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Denim Skirt Handbag: Project #2

Updated on September 27, 2016
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Robertatalloni means creativity. Whether in writing, or in more typical art forms, artistry (and a bit of fun) must be part of the work.

The second handbag project in this series.
The second handbag project in this series. | Source

Denim Skirt Handbag Projects


If you read my first hub on turning denim skirts into distinctive purses you’ll understand when I say that this bag is the second one for that gamecock fan and that it is actually the one she chose to purchase.

The difference in these two shows how unique the bags made from denim skirts are. There are no duplicates. Planning the designs around the skirt styles and seeing them through to the finished product is a lot fun!


Second Handbag Hub

Basic sewing skills and a good plan are the key ingredients you’ll need to have in order to begin. Most of the sewing is done on an average sewing machine. Once you have your plan in place you can make your supply list so you can get started.

Please note that it might be helpful to you to read through my first denim skirt handbag tutorial before beginning your project. Each bag has different features and that hub may have some helpful tips for those unfamiliar with this type of project.

Basic supplies needed for this bag are:

• Denim skirt (women’s size small or a girls), depending on the size bag you want to make. I use recycled ones from second-hand stores.

• Poly/cotton fabric, approximately 2/3 yard.

• If interior pockets are desired, 1/4 yard contrasting poly/cotton (or left over denim if it is lightweight).

• Some extra contrasting fabric for inside pockets and embellishments, about 1/4 yard.

• Iron-on interfacing, approximately 2/3 yard (choose your desired stiffness-I prefer a medium weight interfacing).

• One of the products that prevents fraying, like Fray Check.

• Supplies needed for the style of handles you choose.

Cut skirt the length needed for the bag. Be sure to leave 1" for your seam.
Cut skirt the length needed for the bag. Be sure to leave 1" for your seam. | Source

Instructions With Photos


1) Decide on the length of your bag and measure down each side adding 1”. Mark those points and draw a straight line across the skirt. Slowly cut through both front and back layers at the same time.

Use the cut skirt as a pattern for the lining.
Use the cut skirt as a pattern for the lining. | Source
Be sure to add 1/2" at top and bottom for seam allowances.  (Sides do not need this additional seam allowance.)
Be sure to add 1/2" at top and bottom for seam allowances. (Sides do not need this additional seam allowance.) | Source




2) Lay the skirt on top of the lining fabric and use it as a pattern. Allow for 1/2” at the top and bottom edges of the lining. Cut the lining out (see photos) and set it aside.



Reinforce stitches with a second seam.
Reinforce stitches with a second seam. | Source


3) Turn the skirt wrong side out and pin the bottom edges together. Sew a 1/2” seam across the bottom of the skirt. Reinforce that stitch with another seam on top of it.


Sewing the corners to make a square bottom.
Sewing the corners to make a square bottom. | Source


4) Flatten the skirt's bottom corners, carefully lining up the bottom seams with the side seams. Measure from center point down the middle of the triangle to 2”, pin, mark, and sew straight across. Draw a line if that will help you make sure the seam is straight. Sew across a second time to reinforce.


Cut 1/4" away from seam to remove triangle.
Cut 1/4" away from seam to remove triangle. | Source
Use a product designed to stop fraying at each seam end.  Be sure to dot it on all seam ends, including the manufactured ones.
Use a product designed to stop fraying at each seam end. Be sure to dot it on all seam ends, including the manufactured ones. | Source



5) Cut triangle off 1/4” from seam and put a dot of product to stop frays at the end of each seam--do not forget any center seams. Allow to dry according to package instructions. You now have a denim handbag shell. Turn it right side out, finger pressing corners into nice points.



Cutting the iron-on interfacing 1/4" smaller all round prevents the iron-on glue from going off the edge of the lining and sticking to your ironing board cover.
Cutting the iron-on interfacing 1/4" smaller all round prevents the iron-on glue from going off the edge of the lining and sticking to your ironing board cover. | Source


6) Using the lining as a pattern, cut the iron-on interfacing 1/4” smaller than the lining. Iron in place according to package directions.




