Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Yard Wednesday - Denim Pocket Purse

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.

Ok, ready?

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.
I absolutely love the detail this adds to the handle.  Remember, it's those little details that change a project from homemade to handcrafted.  This is one of those little details.

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.
To assemble the body of the bag, place the inseam handle piece on one of the pocket piece right sides facing, and matching the raw edge on the right side and bottom.
Stitch this seam from the top of the pocket down to the bottom edge, with your presser foot right up against where the double-stitched seams meet.  This is why we use a zipper foot - it was designed for a similar purpose.  Right tool for the right job.  This also helps hold that pressed raw edge in place.

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.
 Add the second pocket, right side down, on top of the handle piece.  Stitch from the top of the pocket down, putting the zipper foot right up next to that pocket seam.
To join the handle to the opposite side of the bag, twist it CAREFULLY (practice as many times as you need to be sure to have it end up without a big kink in the middle - mine took 3 tries), and repeat the matching and sewing.
You now have a really cool denim tube with a handle.  Your purse needs a bottom.  Fold the tube so it is inside out, and match the 3 bottom points of your pockets.  Pin at the center and one side point, then stitch (again, right next to the double-stitched seam).  Repeat for the other side.

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.
Turn your bag right side out.

Starting to look like something, huh?!  Notice that you have three pockets in your bag, and that if you pull the point up on the inside, this bag will sit flat, almost like a bucket.  Because I used a pair of men's jeans, these pockets are nice and roomy.  If you wanted to, you could add some type of closure (like a snap) to the center pocket at this point.  I chose to leave mine open.
Get ready to get messy.  Glue the first side of the handle toward the center, starting at the top on one side and going to the top on the other.  Repeat on the other side, and under the pressed-under edges of the inside pocket.
Now it's time to add the decorative elements.  Feel free to add as many as you'd like, or substitute according to your own tastes and desires.  It's your project, and there are no denim purse police!  I started by gluing eyelet around the top outer edge.  I made sure to use the outer edge of the outer pockets so I didn't either hide the opening, or worse, glue it shut.  That would be bad.  Very bad.
It still needed something, and there was that hole in the bottom of one of the outside pockets.  So I made my VERY FIRST fabric yo-yo, and used an ivory button for the center.  It's hard to tell (because of the shadow), but that button actually matches the eyelet perfectly.  I got really lucky.  Too bad I can't do that with lottery numbers.
Ok, very cute.  Country chic.  But still needs something...

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.
Hmmmm... What else...  Oh, the back!  We can't forget the back now, can we?!  This is some giant rick rack I had in my stash.  Usually, it goes on Little Dresses.  I hand stitched it to the main part of the pocket, then glued the ends down where the pocket is double-stitched to the main body of the purse.  This also helps keep the rick rack from fraying.  I used large stitches, just tight enough to hold the trim on.  I also used matching thread.  You could use contrasting thread if you'd like.
Still not "finished"...  Well, there are some tiny holes on the other side, and that flower does look awfully plain all by itself...  It needs some leaves!  I cut some simple leaf shapes from some green scraps in my stash.    I like how the squares on this fabric echo the dots on the yellow ribbon and on the fabric yo-yo.  My leaves match - yours don't have to.  You don't even have to do leaves if you don't want to.

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!



Little City Farm said...

How do you come up with these things. When I look at jeans,....I see jeans, lol. Love the lace and the little flower. Adorable.

SV said...

Love the little jean purse. My daughter would love something like this :-) I think you could even double it as an Easter basket.

Thanks so much for stopping by to say hi :-)

Take care,

Doni said...

HOW CUTE!!! I was able to follow your directions too, which for me isn't always easy! Great job! I'm so glad you joined me for Pearls and Lace Thursday! I am now your newest follower, and if my husband isn't looking....I might have a new purse soon!!
Blessings, Doni

Simply Tasheena said...

This is such a creative idea.

Mrs. Delightful

Raquel Alonso said...

What a great idea!

Diana of Diana Rambles said...

Super adorable!! Thanks for linking up!

Diana Rambles
Bento Blog Network

ealldredge5 said...

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing this at my 1 Month of fun Party. A Crafty Cook

Dr Sonia S V said...

Awesome creativity!
Love the recycling!
Cheers from Bangalore, India

Anonymous said...

How cute! I love projects that use old jeans.

Jenni said...

So cute! :)

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Neat idea! Thanks for sharing at Things I've Done Thursday!

Cindy said...

Hey, I love this cute purse and so will my granddaughters. Can't wait to make one or five!

Trish - Mom On Timeout said...

The purse turned out so cute - great idea! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

Kim~madeinaday said...

Great idea~ So cute! Thanks for linking up! Stop by tomorrow and link up again!

Rachel Sue said...

So cute! I would love to feature this on Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle. Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Thanks!