Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Denim jeans bag - I made it!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I planned to make a “jeans bag”, and, after hunting in several charity (thrift) shops and at car boot sales, I finally found a pair of children’s jeans that I bought for the healthy sum of 30p – talk about frugality – I was really pleased. Recycling and creating an individual, useful “designer” product, how much better can it get?

I decided on a child’s pair of jeans because I wanted a middling size bag that I can take out shopping with me. It will hold my handbag initially, then, assuming I buy anything, the bag will come out and the shopping will go in.

I like the decorative pockets on these shorts, and cute tie through the belt loops. The pockets themselves are useful additions to any bag, and the tie becomes the bag's strap. I’m not going to give detailed instructions for creating the bag – others have already produced lovely video clips – but I will point out some aspects of my creation.

Above you can see that I've used a seam ripper to remove the stitching down the centre front and back seams and opened the fabric out.

The new centre seam sewn down.  There were existing "jewel" studs, so, to hold down the loose pocket linings, I used my "BedazzleIt" machine to insert a few studs, which do the job nicely.

This shot shows what a mess they look when you turn them inside out!!!  See how uneven the hem edges are?  don't worry, they get chopped and straightened out.

Once I'd levelled the edges, I sewed a French seam, which means all the rough edges are enclosed, so no messy threads to catch and pull when the bag's in use - cunning, I thought:-)

As you can see above, I used the age old trick of simply sewing across the corners to create some depth to the sides of the bag - much easier than inserting a panel in the base - I don't need a massive bag, so this is quick and ideal for me. I caught the points of the corners down inside the bag so that they are flush with the base.  I sewed the French seam down along the base to add a touch of extra strength and make it neater, too.

Remember the cute tie?  Here is it next to some upholsterer's webbing which I sewed on to one side to give it some body - I hate shoulder straps which are insubstantial, don't you?  they tend to end up digging into my shoulder and are uncomfortable.

I sewed in a D ring at each end of the strap, as I thought it would be quite effective, and, I admit it, lazy of me, to use the existing belt loops to suspend the straps from.

I simply ran a few rows of stitches at the top of the belt loop to stope the strap from being to loose and free.

The bag, slung over my shoulder - neat eh?


  1. Clearly you are better with a sewing machine than I am. ;-) It is a cute bag. Have you had a chance to use it yet?


  2. Yes, Ali, it's really useful, I take it down to my local supermarket each time I pop down - my handbag sits neatly inside it, then comes out to be replaced with bits of shopping. It's comfortable on the shoulder, too, because of the webbing on the back of the strap :-) Hope you've had a good weekend.

  3. I suppose the next question is .... can I turn a bag into a pair of jeans? But maybe that's just one step too far:-)

  4. Hi Christine, what an ace project I might have to give that a go! Also enjoying having a look at some of your vegan recipes, will have to try those at some point too.

    best, steph

    (p.s. i found your blog as im part of the preston zine collective 'twigs and apples', for which you contributed a short story. we're going to print soon!) x

  5. hi christine! this is a fabulous idea and well executed too. love it!
    i'm your newest followe

  6. Hi Steph - thank you for looking me up and your kind comment:-) I'm looking forward to the story being published, it's exciting!

  7. Hi Malia, thanks for becoming a follower, and your kind comment:-) I use the bag virtually every day, it's so practical!


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