Transform worn-out pairs of jeans into this fabulous patchwork bag by Corinne Bradd, with a leather strap and base for extra durability. We’ve used the Accuquilt GO! Fabric Cutter and Value Die set, which takes the hassle out of trimming fabric pieces and ensures you get perfect results every time. Combine your denim with complementary fabrics for a stylish bag to take on your next shopping trip.
- Assorted denim fabrics
- Assorted cotton prints
- Leather, 2mm thick
- Thread: topstitch; extra strong
- Accuquilt GO! Fabric Cutter
- Accuquilt GO! Value Die
- Needle tool
- Leather stitch marker
- Two large snap fasteners
- 1cm seam allowances are used throughout.
Sew a patchwork bag
1 Using a 4” square die, cut 24 pieces of denim in assorted shades. Arrange the squares in a 3 x 8 layout, flipping pieces over to increase the variety of colour. With a 2” half square triangle die, cut 24 pairs of triangles from cotton prints. Arrange the cotton print triangles on top of the denim pieces, positioning them on the top left and bottom right corners of the squares only and moving them around until you are happy with the colour placement.
2 On each denim square, flip the triangles over to lay right sides together, points to the centre and the dog eared corners lining up with the sides of the square. Sew along the diagonal edge of the triangles with a 6mm seam allowance and fold out so the right angled corners of the cotton and denim match up. Press and topstitch 2mm from the seam. Sew the decorated squares together in pairs, then blocks of eight, matching up the seam accurately before sewing the rectangular blocks together. Fold the panel right sides facing and sew the short edges together to make a tube.
3 Cut two 43cm square pieces of cotton print for the lining. Trim a 20cm x 34cm contrast fabric piece for the pocket, and fold right sides together. Sew around all three sides, leaving a 5cm gap on one edge. Turn out through the gap and press. Topstitch the folded edge of this before pinning to the centre of one lining square and topstitching around the other three edges. Sew the two lining squares right sides together on the side seams only.
4 Cut a 21cm x 42cm leather rectangle and snip a 4.5cm square from each corner. Use a stitch marker and needle tool to make a series of evenly spaced holes around the outline, 5mm from the edges. Fold the leather along all sides, 4.5cm from the edges and press quickly with a hot, dry iron to make a light crease. Bring the corners together and stitch with extra strong thread. Make the seams secure with running stitch in one direction, several oversew stitches at the top of the seam and running stitch back down the other way, knotting the thread on the inside of the work.
5 Mark with a chalk pencil around the bottom of the denim tube, 1cm from the edge. Starting at one corner of the bag base, sew the tube to the leather with running stitch, lining up the top of the base with the chalk line and stretching the denim if necessary to ensure the corners of the base meet up with the seam lines between blocks. Sew running stitch in the opposite direction to complete the seam.
6 Take the lining tube and slip over the bag, right sides together. Pin and stitch along the top edge. Sew the bottom edges of the lining together, leaving a 20cm gap on the centre of the seam. Pinch the bottom corners of the lining together so the bottom seam sits over the side seam. Sew across these seams, 5cm from the point, to make a box bottom in the lining. Turn the lining right side out, fold in the raw edges of the gap and topstitch to close. Stuff the lining inside the bag and topstitch the top edge to keep the lining in place.
7 Cut a 4cm x 1.2m strip of leather, then trim the ends into a curve. Using a leather needle and topstitch thread, machine stitch all around the strip to add decoration if desired. Using the existing stitches at the curved ends as a guide, hand sew the ends of the strap to the top left denim square of the front and back of the bag with extra strong thread, passing through denim and lining for extra security. Stitch pairs of snap fasteners to the top corners of the sides of the bag, so the width can be reduced when necessary.