1000 Things to Do with a Sewing Machine, Bag Making, Denim, DESIGNIN' DENIM, Fabrics, I made it!! 2017, Sewing, Sewing machines, sewing patterns, Singer sewing machines, Vintage Sewing Machines, VSM

How to sew a recycled denim handbag. Part 2

Back again!  To recap last week’s post … I wanted to make myself a 100% recycled denim bag, using denim strips like those bags I saw on Pinterest.  Last week I cut up my denim jeans, pieced and sewed the strips together and fused on the interfacing for my outer bag walls.  I sewed the pockets and the zipper pocket on my bag lining.  I sewed the bag strap.  I did my topstitching – I love topstitching and Amber, my Singer 421G was a work horse!  

This week, I continued on.  I prepped the opening zipper, cutting it to the right length and topstitching the zipper tabs on the ends.  I switched from the brown zipper to this blue one as it fit around my iPad just right.

I sandwiched my zipper between my outer bag wall and my bag lining and sewed the layers together.

One side done.  I have to topstitch (I used regular thread) along the zipper seam to keep the bag layers out of the way of the zipper.  

Now for the other side.  This time I have to layer and sew everything together:  outer bag wall (with no zipper) right side up, outer bag wall/bag lining with zipper right side down,  and lastly bag lining (with no zipper) right side down.  Sorry I don’t have a photo – it’s quite the sandwich!  I find it you ever have difficulty trying to decide how something gets sewn together, pin all the layers together and make the bag up using pins and the proper seam allowances, you will see right away if you have your layers right or does one layer have to be flipped over.  

After sewing the other zipper seam, I topstitched with regular thread along the other side of the zipper seam to keep the bag layers out of the way of the zipper.

Opening zipper attached.  Outside view.
Inside view.

I sewed the ends of the bag strap on to my outer bag wall, along the top edge by each zipper end.  Bag sides were sewn on to the outer bag walls (sandwich the bag strap ends inside).  Bag sides were sewn on to the bag lining too.  By now everything is getting a bit cumbersome, as the only thing holding the outer bag and the bag lining together is the zipper seams.

The inside of the bag lining, looking in from the still open bottom of the bag.

Now my outer bag was completely sewn together and my inner bag lining had an opening in the bottom.  Remember to leave the zipper unzipped.

Turn the bag through the opening in the bottom of the bag lining.  

Sew up the opening at the bottom of the bag lining and you are FINISHED!  

And … my iPad fits through the top zipper opening – as hoped!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

A peek inside at the zipper pocket.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

The pockets on the other side.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Sorry I don’t have a pattern for this bag, but I hope I have inspired you to try making your own.  It was a really fun project and I already have thoughts running through my head for another recycled denim bag.

What about you – what’s the next sewing project running through your head right now?

Happy Sewing!




36 thoughts on “How to sew a recycled denim handbag. Part 2”

  1. That is an absolutely gorgeous bag. I love the colour combination of the blue and the pink. The lining is fab. I am planning on making a shirtdress and made up a toile using an old duvet cover. It makes such a difference to make changes using that. I would love to make something out of recycled jeans. You have inspired me and I have just got a bag of old ones to cut up. I would love to make a garment though but the thought of all those layers is putting me off. I might have to get my old hand crank Singer out. Thank heavens for vintage machines. They sew through anything Xx

    1. Thank you! That pink fabric has a “marble” darker pink line running through it. It was given to me by my sister (Thanks Sis!). Toiles can use so much fabric – great idea using a duvet cover! You could always make something out of larger pieces of denim. That might help. A skirt with large panels? Vintage machines are great. Amber was very strong handling this job. I’ll be watching for any of your makes!

    2. This is simply providential as Anne would say lol. Just revisited those old DVDs. Anyway I have a beautiful duvet cover that I was thinking of selling, not thinking as I LOVE fabric. You have given me encouragement, like why didn’t I think of that? So happy it’s still with me.
      Also, many thanks for the denim purse tutorial. I will be using it too as well. It’s so cute. I like the mail bag look of it.

  2. Great bag, and yes, you inspired me! I love the stripes and the way you incorporated a jeans pocket in the design. What a nifty way to carry your iPad around! Love that you used recycled jeans too.

  3. I’m not usually a denim person but I love the idea of the two tone and saving the pocket!!

          1. I haven’t tried clothes yet! But I really want to! And following all these bloggers who make clothes has really been giving me an itch to try!

  4. Great bag! I love recycled jeans ideas.
    I’ve made one with a drawstring handle (sturdy denim!) through the belt loops. All original pockets left intact – trouble is I never remember which pocket I put things in…

Comments are closed.