (I cut 2 of these size pieces from each of the pairs of jeans)
- Cut 1 piece of denim for outer pocket 12 inches long by 6 inches wide – fold this in half to be 6 x 6 and press, topstitch the folded edge as desired
- Sew pocket to one of the denim panels using for the center by measuring 2 1/2 inches from one end and draw chalk line – place the raw edges of the pocket on this line and sew using the edge of presser foot as a seam guide – press pocket up to enclose raw edge and topstitch lower edge of pocket using a decorative thread if desired or just your regular thread
- Embroider design or monogram on other center panel if you are doing this step – use a tear away backing to ensure quality embroidery
- Sew 3 panels together along 13 inch length to create one side of bag and repeat the process to create the other side of the bag – use 1/2 inch seam. Make sure you have your pocket upright on the one center panel and catch the sides of the pocket in the stitching. After sewing the panels together press them and then go back and topstitch them on the outer right and left sides of the panel
- Cut 4 strips of denim 26 inches long by 3 inches wide – you will use 2 for the straps and 2 for the zipper casing
- Cut 2 pieces from cotton fabric for lining approx. 16 1/2 inches wide by 13 inches long or by laying your denim panels that are sewn together over the cotton fabric and cutting that size – set aside for now
- For zipper casings – fold in and press 1/2 inch on each long end of strips and 1/2 on each short end – enclose zipper in 2 casing strips using a zipper foot and sewing close to zipper teeth note – fabric is on either side of zipper tape, make sure you are catching the fabric on the lower side as you sew Set this aside for now
- For straps – fold in 1/2 inch on ends of the other 2 strips and press – fold strips in half lengthwise and stitch with a 3/8 inch seam with right sides together – turn strips right side out and press – topstitch each side of strip – set these aside for now
- Bag and Lining – Place each bag outer side right sides together with bag lining and sew around each side and top using a 1/2 inch seam allowance – leave lower portion open for turning right side out. Do this for both sides, clip corners and turn right side out and press
- Place sewn zipper casing (centering zipper casing as it will be longer than your bag sections) on top of each bag top portion with denim side facing up – topstitch down each zipper casing attaching bag to zipper casing piece
- Open zipper – do not forget to do this! – Place bag sections right sides together and sew around bag sides and bottom – zig zag or serge bottom raw edges of bag. To box corners match lower bottom seam to side seam and measure in 2 inches from corner and sew – turn bag right side out – tucking long zipper tails into bag – this makes a nice sturdy area to hold or pinch when zipping the bag open and closed
- Place straps on bag 1/2 inch from zipper casing edge and 1/2 inch from panel seam – use a narrow zig zag or bar tack type of stitch to sew down on ends of straps that are folded in 1/2 inch
That’s it – your bag is all done and ready to use. You could also choose to put pockets on the inside of the bag but I never use them since I use my purse organizer.
The fabric that I used for the lining is a fun chevron fabric that I got at Fabric.com. I also got the same fabric in a different color way and made a top from that. I think I have enough of the fabric left from my bag lining to make another top or maybe a short skirt. I am putting the link to their site if you are interested in ordering anything from them – they offer free shipping on orders over $35.00 and have really great fabrics for reasonable prices.
I am currently working on sewing some skirts and tops for spring and summer. What projects are you working on? Click on Leave a Reply and tell me about them.
Upcycle Project – Old Jeans into Bag
July 18, 2013
I finally finished the denim bag I started over 2 months ago. The project got put aside when I began working on some new skirts and shorts and my summer tunic. Too many ideas and projects and not enough time is forever a problem! Here is my finished bag:
This bag was made using a very old pair of jeans that were mine – I had not worn them in many years. Below are the steps I used to make this bag. Really if you want to make an upcycled bag you can just kind of go with it and use your own ideas and sewing skills. That is more or less how I created mine.
1. Cut off the jeans at the crotch area – draw a chalk line and cut
2. Even up the bottom and sew a little at the lower crotch area to straighten the seam on front and back side
3. Do machine embroidery wherever you desire – I did mine on lower pocket areas and made it so I could use the pockets
4. Lay the denim bag section over your lining fabric and cut out lining
5. Cut straps from denim leg pieces and lining fabric – I did mine 23 in. long by 2 in. wide – cut 2 of each
6. Cut tab closure piece – 6 in. long by 2 1/2 in. wide – 1 denim, 1 fabric and 1 interfacing Angle one end 60 degrees if you want it to be slanted not straight
7. Sew up bottom of bag with 1/2 in. seam allowance and square off ends of bag by sewing in 1 1/2 in. on each corner – I cut this off after sewing to remove bulk
8. Sew up lining on sides and bottom and square off ends as done in step 7
9. Cut 2 circles aprrox. 6 in. around and cut into a spiral for the scrappy flowers
10. Sew scrappy flowers by using a stitch length of 5 and stitch 1/4 in. away from edge of inner side of cut spiral. Pull to thread to gather and coil fabric into a circular flower. Stitch with narrow zigzag in the middle to hold flower in place.
11. Sew scrappy flower to back pocket of bag on corner
12. Straps – sew down each long side with RS together using edge of presser as a seam guide. Turn RS out using a dowel. Press and topstitch edge of each strap – baste straps in desired area on top edge of bag
13. Sew tab closure – fuse interfacing to lining – sew tab with RS together around long edges and angled end – leave straight top side open – clip corners and turn RS out
14. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 in. piece of velcro to sew onto tab on fabric side of tab and other side of velcro to denim bag – I place one verical and 1 horizontal for easy adjustable closure. After sewing velcro on sew tab with basting stitch onto middle of bag
15. Fold down approx. 1 in. on top of open lining part of bag with WS together
16. Place lining WS out down into denim bag. Using edge stitch foot sew around bag to close up lining and secure straps and tab in place – you can then remove basting stitches
17. Make small pleat on either side edge of bag, if desired, to make opening at the top a little smaller
18. Sew other scrappy flower onto tab closure with narrow zigzag stitch to hide velcro stitching
Bag is done! Fill it with stuff!
Recommended items for easier sewing:
- denim needles size 90 or 100
- edgestitch foot for topstitching
- quality sewing thread
This is a fun and easy way to recycle jeans. I made another bag like this about a year ago using some sewing embroidery motifs and sewing fabric for the lining. I did not put the tab closure on that bag because I wanted to use it for a knitting tote not a purse. The flower one I am using as a purse.
Currently I am working on some other ideas for using old jeans. To receive future updates on my other projects subscribe via RSS feed or through bloglovin by clicking on the icons in the sidebar. Have a great day!