Recycling old garments is a great way of giving a new lease of life to clothes that may otherwise be destined for landfill. We’ve used a pair of jeans to create this cute bag. Make it yours by adding motifs and fabrics to match your wardrobe.
- Fabric: cotton, pink polka dot,
- 50cm square; green, pink and white,
- scraps Thread: embroidery, pink,
- green Buttons: small, green, five; pink,
- five Fusible webbing Ric rac,
- pink Press stud or magnetic bag clasp
- 31cm x 48cm
Make a denim bag
Cut both legs from a pair of jeans, 32cm down from the waistband or at the desired length. Turn the jeans over to the front and cut along the crotch seam, fold one raw edge over by 5mm and press. Fold the pressed edge over the remaining raw edge and top stitch by machine. Turn the jeans inside away. On the back, snip up the crotch as before and cut out the bulky seam. Pin the raw edges together and machine stitch. Press both the seams flat.
Trim several 10cm squares of patterned fabric and iron fusible webbing onto the back. Draw two flower templates, one larger than the other, and place them onto the back of the fabrics. Cut out three small pink, three small green and two large pink flowers. Peel off the backing papers, position the flowers across the jeans and iron under a pressing cloth to fix. Using contrasting embroidery thread, sew neat backstitches around the flowers and sew on buttons.
Take one of the legs and cut in half lengthways, trim two long, 10cm wide strips. Place the strips on top of each other and top stitch in a triangle pattern across the fabric, this will help to reinforce the base of the bag. Pin the base to the cut end of the jeans and pin into place. Trim the base panel to fit the bag then pin the remaining edge and machine stitch, folding and concealing the two short edges of the base within. Press all of the seams open.
Form two lining pieces from polka dot fabric. Either place the denim bag over the lining fabric, draw around it with a chalk pencil and cut the shape out, or place the bag over newspaper and draw around it to make a paper template. Add an extra 2cm to the straight edges to allow for a hem.
From the lining fabric cut a base piece measuring 10cm wide by the length of the bag. Fold over, press a 2cm hem at the straight edges of the lining pieces and pin and machine stitch the sides and base of the lining. Open all seams and press.
Cut two 15cm x 64cm strips of denim fabric from the remaining leg. Fold and press down a 1.5cm hem at the raw edges. Fold the strip in half, lengthways, matching up the pressed edges. Pin and machine stitch, keeping close to the edge. Make the other handle in the same way.
Machine stitch a length of ric rac along the centre of the handles. Pin them to the inside of the bag, facing each other. Machine stitch across the top, bottom and sides of each handle, then diagonally to reinforce them.
Attach a magnetic clasp to the bag, following the manufacturer’s instructions, or sew on a stud fastener. Push the lining into the bag making sure the side seams line up and either machine or hand stitch the fabric across the top.