A pair of old jeans, maybe headed for the landfill or a thrift store, are the base material for an attractive, sturdy shoulder bag. The size of your bag depends on the size of the jeans you use, with a pair of children's jeans making a small purse and a pair of large men's jeans making a tote.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 1 pair blue jeans
- Tailor's chalk
- Seam ripper
- Sewing machine
- 1/8-inch elastic
Lay the blue jeans on your work surface. Mark a line below the zipper and above the crotch of the jeans with tailor's chalk, from one hip to the other. Cut through both layers of the jeans across this line, removing the legs from the top of the trousers. You will be left with a section of the jeans that looks like a very short skirt. Set the leg portion of the jeans aside.
Turn the top portion of the jeans so that the rear end is facing up. Use a seam ripper to open the centre seam from the cut you made up about three inches. The back side of jeans has extra space to accommodate the wearer's body. You want to open the stitches until the fabric will lay flat, with the open edges overlapping. Once you have opened the seam to this point, overlap the edges and pin in place, then sew closed with a sewing machine.
Turn the top portion of the jeans inside out. Pin across the bottom, closing the opening. Sew across this opening with a sewing machine. Make a double row of stitches for security. Sew across each corner of the bottom of the purse, about two inches from the seam you just sewn. Trim the corners one-quarter inch above these seams. This will allow your purse to have a squared bottom.
Cut three 36-inch strips, each 1-inch wide, from the legs of the jeans. Cut a small X below the belt loop on the left side of the purse body. Insert the three denim strips through from the inside and tie them in a knot to keep the ends from sliding back through the knot.
Braid the three pieces together tightly. Cut another small X opposite the first. Insert the three ends of the braid through the X from the inside of the purse and tie them in a knot. This is the strap of your bag.
Cut a 3-inch piece of elastic. Fold this into a loop and pin the ends of the elastic to the inside of the purse opposite the jean's button, leaving a 1/2-inch loop extended over the edge of the purse. Sew the elastic in place. To close the purse, stretch the elastic over the button.
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