Materials for today's OYW - 1 pair of old blue jeans, and a little imagination.
Isn't it just so stinkin' cute! Don't you want one for yourself?! Let's make one!!!
You will need one whole pair of blue jeans, holes and stains are acceptable - you'll be cutting around them and you can also cover them up. I used a men's pair, size 34x32. You can use any size from kids on up to Sumo wrestler. You will also need glue - either fabric glue or a good strong craft glue (I use Aleene's Tacky Glue). Don't forget a quilt ruler, cutting mat, good sharp scissors and a few pins. Then, for the pretty parts, you'll want some scrap fabrics, trims, buttons and ribbons. I used some scrap eyelet I had, some scrap fabrics in my stash, some ribbon, and a button. To sew, you will need thread to match the denim you are using, plus matching/coordinating/contrasting/accenting thread for stitching on any accents you may be adding. You will need the zipper foot for your sewing machine. Read your user's manual to find out which foot is the zipper foot and how to properly change the foot on your sewing machine. This will make sewing around all those bulky denim seams much easier, and you'll see why in just a bit.
Start by dissecting your jeans. Don't worry - it's much easier and way less gross than Biology class. Cut the jeans just above the crotch to remove the legs from the body portion. Remove the bottom hem from the legs. Then, cut the two back pocket sections out from the back of the body portion. Here's what you'll have left.
For the handle you will also need to cut the inseam section from one leg. This is the seam that has the double-stitching. Cut it with roughly an inch-ish of fabric on each side, then trim it to have 1/2" of fabric from each side of the stitching. Like this.
Now, you'll want to trim up your pockets. Trim around each pocket, leaving 1/2" of fabric. If you have pockets that aren't perfectly straight across the top, measure 1/2" from the highest corner, and make your line straight across from that point.
Press the top raw edge under toward the former inside.
Press the new seam toward the double-stitched seam on the handle piece. We will glue these in place in just a little while, and by pressing now, it's convincing this heavy fabric to do our bidding later.
Trim the seams to about 1/4". This takes a lot of the bulk out of the bottom of the bag.
Carefully snip across the bottom point to make it square. Do NOT cut through the stitching, just really close to it.
Glued ribbon over the raw edge of the inner pocket. Makes it look finished and polished. Plus adds another pop of color on a very neutral canvas.
I folded the edges of each leaf under, even flattening the points at the top/bottom. They get re-pointy as you work your way around. I used a double thread of an accenting shade of bright green, and just did a simple small running stitch all the way around. I started at one point, and when I got back to the beginning, I made a line of running stitches down the center to the other point. This is where I began to stitch the leaf to the pocket. I made sure first and foremost to NOT SEW THE POCKET SHUT. It got a little tricky in places, but I figured out how to make tiny (but secure) stitches around the edge of the double stitching on the bottom edge of the pocket. Also, when I sewed the other edge of the leaf to the open section of the pocket, I tried to make stitches that overlapped my original stitches. This not only made the leaves secure on the pocket, but it brought the stitching out as its own accent. Remember to audition your elements before attaching them. And also, sometimes enough is enough. Let the simplicity of this bag shine through - you are accenting its natural beauty.
Here it is again - one last look.
So then I got to thinking (you KNOW that always spells trouble). What if you traced the pocket pattern onto scrap fabric, and made a scrappy pocket purse. Or you bleached the denim first. Or dyed it with fabric dye. Or both. Or added designs made with fabric paint. You could easily do the flower in the center of both the front and back pocket. Or do more flowers, in various sizes and colors. What if you made a mommy-daughter pair from adult-size jeans and kid-size jeans. You could do lots and lots of layers of eyelet, or jelly roll strips that had been gathered into ruffles. Maybe you have some really neat trim you'd like to glue to the handle to give is some pizzazz.
Whatever you decide, it's a great little bag. Have fun!