Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Recycled Jean Purse - Whatever Wednesday #4

By Vicky Nardone

Every since I saw people pinning things that they had made with old pairs of jeans on pinterest, I knew I wanted to try sewing with denim.  I love sewing purses and I had seen all these cute purses that people had made out of the top of a pair of jeans and so I decided to give it a try!  I didn't see any that fit exactly what I wanted to try so I decided to try and make it up as I went along.  I actually ended up making this purse as a gift for my sister in law, Andrea for Christmas.

All you need to be able to get started is a pair of jeans you don't mind cutting up, a yard or so of fabric for the lining and some thread.  If you don't have any pairs of your own jeans you want to cut up, you can get a pair at your local good will for probably about $5 or less.  That's cheaper than a yard of some types of fabric!  You can use any jeans, but I looked for a pair that had button up pockets in the back so that my purse would have some pockets that closed.

I started by cutting the legs off the jeans in a slightly curved manner so that all that was left was the top part.  It doesn't have to be perfect as you can see from my cut, since you will be sewing the spot you cut back together.  I made sure to cut slightly above where the legs come together at the crotch so that the fabric was not connected along the bottom at all.

After I cut the legs off my jeans, I folded my pink fabric in half and laid the top portion of the jeans on top of it, and cut a piece of fabric that was maybe a half inch bigger than the jeans on each side.

The next step was to sew along the bottom edge where you cut the legs off with the jeans turned inside out (as shown in the picture two before the above picture).  When you turn the purse right side out after sewing, it should look like the above picture.

My next task was cut some straps.  I used the leftover fabric from the legs of the jeans to cut two two-inch wide strips of the desired length of my straps.  I cut two strips of the same length and width out of the pink fabric as well.

With the right sides together, I sewed the jean pieces to the fabric pieces and then flipped them inside out so that the right sides of the fabric were on the outside.  I then topstitched up both sides of the strap.  As you can see, my topstitching is not the neatest - I need to work on sewing in a straight line.

Next, I worked on my lining.  First, I folded my fabric in half with the right sides together and sewed up the sides.  I then turned my fabric inside out.  I decided I wanted some pockets in the lining, so I cut another piece out of the jeans.  I placed it on the lining where I wanted it to go and then I sewed through only one layer of the lining and the denim pocket on three sides.  I also sewed up the middle of the denim to make the one pocket into two.  One of the pockets is the perfect size for holding a cell phone.

 To put the whole thing together, I stuck the lining inside the purse and then folded the edges of the lining down between the lining and the denim so that it ended just above the bottom of the waistband and pinned it in place.  I stuck the straps between the lining and the denim as well and pinned those in place.  I then sewed all the way around the top of the lining about a quarter inch or so from the edge so that the lining and straps were secured in place.  This step was a little tough given how thick denim is and how many layers I was trying to go through.  I recommend using a denim needle if you have one.  I broke a few needles.  I also would recommend maybe using a zipper foot or some other special foot when you get to where the button for the jeans is - I had a tough time sewing around that area.  You may have to turn your wheel manually in the really thick spots.

Here's another view of my two inside pockets on the purse.

 I was really happy with how this purse came out overall and I will probably be making myself one in the not too distant future!

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