Hooked on Needles

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recycled Jeans - A Drawstring Bag This Time!

Ever since I cut up that first pair of old jeans quite a while ago to make an apron, then moved on to clothes pin bags using jeans, I have been having fun thinking up more and different ways to use the fabulous denim that still has so much life left in it from these old throw-aways.

Take a look at what I did...

Here's my latest creation, a little drawstring bag. Inspiration for this was taken from Helen's first Stitcher's Angel project that was just unveiled last week. It's awfully cute and I loved how she did the lining, so that's what I did here too, only mine isn't quite as high.


The denim is leftover from the leg of jeans that I used for this clothes pin bag. The print fabric is leftover from the vest panel fabric I cut up and used for this apron.


First I cut off the bottom hem of this leftover leg piece and threw away the hem. The part that was left would be the body of the bag.


Although I could have just boxed the corners, I decided I wanted a sewn-in bottom for this little bag, so I cut a very usable piece of denim from the pocket area which would do just fine.



With the right sides together, I pinned the flat piece to the bottom edge of the pant leg, easing in the corners and then stitched it up.


Here's the right side of the newly stitched bottom.


I cut a few little patches from the vest panel and sewed them onto each side of the bag.


This one is my favorite. I think the pot of flowers is so cheerful, and I love these colors.



Then I cute two pieces of the vest panel as long as possible with the top edge being all the nice design, and the bottom edge having some of the white background still included. This would be hidden in the seams and down inside the bottom of the bag anyway! The width of the fabric was cut just a bit wider than the bag itself.

I did not take any measurements for this project. I just eyeballed everything and used the outer bag to measure up the fabric for the lining. Use what you have in whatever size works!


I stitched the lining pieces right sides together, leaving about a 2 inch opening in the bottom to turn the bag, and of course leaving the top edge open too. Then I boxed the corners so they would match the outer bag, again just eyeballing it. The lining will be tucked inside anyway!


After pinning the raw edges of the top of the lining and the denim right sides together, I stitched all around the top using about a 1/4 inch seam.


Then I pulled the denim bag through the opening that was left in the bottom of the lining...


...and stitched the opening closed on the machine.


After pushing the lining to the inside of the bag and getting it all straightened up and nicely fitted, this is how much of the lining stood up above the denim. Using free arm on my sewing machine, I stitched just under the edge of the lining through the denim and inside lining, then stitched again about 1/2 inch above that through the outside and inside layers of the top lining to make a casing for the drawstring.
Here you can see the two stitching lines which make the casing. You can click on any picture to make it bigger and see the details better.


After using my seam ripper to open up the seams on both sides between the casing lines, I threaded one length of drawstring through going in one direction, then another going in the other direction so that the two strings could be pulled away from each other to close the bag. You could use just one drawstring to close the bag if you wanted.


And there's my little recycled jeans tote bag, just big enough to toss in a book or small needlework project, cellphone, package of tissues, car keys and wallet for a trip to the doctor's office or the school parking lot or wherever you might have to do a little waiting.

This bag is not one of my Stitcher's Angel Swap gifts, but from what I hear from my secret partner, she would like these colors. I have been corresponding with her anonymously and gathering good information about what she might like. Such fun! Even if you're not in the swap, head over to Helen's website and check out each project as it is introduced at the beginning of each week. They are free and available to anyone who wants them from some very talented and creative designers.

Happy Stitching!


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