Upcycled & Vintage Handbag

Having spent many hours using other people’s tutorial to make things, I thought it was time I had a go at making something from scratch with only my brain to figure things out and of course the odd mutterings to myself!  This is pure experimental sewing using the knowledge I have of bag making.

I decided to make a small handbag upcycling a pair of jeans and some vintage fabric.  I used a pair of my husband’s jeans, one leg had a few holes but the other leg was in good condition, don’t get how that happens!

The measurements are approximate, I cut the leg into one piece that was 8 inches high and 12 inches wide, keeping one seam of the leg intact for the bottom of the bag.

I cut out the small change pocket from the jeans to use inside the bag, and also cut the waistband of the jeans to use as the bag strap.  I am all for upcycling where possible and like the fact that I can make something original, handmade, not mass produced and with some history thrown in.

I put iron on heavy interfacing on the jean outer fabric to make the handbag thicker and to keep its shape.

I made the bottom of the bag squared by sewing a line across the corner approximately an inch from the edge of the fabric.  Then I cut of the excess fabric to get rid of the bulk.

For the lining, I sewed the little change pocket onto the right side of the lining before joining the lining together.  I sewed the lining exactly the same as the denim outer fabric with a squared bottom (although the photo looks like it is round).  Note; I left a 5 inch gap at the bottom of the lining, to allow for pulling through when the lining and outer denim fabric are sewn together.

I used a piece of vintage fabric for the overflap for the handbag, the pattern piece was from another bag pattern that worked with my bag design which was handy.  I used a piece from the leg of the jeans for the lining of the flap.

I sewed on the overflap to the denim bag, then sandwiched the lining over the denim bag, the lining was inside out, so that the right sides of the denim bag and the lining were facing each other.  Once the tops of the denim bag and lining were sewn together, I pulled it through and then sewed up the gap at the bottom of the lining.  The final phase was to attach the strap to the bag, I was originally going to use the existing button hole and put another button hole on the other side, then sew buttons on the side of the bag.  However, I was running out of time as I wanted to use the bag as I was going out.  Therefore I just did a simple zigzag stitch to attach the straps.  I added some heavy duty stick on velcro to attach the overflap to the bag to make it secure.  I would do things a bit different next time if I had more time and also the right materials at hand.  Sorry I have no photos of the above stages as every camera in the house had decided to run out of batteries!

I am really happy with how this bag turned out, especially pleased as it didn’t cost me anything as I just used what I had which is always a great bonus.  I’ve learnt alot from doing this from scratch with no tutorials to guide me.  I look forward to making more bags in the future, with more indetail pictures, I will charge my batteries up!

About Melanie Paul

Welcome, I am Melanie, a freelance surface pattern designer and mum of two gorgeous children. This blog is a journey of discovery and appreciation into the world of arts, crafts, design and everything in between. I keep everything real and honest in everything I do. I hope you enjoy reading and please do comment or share, if you share, please link back accordingly.
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5 Responses to Upcycled & Vintage Handbag

  1. Tammy says:

    This is soooo cute! Great job!!

  2. Thank you so much for the lovely comments, much appreciated 🙂

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