Saturday, January 30, 2010

How to Make a Handbag from Jeans

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.


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.

My black leather jean handbag

Here is the bag that I made from size 10 leather jeans. I bought the jeans in a thrift shop for $4.00. I got them in early summer last year so they had been marked down several times already. The leather was soft and easy to work with. These jeans were already lined so I didn't add a contrasting lining.
At first, I only added a small rosette to the flap. After viewing a designer bag in a fashion magazine I enlarged the rosette. The center is an orphaned button.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My cooking video

I just had a student at the Digital Media Library help me convert this old video into a youtube friendly format.

Yes, that is me - 20 years ago.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here I am on That's Clever!

Now you can view my segment on That's Clever. Just click on the title "Here I am on That's Clever" and you will connect with my video on youtube.
Woohoo-enjoy, enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Here is a link to an article in the Rice News:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Joanne Carpenter's Pink Poodle Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Joanne Carpenter's Pink Poodle Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

FINALLY - my That's Clever episode will air 01/12/10!

I'm so excited. This morning I checked the HGTV website to see if my segment would air soon. Hurray - it will be on next Tuesday, 01/12/10 on HGTV (Comcast channel 47) at 6:30 AM. My dvr is all set to record it. I just need to learn how to download the dvr to a vhs tape. Then I'll take it to the Digital Media Library and convert it to a dvd. Then on to my blog and Utube, of course.

I'm posting the photo of the actual poodle that I completed during the filming. The crew called him the "hero." If you are interested in seeing how the poodles are made, I will also provide a link to my step by step photo album.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas stockings

My package didn't arrive in time for Christmas. But, Kevin & Tomoko received their gifts on another important holiday - 12/28/09.

I made them cowboy-themed stockings. Kevin's stocking is lined with fabric that I bought in Hawaii - has cat bride and groom print.

I lined Tomoko's with the hunky cowboy fabric that I bought at at a local quilt store. (I knew I'd come up with a use for it!) I told her that all the men in Houston look like that. I'm trying to encourage them to move to Houston.

Next year, if they are still in Japan, I'll mail their package in November.