Now you don’t have to throw away your favourite pair of jeans when they finally fall to bits – you can recycle them by making this cool backpack, giving them a second chance to look stylish! There are many details on jeans that can easily be incorporated into the bag, such as frayed hems, pockets and seams.
The appliqué here is really easy, using fusible web and scraps of pretty floral fabric. Complete the look with a matching bag charm and key ring.
You will need
- two pairs of denim jeans in different shades
- pale blue gingham fabric 75 x 60cm (29½ x 24in)
- large floral print cotton fabric
- cream cord 150cm (60in)
- blue grosgrain ribbon, 3cm (1¼in) wide
To make a bag front and back, cut two pieces of denim from a pair of jeans, each 40 x 46cm (16 x 17½in). From the other jeans cut two pieces, each 40 x 14cm (16 x 5½in), using the bottom hem as a long edge.
Using a strong needle in your machine, stitch the large pieces to the smaller ones along the long edge.
Unpick a pocket from one of the pairs of jeans to go on the bag front.
Iron fusible web on the back of the fl oral fabric and cut out two large flowers. Position on to the front panel and fuse the flowers in place. Sew the pocket in place, leaving the top open.
Cut the waistbands from the jeans to form bag straps – two about 70cm (27½in) in length. Place the front and back panels right sides together and pin down the sides and along the bottom.
Push the straps down into the bag and pin at the bottom corners.
Sew along the sides and bottom, turn through to the right side and press flat.
Make the lining by folding the gingham fabric in half along the long edge. Pin and sew along the side and bottom. Push the lining inside the bag. Fold the gingham over twice at the top so it covers the raw edge and pin in place. Pin the straps at the top beneath the gingham border and then sew along the top edge of the bag.
Pin the blue ribbon around the bag top 6cm (2½in) down from the top edge, starting at the middle of the front and folding under the ribbon raw edges. Leave a 4cm (1½in) gap between the ends of the ribbon to form a drawstring channel. Sew the ribbon in place at the top and bottom edge. Use a safety pin to thread the cream cord through the drawstring channel to finish.
Make a matching bag charm and key ring.
It’s easy to make a bag charm and key ring. For a charm, sandwich a folded length of ribbon between two circles of denim, joined with fusible web. Iron on two fabric flowers and sew running stitch around the edge. For a key ring sew together a large flower and piece of denim the same size. Leave a gap and stuff with wadding. Put a folded length of thin ribbon into the gap and sew up. Edge with red stitches. Thread wooden beads on the ribbon and attach a key ring finding.
For more inspiration and ideas have a look at this great little book
Make Me I’m Yours – Just for Fun