7) It's at this point that the pockets are made for the lining. For this project I layered a smaller pocket on top of a larger pocket for both sides of the lining, with the smaller pocket having a band on the top made from the lining fabric. Thumbnails to the right correspond with the following steps:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
a. Cut large and small pockets to the desired size.b. Cut and sew bands for the small pockets.c. Press bands up on the right side, turn to back side and press raw edges of seam up. Fold band back towards pocket and press.  Fold down over raw edge and top stitch to hem.c. Continued from previous photo.d. Line up small pocket on top of large pocket, fold and press sides.  Pin to hold.e. Fold top edge of large pocket, pin, press, and topstitch, ending seams neatly at the sides.e. Continued from previous photo.e. Continued from previous photo.f. Pin center of small pocket to the large pocket.f.  Continued--sew down the center of the small pocket, neatly ending seam at top.g. Double check the position of your pockets so they are not too high or too low.i. Reinforce seam ends with a fray stop product.
a. Cut large and small pockets to the desired size.
a. Cut large and small pockets to the desired size. | Source
b. Cut and sew bands for the small pockets.
b. Cut and sew bands for the small pockets. | Source
c. Press bands up on the right side, turn to back side and press raw edges of seam up. Fold band back towards pocket and press.  Fold down over raw edge and top stitch to hem.
c. Press bands up on the right side, turn to back side and press raw edges of seam up. Fold band back towards pocket and press. Fold down over raw edge and top stitch to hem. | Source
c. Continued from previous photo.
c. Continued from previous photo. | Source
d. Line up small pocket on top of large pocket, fold and press sides.  Pin to hold.
d. Line up small pocket on top of large pocket, fold and press sides. Pin to hold. | Source
e. Fold top edge of large pocket, pin, press, and topstitch, ending seams neatly at the sides.
e. Fold top edge of large pocket, pin, press, and topstitch, ending seams neatly at the sides. | Source
e. Continued from previous photo.
e. Continued from previous photo. | Source
e. Continued from previous photo.
e. Continued from previous photo. | Source
f. Pin center of small pocket to the large pocket.
f. Pin center of small pocket to the large pocket. | Source
f.  Continued--sew down the center of the small pocket, neatly ending seam at top.
f. Continued--sew down the center of the small pocket, neatly ending seam at top. | Source
g. Double check the position of your pockets so they are not too high or too low.
g. Double check the position of your pockets so they are not too high or too low. | Source
i. Reinforce seam ends with a fray stop product.
i. Reinforce seam ends with a fray stop product. | Source

a. First, cut all pockets to the size wanted, adding 1/2" for seam allowances. Fold top of each large pocket over and press, then sew the fold in place.

b. Cut 2 decorative bands about 2 1/2” wide by the length of the top of the small pocket and pin one to the top of each small pocket, right sides together. Sew a 1/2” seam.

c. Fold band up and press. Fold raw edge of band back toward the top edge of the small pocket and press. Fold band over the raw edge, pin in place, and topstitch to hem.

d. Place small pocket on top of large pocket, lining up the sides. Fold sides over, press and pin together.

e. Fold top edge of large pocket over folded sides, pin in place and topstitch to hem--see 3 photos.

f. Pin center of small pockets and sew down the centers--see 2 photos.

g. Position the pocket assemblies on each side of the lining, pin in place, and topstitch sides and bottoms.

h. Use a fray stop product on the seam corners and allow to dry according to manufacturers instructions.

Create the lining after sewing the pockets on it.
Create the lining after sewing the pockets on it. | Source


8) Sew the lining sides together, then the bottom seam straight across. Finish the corners exactly like the denim skirt shell corners were sewn and then trimmed.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
a. 4 tabs will be sewn into waist band before lining is inserted.b. Make tabs and press each in half.  The lining fabric will be on the inside of the fold.c. Position 2 tabs on the front waistband, and 2 on the back waistband.d. Machine stitch ends of tabs below the top of the waistband.
a. 4 tabs will be sewn into waist band before lining is inserted.
a. 4 tabs will be sewn into waist band before lining is inserted. | Source
b. Make tabs and press each in half.  The lining fabric will be on the inside of the fold.
b. Make tabs and press each in half. The lining fabric will be on the inside of the fold. | Source
c. Position 2 tabs on the front waistband, and 2 on the back waistband.
c. Position 2 tabs on the front waistband, and 2 on the back waistband. | Source
d. Machine stitch ends of tabs below the top of the waistband.
d. Machine stitch ends of tabs below the top of the waistband. | Source

9) For the handles I designed, tabs needed to be made and added. (Keep in mind that you could make any type of handle.)

a. Cut 4 pieces of denim from the cut off bottom of the skirt 3 1/2” by 2”, and cut 4 pieces of lining fabric the same size. Right sides together, pin denim pieces to lining pieces and sew the long sides together leaving ends open.

b. Turn right sides out and press. Top stitch sides for a neat finish. Fold in half and lightly press.

c. Position tabs at evenly spaced intervals to suit the design of the handle that will be used.

d. Pin in place and stitch below the top edge of the waistband.

