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Got an hour and some worn out pants? Make a new purse!

April 8, 2012

Have you ever had one of those pairs of pants that you just love so much, you wear them waaaaaaaaaay past their expiration date? I am woefully guilty of doing just that. I have a pair of corduroys that I wore for the last three years, despite them being riddled with holes. I finally had to retire them when I realized I had been flashing my behind all over Atlanta while out running errands one Saturday morning. But parting is such sweet sorrow ...

I had to find a way to keep my beloved cords with me, even if I couldn't wear them. Since every discarded garment gets treated as yardage at my house, it was just a matter of figuring out how to turn the usable parts of my trousers into something new. Voila! The Pants Leg Purse was born.

Here's how they came into being:

First, I cut a 12-inch piece off the bottom of one of the legs. I chose the leg with an intact hem, because that would be used for the top of my bag.

1-PantsPurse.jpgNext, I added an iron-on I've been hording to what would become the front. I have a pirate-themed getaway weekend coming up, so I thought this would be the perfect time to finally use my flocked velvet skull and crossbones! If you have an embellishment you want to add to this project, this is the best time. Once the zipper is in and the bottom is finished, it's harder to do any maneuvering your applique may require.

Don't miss this opportunity to do really fun stuff! You can add an applique, cut a motif out of your favorite fabric to apply, add a rhinestone design, embellish with ribbon stripes -- any kind of trim you can imagine!

Next, I sewed the zipper in at the top. I just nestled it under the hemmed edge of the pants so I wouldn't have to worry about any raw edges fraying. I left a little space on each end of the zipper unstitched. You'll see why in a minute!

3-PantsPurse.jpgHere's what it looks like with the zipper stitched in. As you can see, my zipper was too long. No worries -- I just tucked it in for the moment. Later, I'll trim it down.

4-PantsPurse.jpgNext, I removed two of the belt carriers from the pants.

5-PantsPurse.jpgHere they are, free-range (for the moment):

6-PantsPurse.jpgI folded the carriers in half, and set them into the folds on each end of the purse opening. Stitching through all those layers is tricky business. I had to take things slowly, and hand walk my machine through some of the rougher spots.

7-PantsPurse.jpgOnce both tabs were in place, I clipped the extra zipper length that was tucked inside. Here's the finished top of the bag from the outside:

Time to close up the bottom! I unzipped my zipper and turned the bag inside out, making sure the bottom edges were even.

I stitched the bag closed with a straight stitch. This is the one raw edge to the bag you'll have, since you're using a piece of pant leg, so you'll want to serge or zig-zag the edge.

To make a slight box shape on the bottom of the bag, I folded the bottom seam to make triangle corners.

11-PantsPurse.jpgAnd then I stitched the triangles into place, perpendicular to the bottom seam.

This is the interior of the bag with the corners stitched into a box shape:

Here's the bag turned right side out:

14-PantsPurse.jpgFor the strap, I used a strap I already had on hand, but if you don't have one, it's just matter of stitching webbing in your desired length to a pair of swivel clips like the ones here. I highly recommend the swivel-clip approach, because you can use the same strap on multiple bags. Because no one should have just one of these bags -- pants have two legs!

Here's the finished bag, ready for a pirate adventure!

This project works with jeans, cords, and even dressier pants. There are no rules -- just a chance to recycle in an imaginative way!

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I grab 2 of my daughters jeans that she was tossing out with plans to make some bags from them. Only I plan on making some yo-yo's to put on them, Have 4 sizes of them going to put several sizes on what will be the front. Might do a draw string or something rather than a zipper I am to rusty on putting them in.

This is really cool and a lovely idea. I remember my mother had done something like that when I was a teenager and refused to give up my favorite jeans. :)


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on April 8, 2012 10:06 PM.

Getting Ready for Baby: Summer Maternity Wear was the previous entry in this blog.

Amy Butler's Chelsea Tote is the next entry in this blog.

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