How to Turn a Pair of Jeans Into an Upcycled Tote Bag in 8 Easy Steps
The NOORISM Upcycled Denim Tote Bag has been one of my most popular upcycled denim pieces. It's just the right size to fit a laptop computer, groceries or even use as a purse which is how I use it these days. This is a great way to find a second life for an old pair of jeans or any other pants that you might otherwise donate. It also makes a fantastic gift!
This is a great example of simple design in upcycling that can be made at home or produced in large quantities by a manufacturer.
Watch the video tutorial and follow the 8 easy steps below:
YOU WILL NEED:
One pair of jeans or pants and one extra waistband
Fabric marker or pen
1. 0:00-0:15 DECONSTRUCTION
Start with opening the hem of the jeans.
Next, take apart the inseam. Most jeans have a double needle chain-stitch on the inseam that can be pulled out in one thread.
Remove the pockets and waistband.
Do not open up the side seam.
Cut the jeans in half so that you can lay out one leg flat on your table.
2. 0:15-0:31 IRONING
Iron all the pieces until they lay flat.
Make sure to press open the hem of the pockets and remove all loose threads.
3. 0:31-0:42 PATTERN PLACING & TRACING
Follow the diagram to measure out your patterns on paper.
Measurements include 3/8" seam allowance.
Feel free to adjust your measurements if you want your tote bag to be smaller or larger. [if you have a pair of jeans that are big enough]
Cut the pattern pieces out and place them on your deconstructed jean fabric.
Trace the pattern outlines on the deconstructed jean fabric.
4. 0:42-0:49 CUTTING
Cut out all your pieces from the deconstructed jean fabric.
5. 0:49- 1:09 POCKETS
Pin the pockets on the middle of the Upcycled Denim Tote Bag body.
One should be on each side and placed 3" from the top.
Sew the pockets onto the body with a double topstitch for extra reinforcement.
6. 1:09-1:27 BODY
Fold the body in half and pin the sides - right side facing in.
Sew the sides to create the sack.
Press the seams open and sew a topstitch 1/8" from the seam on both sides of the seam.
7. 1:27-1:30 FACING
Pin the 2 facing pieces together on the side seam. [narrow side]
Sew the facing sides together.
Press the seams open and add the same 1/8" topstitching as the sides of the body.
8. 1:30-1:29 ATTACHING THE STRAPS
Measure and place the straps on the outside of the bag body.
Make sure the straps are facing down [looks like they are upside down]
Pin the facing on top, making sure to line up the side seams.
Sew the facing to the top of the bag with the straps sandwiched in between.
Flip the facing to the inside of the bag.
Press and add topstitching 1/4" from the finished top edge of the bag all around to finish.
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