Upcycled Jeans Bag

I have been saving up our old, worn out, jeans for a the last year or so and now have quite a pile to work with.  Having found a number of pins on Pinterest which have served as inspiration now is the time to make a start and actually do something with them.

The first project, is to make a couple of small bags.  To spread the love of this hobby I have taken some pics to serve as a tutorial for anyone else who might be inclined to make one!

First of all when cutting out all the pieces I decided that it would be possible to make one bag out of the front and another out of the back (seat) section of the jeans. So I cut these out (by cutting the legs off at crotch level and cutting across the middle crotch join) then I cut straps (2 for each bag, about 2″ wide) out of the full length of one of the cut off legs.  Using the main bag pieces and straps I then cut the lining fabric (in this case I used some scraps of a brown and fuchsia pink striped fabric which I had in the stash) these should be the same size and shape as the strap pieces and for the bag lining I used the main bag piece as a template and left an additional half an inch at the top to turn over as a top hem (this shows in the photo below).  Also, if you want a pocket, cut a piece sufficient to make a double-sided patch mobile phone pocket.

Cut lining to shape of bag body with extra for hem at top

Brown upcycled jeans bag cut pieces

When sewing a bag I always prepare the lining first so it is ready to pop in when the main bag pieces are done.  Decide if you want a pocket, position and sew  that in place.  For this bag I have just added a simple patch pocket, with tuck pleats at the bottom so that it opens to fit a phone.

Brown upcycled jeans bag, stitch pocket to lining

Once the pocket is positioned and sewn in place sew up the side and bottom seams of the lining.

Brown upcycled jeans bag, stitch lining seams

For the main part of the bag the first job is to sew the side seam and the bottom.  If there are any studs please be very careful to avoid them when stitching up the seams (see below, I have pinned this so that the stud is on the top and will be visible when sewing and encased in the seam.  If you are not confident about this remove any studs before sewing).

Brown upcycled jeans bag, stitch side seams

You may need to flatten out the curve of the crotch, I did this by creating a pleat, as shown below, and stitching through all thicknesses along the line of top-stitching to make the curve sit flat.Brown upcycled jeans bag neaten crotch

For this bag I also decided it looked best if the “side” seams were offset which would leave the detail (the zip and button) to one side, rather than in the centre front of the bag.  You can see the off-centre seam in the picture below.

So that the bag will “sit” I made a gusset by stitching across the two bottom corners (sewing line as shown in the image below).  If you decide to do this you will need to do the same with the lining.

Brown upcycled jeans bag sew bottom corner

Next stitch the strap and lining pieces together (right sides facing) then turn them through as shown below.  Iron and top-stitch as required.

Brown upcycled jeans bag turn through handles

To attach the straps I put the bag piece down flat and made sure that each strap was positioned an equal distance from the sides and that the two straps, front and back, would also be in line with each other.  I left enough of the strap below the top of the bag to allow for two lines of stitching (which would be “hidden” along the top-stitching of the original jeans).

Brown upcycled jeans bag attach handles

To insert the lining, fold over the hem which you left at the top and then pin the lining inside the main bag with wrong sides facing.  Sew around the top (which I did along the row of existing top-stitching) being careful not to catch the bag handles.

Brown upcycled jeans bag insert lining

To finish the bag I attached one of the fabric flowers I made and used hot glue to glue down the fly section (this is optional but I wanted this section to lay flat).  Hey-presto a finished bag.

Brown upcycled jeans bag

I still have to make the other bag, from the pants back but it will be very similar to this one.

I’ll post another pic when it’s done.

Pdf tutorial

Fabric Flowers, first attempt

For these I copied a brooch which I’d been given for my birthday.  They haven’t worked as well as I would have liked because the fabric hadn’t felted properly (I should have hot washed it again) but too keen to wait I made them anyway.

Felted fabric flowers

These will come in handy for something, maybe at Christmas.

There are a number of tutorials for similar flowers pinned on my fabric flowers board on Pinterest.
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Crochet and bead bracelet

I had a few bags of colour coordinated beads, bought from a craft stall at work, and had no idea what to do with them until I saw a video tutorial from Creative Kismet and pinned it on Pinterest for future reference.  See my Jewellery DIY board for this and other ideas.
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Now that I’ve broken free to actually do something, voila, some colourful crochet and bead bracelets.  For the first one I added some lilac seed beads bought from a craft fair and used a random cotton yarn (lilac and pink) for the crochet.

Purple crochet and bead bracelet

For the others I used orange cotton yarn and because I made two one of them can double as a necklace if I want to have a matching set.

Orange crochet and bead braceletsI love these funky beads and hadn’t a clue what they could be used for so I’m really happy to have found a way to use them.

Finished another Japanese Shima (Stripe) Bag.

As promised earlier this is the finished bag, back and front views which show the different fabrics used for the stripes.  I love the way this bag makes up as it has two different looks depending on how the fabrics are placed.  In this one I tried to keep the lilac/pink fabrics on the front and the orange/creams on the back and I’m really pleased with the result.

I made this bag slightly shorter than the previous one,  just for a change to make them a bit different.  As a recap, for comparison, these are the two bags together.  I really love these Japanese fabrics!  A reminder of the stockists Euro Japan Links if you want any!

A couple of skirts

More catching up.

Also a year ago I said I would make a cord skirt from a Prima pattern I had.  Well I did make a winter skirt from this pattern but did it in a different colour, a lovely warm rust coulour cord.

Then I made the plum cord up in an a-line pattern from a few years ago (view C).  The pattern is out of print but can still be found online from some vintage and out of print pattern suppliers.

Happy with both skirts and both in use.

Dyed Denim Jacket

As I said before I’m trying to finish things I started – well, almost a year ago I dyed a blue denim Jacket brown.  I had bought it on ebay thinking it was brown because of a really bad photo and needed to remedy the situation.  As I never got round to posting the finished item I thought I would upload it now – for completeness.

I had to take this in daylight or the colour would have looked wrong so the image isn’t particularly good but the colour is clear which is what I wanted to show – I am really pleased with the result considering how different it is from the original, have a look.

New years resolution (a bit late but whatever…)

I don’t know about other crafters but I have a real problem with starting projects… then getting distracted… then making something else… or even lots of something elses… then getting distracted… starting something new again… etc…etc…etc.  End result some finished projects and sadly lots of work in progress.

So my resolution is to re-visit all my unfinished items and actually get them done.  This has led me to do some knitting for a change which has been rather pleasant as something to do in front of the TV during all the dreadful weather we have had over the last couple of months.  My first project in progress was a large cardigan (again good for the time of year) for which I’d done the back and one front then put down over a year ago.

If I remember correctly my Mum bought me the pattern and the wool ages ago

I don’t think either are available now which shows how long I store things before starting … or finishing them!  However, with a new determination to finish what I’ve started and quite a few nights in front of the telly I now have a new cardigan to snuggle up in.