Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Ruffled Denim Bag {Tutorial for Denim Days}

 I have been having fun working at turning the old jeans at our house into something new and useful. Yesterday's project was a new bag for me.

    Lately since I have been working on small knitting projects (socks) I have been taking my knitting with me nearly everywhere. Having a bag that can fit my purse stuff plus my knitting was what I wanted. I had one that worked but I was ready for a new one.

  I thought it would be fun to make something unique and funky so I chose a ruffled bag. I didn't follow any instructions just made it up as I went along. I did take pictures of the process in case anybody else wanted to try and make one too. If I were to do it again I might do a few things differently (for example I think it ended up a little to long and narrow) but you can look at what I did and adjust it to what suits you.
Here are the steps I took to make it:

 1. I cut strips from some old jeans to serve as the base of the bag. I didn't worry to much about what they looked like as they were going to be for the most part covered up by the ruffles. You could also use a solid piece of fabric (which would actually be easier) for the base.
 2. I sewed the strips together. I didn't measure this and if you make it just figure out what size you want your bag to be and then cut out fabric as tall as you want your bag by twice as wide as you want your bag plus a seam allowance.
 3. Cut out a lining material that is taller than the bag fabric.

4. Now to make the ruffles for the bag. I found denim scraps that I then cut into spirals about 1 1/2 inches wide strips. On the outside edges of the strips I zig-zagged the edges to keep them from fraying very much.

 5. Starting at the bottom I pinned the ruffles on adding in some pleats if they didn't seem ruffly enough. I overlapped the ruffles just a little. I didn't worry to much about everything looking completely perfect- the idea was that this bag would have character.
 6. I wanted pockets inside my bag so I cut out another strip of lining fabric to use for pockets. I hemmed one side of it and then pinned it in place (turning under raw edges) and sewed it as shown above. I sewed lines to divide it into 4 sections.
 7. Next I took the denim bag and carefully putting the ruffle out of the way so it didn't get caught I sewed the bottom edges together.
 8. Then I sewed the side edges of the denim part (carefully catching the ends of the ruffle in the seam as I sewed) and the sides and bottom of the lining.
 9. I flipped the outside denim part so that the right side was on the outside and then I slipped the lining inside so that the wrong sides of the two parts were touching.
 10. I folded over the top edge, turned under the raw edges and pinned and then sewed it in place.

11. I added a button and buttonhole to the top so that I can close it up.
12. I sewed on a handle which I had made from a strip (that I folded up so that all raw edges were hidden and sewed) of lining fabric.
13. I added a fabric flower that I made.  There are oodles of types of fabric flowers to choose from. Here is my page devoted to tutorials of them on Pinterest.

Let me know if you have any questions about my tutorial. I will try to help if I can.

Also- If you have made anything out of denim I would love to here about it. Feel free to leave links to your blog if you have one. Thanks!

I am linking this to Fiber Arts Monday


Becky R said...

Love it. Wish I had time to work on some projects like this. But I walk 8:30-9:30, homeschool 10-2, then watch my 19 month old nephew 2-10. Sat, I also have him and then have another job at night. But I love reading about what you do for one day.

Melissa said...

The long and narrow thing made me smile - I don't know how often I haven't made bags that were longer and narrower than I intended. :)

Anna said...

It turned out really pretty. I think I might need to make me a bag, broader and shorter, of course. :) The ruffles are really pretty.

Abbi said...

Thanks ladies!

Kathy @ Teaching Good Things said...

That is so cute! These would make little girl gifts too!


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