Thursday, February 7, 2013

Upcycled Jeans Bag

 The seat ripped out of my very favorite jeans.  Talk about OBNOXIOUS! I loved those darn jeans.  I had them for probably at least 5 years though, which as my friend pointed out is about 100 in jean time.  So I was cutting them apart trying to find a way to turn them into a skirt.  As I raised them up to judge the angle, I started noticing that there were so many places in the sides and hips that were getting threadbare and seethrough...

Foiled again.

I had cut the legs off the jeans (35" inseam pair, if that helps,) and then had cut the jean legs in half.  I cut them close to the seams to keep the cool seams intact.  I dissected the material so I had the equivalent of the back half of the leg that I was working with.  I finally came up with making into a bag.

I folded the bottom seam up to where the cut was at the top.  This was my super sneaky way of not having to sew in a bottom seam! Haha. 

(working with the jeans inside out) I sewed the sides up as far as I could.  The backs of my jeans always rip out since I buy them so long and they cannot handle the rock salt and craptacular weather for long.  I cut the excess fabric off the top to give me a relatively straight line.

I flipped the bag rightside out and then folded the top down about two inches.  I folded the edge back up under it to make it about a 1 inch seam for this specific reason: I wanted to flip it back under enough that the stitch would not only close the seam but attach it to the jeans at the same time. 

Thankfully I chose a light gray, because my sewing was completely not usual.  I am working on it I swear!

I used one of the thick seams and cut off the excess fabric from the sides.  I folded the seam over and cut to make two equal parts.  Originally I was going to put two straps on the bag, but I opted for one and saved the other for the next leg of the project (pun completely intended and I will not apologize).

I hand stitched the straps on, as I did not know the proper way to sew through that much fabric on a machine.  Your machine is only as limitless as your knowledge, so I like to err on the side of caution.  I also don't own a thimble, but the floor works great for helping to push a needle through.

All in all, I think this is fantastically cute!  I have a lot of need for organizational totes and mini bags such as this, especially in my studio. 

This would also make a cute small gift sack, a utensil holder or similar at an outdoor BBQ, or maybe even a purse for a little girl with a longer strap and some super cute patches and decorations.

I plan on cutting the top part of my jeans in half to make two bags with pockets, along with utilizing the other leg for a bag identical to this one.  My best friend just gave me a bookshelf that will be used for studio storage space, and these little bags might just find a home on that as well, or perhaps on a hook on my pegboard wall.  Regardless, they WILL be utilized and thoroughly enjoyed.

And to my "rockstar jeans"...I will miss you! Those jeans gave me more confidence than any article of clothing ever thought about, they never stretched out, they never shrunk in too much in the wash, and they were freakishly comfortable.  And I got them for $10.  Which is pretty much the best part of it.

Talk about awesome economics.  I buy a clearance pair of jeans essentially at a $2 investment per year.  That is going to be a hard one to beat.  My Doc Martens are 9 years old this year, so they still have yet to eclipse under a $10 per year investment.  I am all about investment clothing (as I bet you can tell) and staying the same size so that I do not have to go replacing a whole lot.  The fact that I can still get enjoyment out of the jeans (and subsequently save money by not having to buy more organizing mini totes) means a lot to me.

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