Next Friday, February 5, 2010 I will be demonstrating to the Wearable Arts Bee how to make a handbag from jeans. I have made 4 of these bags now so I will share my experience.
MAKING A HANDBAG FROM JEANS
Select a used pair of jeans. I prefer size 6 – not too big, not too small.
Lay the jeans out on a cutting table. Cut off straight at crotch.
Make front and back waistline match up – cut a straight bottom.
Sew the bottom right sides together.
Open up one of the legs at the inner leg seam and press open.
Use bag to measure for a front flap. The flap should be slightly narrower than the opening of the bag. Make the flap long enough to fit part way into the bag. Cut the flap from the opened leg. I center the flap on the leg side seam.
Use bag to measure for lining.
Cut out the lining. Add pockets, if desired, now. Sew up the lining and place in bag. Check if fits properly. Adjust as needed. Press top edge under about 1/2”. Set aside for now.
Line the front flap with selected fabric, right sides together. Turn and check the size. Now is the time to make any adjustments. Trim seam and press.
Insert the flap partway into the bag so it folds over the front as desired. (right side of flap to inside of bag) Sew flap to bag.
Measure for straps. Cut from the legs to make the straps. I use a length of fabric approximately 4” wide and 48” long, piecing, if necessary. Fold the strip wrong sides together, sew, turn and press.
Insert the straps about 2 – 3” into the bag and sew.
Put the lining back into the bag and sew the lining around the opening of the bag. This will also reinforce the flap and straps.
Embellish the front flap as desired.