When the last Tuesday of the month rolls around (already??) I get so excited that it’s Reduce, Reuse, REFASHION time. What does that mean? Well, I set aside this time to take something that most would see as fit for the dump and turn it into something useful. Last month, I took four pair of my husband’s jeans to make these awesome storage buckets. This month, however, as promised I’m showing you what I’m doing with the rest of the jean scraps. Let’s create a DIY denim bag in ombre fashion.
Since I used up the pockets and part of the legs of the jeans for the storage buckets, I want to make use of the rest of the denim instead of pitching it. As you can see, I already cut the remnants into strips. Also, don’t forget you can also make purses with the pockets too.
If you’re new to my scene, you wouldn’t know that I love to make bags and purses. Why? I don’t exactly know because the only time I carry a purse it in the summer, and only if I have to. And, I usually only have a few items in it. I’m a low maintenance gal. Check out this one I made from a feedsack I still use to this day six years later.
So, since it’s been awhile and these are my JC’s jeans, I want to make a new purse for moi. A gal deserves a little sumpin’ sumpin’ too, right?
Here’s what you’ll need to make one too:
- Strips of 3 colors of jeans cut into 1½” W (and as long as I could get out of them)
- leather or duck canvas as base
- fabric tape measure
- sewing pins or clips
- beige thread or your color of choice
- sewing machine with denim needle
- pattern – I used this one at The Stitching Scientist, but changed it to suit me.
- heavyweight interfacing
- purse/bag handle hardware (use a salvaged old purse)
- zipper (optional depending on the pattern you’re using)
First, let’s assemble our sides and prepare our bottom. This project is merely an example for you to stem from and create your own design. Feel free to change it up and have fun with it. Since we’re after a DIY denim bag with ombre style, we want to assemble our strips from light to dark. Whether they are ascending or descending, that’s totally up to you. I’m aiming for ascending up to light. I lay them out and then eventually find using 10 strips is what I need to do.
Then, it’s time to assemble our strips. I begin with the bottom piece and lay it ¼” over the bottom of the next strip up.
However, before I call my denim strips ready for bag makin’, I add a heavyweight interfacing to the back. See how it looks plastic-y?
The point of interfacing is to make a fabric more stable. It comes in various weights, even in a flannel, and you can use it to stabilize any fabric. Also, you can even use it to adhere fabric to another for the sake of holding it in position to stitch down. Since I want my bag to stand on its own and have longevity, I use it to reinforce my strips. At this point, you can use this “fabric” we made for any purse/bag pattern. As mentioned earlier, I chose a hobo style from an awesome fellow blogger.
Here’s my pieces for the outside of my bag cut and ready to go.
Next, I need to cut my lining and base gusset. First, I pull out my leather scraps from my leather bench build. In addition, I’ve used it for my log reindeer, my upholstered office chair, and so much more. The problem is I don’t have a large enough single piece, so I cut 3 pieces to fit the pattern.
Finally, here’s all my pieces (except for my strap) ready to go. The best part is I found that fun lining fabric at the locally owned thrift store new and uncut.
At this point, I’m not going to go over assembly as the pattern you choose will cover that, however, I did make a few changes to my design to suit my needs.
I made my bag strap out of more denim strips and since I’m not using interfacing for it, I use Fray Check to ensure it doesn’t fall apart on me.
Finally, after my stent of sewing my DIY denim bag is complete and I’m in love!
Aside from being made from my husband’s jeans, the best part is all the parts are repurposed. Obviously, the jeans, but also the zipper I salvaged from an item being tossed, the hardware is from an old leather purse I made into a saddle for my daughter. Also, the lining from the thrifted fabric. What more can a refashioning gal ask for?
Even my chopped up bottom is perfect for standing it up on its own. I haven’t stuffed the bag to show you it standing up. It perfectly rests on its own.
Additionally, let’s inspire others to try their hand at refashioning. Pin and share, and even give it a try yourself!
Also, more refashion fun like my DIY denim bag: