Cordury Jeans Bag

Corduroy Jeans PurseCutest. Bag. Ever.
I’ve been obsessed with bags lately. (It offends my feminist pride to admit I carry a purse.) I keep accumulating them because I can never find the ideal one. I got a suede one recently that’s damn near perfect, but every time I carry the thing it rains. Anyhoo, last night on the train home I had a flash of inspiration – why not use one of my now giant (courtesy of the diet) pairs of corduroys to make a bag? The result is before you. It’s lined with a red bandanna and I appliqued felt hearts to the front. Isn’t it cute? Read on to get the instructions and more pictures…More pictures:

Full view  View of lining  Back view

I’d seen several people on Glitter recommending the “chop off the legs and sew up the crotch” method of making a jeans purse. When I spread out my cords, though, I had to give up on that idea. I mean, they’re huge. I can’t believe my bum was that big. It wouldn’t be a purse; it’d be a duffel bag. So I decided to go halfway. I cut off the legs and then cut it in half vertically near the zipper. Then I spent a good half hour messing around with pins and basting to try and decide how to sew the thing up. Eventually I just said “screw it” and sewed a semi-straight line down the side. Then it came time for the bottom…

The bottom was the hardest part. See, jeans kinda “pooch” out more in the back to accommodate your bum. So I had more fabric on the back side than on the front. The solution, I eventually figured out, was to put a couple of darts (i.e. folds) in the back piece to make it work out. You can kinda see ’em on the picture of the back. Again, I just kinda eyeballed everything, but it came out looking much better than anticipated.

Next was the strap, which I made from one of the legs. I like a long strap, so I slit a leg lengthwise and sewed the lengths together to make one really long piece of fabric. Then it was just a matter of folding it together so the seams didn’t show and running a line of stitching along the edge. (I’m happy to report that my little Janome sewing machine handled layers of corduroy very well. My only problem was that occasionally it was a tight fit getting everything under the presser foot. There’s probably a way to lift it up higher though that I just don’t know of.) I sewed the straps to the inside of the waistband, trying out my zig-zag stitch for the first time. I figured there was no way to hide the sewing, so I might as well make it look intentional. 🙂

Looking inside the bag at this point, I realized I needed a lining. The front pocket was still hanging in there, and the seams and stuff just looked really messy. I had some bandannas in my fabric stash so I grabbed a red one and fashioned a pocket of similar size to my bag. (Because my bag is kinda trapezoidal in shape, I sewed the lining rectangular at first and then progressively angled in new seams at the top til the opening fit the waistband.) The I just stitched it in place inside the waistband.

Lastly I decided it needed a little decoration, so I pulled out a piece of felt and cut out some hearts. Then I just sewed them to the front panel (being sure not to go all the way through). They’re just tacked on, so they should be easy to remove if I want to change it in the future.

The whole time I was making this, I kept imagining that I’d ruined my pants (not that I could wear them anymore anyway) and that the end result would look ridiculous. But when the Snook got home and complimented me on it, I realized that it actually kinda works. I like the fact that it still has pockets and stuff for my mobile and train tickets. It’s yet another product for my eventual craft stand! 🙂

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18 Comments

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  1. That’s looks so cool! It reminds me of this Levi’s store in Melbourne where the seats around the change rooms are upholstered with real denim jeans – pockets, studs and everything. Great!

  2. Awesome, Kris! Way cute bag!

  3. Great idea! I also lost some weight and wanted to make a bag out of the old pants. But my butt was huge! I’d need a wheeled cart to haul the bag around on! This is an excellent solution, and the red lining and hearts make it girly, but not too cutesy. Thank you!

  4. Yay! I’m so glad people are liking it. I’ve been carrying it all weekend and I just love it. It feels really sturdy and – since I made the strap to my own specification – I can wear it slung across my body and have everything in it just within reach. I keep my mobile in the front pocket. It’s my most useful creation yet. 🙂

  5. That came out great! I love seeing people post pictures and whatnot about the crafty things they make. Do you get any neat reactions from other people who see it when you wear it out?

  6. Thanks, Erma! I haven’t had anybody compliment me on it out of the blue, mostly I think because we live in a pretty trendy/hippie area and it takes a lot to impress somebody here. I did show it to some of the girls at work though and they all raved about it. That was nice. 🙂

    And hey! I didn’t know you had a shop!? Shebang is great. I love your handbags. They look so professional I’m embarrassed at my clumsy efforts! Maybe if I ever make anything to sell, you can list me as a merchant. 🙂

  7. I also love making bags out of jeans. I use the bib pockets of overalls to decorate my bags. Good to see someone else is putting old jeans to use. I use my bag all the time and have even sold a few to friends and at markets.

  8. Thanks! I’d love to list you as a merchant. Whenever you want, just let me know what you want to have featured and I’ll post it up. =)

  9. i recently started making bags out of jeans as my mum and dad were big and have lost heaps of weight over the years so instead of throwing the jeans out i make bags out of them and have even made a bit of money selling them at the local money everybody loves them

  10. That is really cute. I love how the hearts match the inside, i’d have never thought red would match so well with the brown. Great Job!

  11. Your bag looks really good! I have been trying all day to try and make a bag out of jeans that someone was gonna chuck and it is driving me nuts! you have inspired me!

  12. Have been really obsessed with the jeans bags. Have bought them really inexpensively at consignment shops and Good Will. (the really tiny short shorts are ideal. )Got some Tommy and Liz in colors and patterns for a couple dollars. Just cannot decide on the straps and lining. Made a flat bottom so it will stand up and not dump the contents.

  13. It’s beautiful!! I’m also thinking of making a corduroy bag 🙂 That’s really something, good job!

  14. i think that this was quite good but it wasnt what i expected nor what i needed but thanx anyway for whatever

  15. Hello im Alyssa and Im 9 years old and just made my first purse out of my gap jeans its inspired me I really love yours its so fab

  16. I was inspired by all this creativity, and got a stash of jeans at the DOLLAR store! They are certainly great for crafts, etc! I haven’t started yet, but will give it a try in the next few weeks. Yours are just adorable!

  17. I love your bag,simple to make and very cute. I am finally ready to make some of my own…maybe a little crocheted trim,some sequins,fancy buttons or ornate braid..the possibilities are endless!!

  18. That is great! i have made many bags out of a pair of jeans. I usually get mine at a thrift shop like goodwill, for like 5 dollars or so.I have always made them very simple and just one strap, and the whole jeans, but i have never thought to use a pair of cords! and i never line my bags, but yours looks GREAT! im thinking of finding a pair of cords and making a small one with 2 small short straps- great job!

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