Position lining inside handbag shell, fold top edge into the bag and adjust to fit as it is pinned in place.  Use small stitches to sew lining to the waistband.
Position lining inside handbag shell, fold top edge into the bag and adjust to fit as it is pinned in place. Use small stitches to sew lining to the waistband. | Source


10) Slide lining into shell and fold top edge of lining down, fitting the lining neatly into the shell with the fold just below the top stitching of the waistband, pinning into place. Hand sew the lining to the denim skirt bag using a large needle and small stitches.


The belt is lined with the same fabric as the interior pockets are made from.  Leave an opening in the center of one long side, turn belt after stitching it, press, then top stitch.
The belt is lined with the same fabric as the interior pockets are made from. Leave an opening in the center of one long side, turn belt after stitching it, press, then top stitch. | Source


11) Designing embellishments for a bag is a really fun part of these projects. I created a “belt” for this handbag that would look like a bow. Measuring the length needed and cutting the ends wider allowed me to have the bow effect without tying a large knot to the front of the bag.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Position belt/bow and hand stitch to secure it in place.Medallion with silver feathers at ends..
Position belt/bow and hand stitch to secure it in place.
Position belt/bow and hand stitch to secure it in place. | Source
Medallion with silver feathers at ends..
Medallion with silver feathers at ends.. | Source



12) The “belt” needed to be position properly and hand stitched in place to secure it. I created a western styled medallion for the center of the bow/belt using silver trims.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Handle base supplies.Finished handle attached with handle hardware available in stores or online.
Handle base supplies.
Handle base supplies. | Source
Finished handle attached with handle hardware available in stores or online.
Finished handle attached with handle hardware available in stores or online. | Source

Using Belts For Bag Handles:





13) I used silver, black, and clear beads to make a handle, but these handles can be purchased ready to use, or you could easily make a cloth handle for a bag like this one.




*The video on the right offers some great tips on making bag handles out of belts.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gamecocks bag ready to go.Front Back
Gamecocks bag ready to go.
Gamecocks bag ready to go. | Source
Front
Front | Source
Back
Back | Source

A Last Look At Denim Skirt Handbag: #2


This first photo is the bag that created this hub. It’s new owner is delighted to use it when she goes to Gamecocks ball games.

This second and third photos are of the bag that always gets me in trouble. I designed it for my own use, but every time I take it out someone asks me to make one for them. Time seems to get in the way, though, and I can’t always say yes.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it helps you design and make one for yourself or for a gift. I promise, it’s a no-fail present!


More Creative Projects:


Third Gamecock denim skirt hub (and more).

• What kind of project can be made with a fleece blanket?

• You can make a gift bag that is itself a gift--a tote bag!

• Guests feel very special when their place cards are take home gifts.


Denim and Beyond!


I created a Pinterest board designed to help me remember ideas for working with a variety of fabrics for making bags. Embroidering denim or mixing an embroidered fabric with denim to make bags is a future goal. The holiday designs shown in the Snow Happy book are a great example of thinking outside the box to create a bag.


How do you feel about denim bags made from skirts?

See results

A Super Embellishment for Denim Bags

Do you like the idea of repurposing a denim skirt to make a bag?

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    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      That is so adorable! The belt and beads really make it look outstanding.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is so awesome! I love ideas for making unique purses. That could turn into a successful business!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 4 years ago from Texas

      This is so cute! I love this idea. Saving in my personal bookmarks for a summer project. Thanks for the instructions and photos.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      tammyswallow:

      Thanks kindly for letting me know you like this one!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      rebeccamealey:

      Thanks for letting me know you stopped in and that you like the project. I may yet work on them as a business for the business seems to be out there, but dedicating time to work on them is another story altogether. :)

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