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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DIY Bucket Bag From Old Jeans

Sewing project for old jeans
I'm sure I'm not the only person with a pile of old jeans that no longer are part of our closet rotation!  A few weeks ago I decided it was time to come up with a new project for a pair...and with bucket bags being very "in" right now I figured it would be the perfect match.
I also took this project a step further and made my bag reversible.  It seems silly to line something with pretty fabric to never have the fabric be seen!  I even took the reversible fabric a step further and hand painted it myself (more on that in the instructions).  This bag even includes a little hidden pocket that utilized the fly front!
Materials and Supplies
-A Pair of Jeans
-Thread to Match
-Sewing Machine
-Pins
-Scissors
-Measuring Tape/Ruler
-Grommets (I found my wide ones in the camping aisle!)
-Chalk or other Fabric Marker
-Lining Fabric (optional)
-Small piece of pocket for hidden fly pocket
(optional)

Instructions
*Because I didn't want to end up with too large of a bag I ended up taking in the side seams a few inches*

1.  Cut off your jeans so that the legs are about 4" long.
2.  Cut the inner leg seam open.
3.  Turn your jeans inside out and sew the front and back seam down closing it up so it looks like a mini skirt.  Try to make the line as straight as possible.
4.  Turn the jeans right side out again, and measure the depth you would like your bag to be from the waist band down.  Mark with tailors chalk all the way around.
5.  Cut around the jeans following the marks.
6.  Cut a circle from one of the jean legs.  You want the circle circumference to be slightly smaller or very close in size to the measurement around the bottom of your jean bag, but not bigger.
7.  If you've made it smaller you will need to gather the bottom on the bag onto the circle, if it's close to the same size you should be able to just pin it right on.
8.  Sew the bag onto the circle.  I used a 1cm seam allowance for mine.
9.  If you want to make a hidden pocket for the fly front you will need to sew together a small rectangle that will have an opening  that is the same width as the fly zipper.  I sewed mine so that my stitched ended 1cm from the edge of the opening.  Then I folded that fabric back.  I sewed the pocket into place along the fold line of the pocket and the zipper guard on one side, and the fold line of the pocket and the seam allowance from the zipper on the other.  (You'll know what I'm talking about when you're in there!)
10.  I tacked down the top of the pocket so that it would stay upright.
11.  Cut out strips of fabric from the legs of the jeans to make the shoulder straps and bucket tie.  You will most likely need to sew a few strips together to make them long enough.  
I cut out the strap strips 4" wide, then I folded them in half, and then folded the edges in half again, making them 1" wide.  Then I sewed them down very close to the edge.
For my tie I cut strips 2" wide and then folded them in the same way as the straps to make the tie 1/2" wide.  Make sure that you don't make the tie too wide that it won't fit through your grommets...mine were a tight fit!
12.  If you want to make a lining for the bag (or make it reversible like I did) you will want to make a bucket by sewing a tube out of fabric that is the same width as your jeans, and the same depth plus 1cm to turn under plus 1cm for seam allowances.  Then you will cut out a circle the same size as your jean circle, and sew the bucket together in the same way as you did the jeans.
13.  Turn under the top of your lining fabric 1cm and press well.  Slip the lining over the bag (which needs to be inside out) and pin it into place all around.  Sandwich your straps into place (not shown because I totally forgot and had to go back and take some stitches out so I could fit them back in!!! Oops!!)  Place the straps wherever you like them, just make sure that they line up on each side.
14.  Sew around the top of the lining very close to the edge.
15.  Take your tailors chalk and mark the placement for your grommets evenly around the waistband of the jeans.  Make sure you put an even number of grommets on so that both ends of the tie will be out.
16.  Follow the instructions on you grommets to put them on.  Then thread your tie through, and you're all done!
I ended up painting the fabric for my "lining" because I didn't have anything in the colours and heaviness that I wanted.  I ended up using some white cotton twill that I painted brush strokes on with Dye-na-Flow and Lumiere that I kept layering until I was satisfied!
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