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!