Cutest. 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:
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! 🙂