June 29, 2011

Chic Denim Bag

In case you missed it, here is a tutorial that I guest blogged over 
at Wildflowers & Whimsy...
~   ~   ~
I love anything denim.  I love how it frays.  I love the color variances. I love it's rawness.  There is just something about denim that makes me smile.  In my garage, my husband built some shelves to store my "anything" denim-someday-projects.  It is my to go stash for anything denim that I make.  I have denim jeans, skirts, and shirts that are given to me by family, friends and neighbors.  Yeah,  I have a denim obsession and I'm proud of it. If ever anyone sponsors a de-stash your denim stash....I'm in. So being that it's summer and the casual look is in for me at the moment, I made a denim bag for myself. 
It's perfect for running errands with my kids in tow. 
And if it gets dirty, I can toss it in the wash without worrying. 

  So here is how I turned this:                                 Into this:

So let's begin...Cut off the bib part of the overalls as close as possible to the waistband. Cut off the metal buttons and pocket and save for later. 
Cut off the pocket like so:
These particular overalls had a blueish floral fabric that I wanted to cover.  
I used these fabrics. See how well they match? 
The yellow striped fabric is a denim type fabric my sister gave me... just so you know... :) Also, you can skip this part if you want.

Make a pattern by tracing the back area of the suspenders.  
(See the bluish fabric I mentioned? Not liking it at all.)
I used freezer paper to make a pattern.   
Cut out the fabric.
Pin to the back making sure to tuck in the edges of the fabric 
and sew as close to the edge as possible...
see how much prettier it looks already?
Now, turn the skirt on its side
 and  "eyeball" where to cut for the lining.  Fold your lining fabric in half and line up the hem of the skirt at the fold of the lining.
Cut and sew lining sides together.
 Turn your skirt inside-out
and sew right above the hem line.  Make sure to line up any seams.
Once you are finished sewing the "new" bottom hem, cut off the "old" hem.   Turn the bag right-side out and fold in half like so:
See how the bottom isn't lined up?  Not a problem.  Turn inside-out again, fold again and draw a line on the longer side to match up with the other side...got it? 
Now your bag should look even.  
If you want, at this point, you can round off the bottom edges.  I used a plate for this. Just trace the edge of the plate and sew along the line.  Cut off the excess. 
Place the lining over the bag and again, "eyeball" how much of the top you will need to fold down so that the top of the lining is lined up with the waistline hem.  I folded the lining twice and ironed it down. Note that I didn't round off the lining...I didn't think it was necessary,       but you can do so if you want.
Remember the pocket?  
Pin and sew the pocket into the inside of the lining.
Insert the lining into the bag, pin and sew as close as 
possible to the edge of the waistline hem.
Extend the suspenders to their longest and measure that length.  Add about 3 inches to that measurement.  Using any of the two fabrics (I used the first one) cut a strip, length wise, using the measurement you got.  Make it wide enough to make a 2 1/2 inch bias tape.  Simply fold long once and iron.  Then fold the sides in, lining up into the middle fold, iron and repeat for the other side. 
This next part might be tricky. It just depends on how the suspenders were sewn on originally.  Basically what you want to do is sew the suspenders together to make a strap for your bag.  I used the long strip of fabric, pinned and sewed it down...
sewed one suspender to the long piece of fabric, 
then sewed up the other suspender.
Stop about 3 inches before you get to the bottom of the suspender claps.  Stitch and back stitch across several times to make sure it doesn't unravel. 
Remember the metal buttons?  Cut the fabric with the button and make sure you allow plenty of  leeway to sew them on.  Pin the buttons where you want to sew them on. Use the suspenders as your guide. 
 Sew around the button in a square fashion.  I made sure to place the sewing foot under the button as I sewed.  Again, just stitch and back stitch several times to make sure the buttons are sturdy. Take it nice and easy as to not damage your machine.  
Once the buttons are on, trim the excess fabric.
And your done...well, except if you want to add a cute little flower.  
Using scraps left over from this project, cut out several sized circles of fabric.   Assemble your flower by layering the circles; biggest to smallest.  I used my sewing machine to sew an "X" through all the layers except the top one.  When the layers were sewn, I placed the top denim circle and sewed it on along with some clear beads. Cut several slits from the outer part of the flower right up to the denim circle. Attach a pin to the back.  Pin it to your bag. 
And now you're done.

Inside view
My little notebook nicely tucked into the inside pocket. 
Hand lotion fits perfectly in a back pocket. 
Handy pen fits in the front pocket
See how pretty the flower looks? 
Me (using the bathroom mirror) trying to get a picture of how the bag really looks while hanging on my shoulder...

Just for reference, I used a size 8 Gap overall skirt.  I also used two different colored threads.  The top thread was a golden color that matched the gold thread of the overall and the bobbin thread was denim colored.  So basically most of the outside stitching that I sewed on the bag was denim colored and blended nicely into the denim.    Most of the golden stitching was on the inside. 

When you make a bag for yourself, I would love to see it.  Send me a pic at: rocaandcompany@gmail.com


Karima said...

This is a great tutorial, I love upcycling things, I made a bag from a childs denim skirt not so long ago. Please pop by, Karima x

Saw you on sweet peas!

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

You are too funny taking the pic of yourself in the mirror!! Love your take on this - a bit different from the typical jean bag - really like how you used the suspenders as a strap!

Alisha said...

I love this bag!! It is so adorable!!! I love recycled projects. I am stopping by from Fireflies and Jellybeans linky party and your newest follower.

Here is what I shared this week: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.com/2011/06/summer-pillows.html

steufel said...

What cool bag - If only I could sew:-)

Carolyn said...

I love denim. I think the bag is gorgeous. Great idea.

Anonymous said...

I love this!! Funny thing, I had told my oldest daughter I would make her a denim purse...... about 4 years ago!!!! Now maybe I actually can!! I found your blog from The 36th Ave. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Très réussi, mais quel travail !

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Anonymous said...

I love denim and your handy work is much appreciated. Maggi

Anonymous said...

You are too funny taking the pic of yourself in the mirror!! Love your take on this - a bit different from the typical jean bag - really like how you used the suspenders as a strap!

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Anonymous said...

The bag is beautiful

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