CraftsPhotographyDrawingPaintingTextiles & SewingSculpture

Denim Skirt Handbag: Project #2

Updated on July 31, 2017
RTalloni profile image

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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


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. Photos 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.

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.

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

9) For the handles I designed tabs needed to be made and added. See photos below. 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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
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

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 below offers some great tips on making bag handles out of belts.

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:

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!

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

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?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 16 months ago from the short journey

      SoyCandleLover:

      Why thank you very much! So appreciate that you checked it out and let me know you enjoyed sing it.

    • SoyCandleLover profile image

      BW Duerr 16 months ago from Henrietta, New York

      This is by far the cutest denim handbag I have ever seen. The most well made pattern, too. Well done and congrats on the Editor Choice.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      peachpurple:

      Thank you! It's a fun project to make and then to use. Hope you enjoy it all!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      This denim totebag is cute, going tosew one soon

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      anidae:

      They are loads of fun to make and to use. I'm getting in a bag making mode again so stay tuned for more examples to be posted in the not too (hopefully) distant future. Thanks much for stopping in and commenting on this hub!

    • anidae profile image

      Anita Adams 3 years ago from Tennessee

      This a good project and very creative. It is perfect for days when you wear denim.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      MarleneB:

      Thanks much for your response to this handmade handbag!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      This purse is gorgeous! Excellent instructions.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Millionaire Tips:

      Thank you so much for your visit and feedback here, especially the notice. :)

      Bag projects really are a great way to reuse skirts of all sorts and sizes, though denim skirts are one of my favorites!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      Both of the bags are really cute. What a great way to reuse a skirt that may be too small or a little frayed. Voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Patsybell:

      Thank you for your visit and feedback! These are fun projects and I'm looking forward to making some more by the end of the year.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      So cute. Your intructions make this a great project, even for novice seamstress'. A fun summer bag.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      faythef:

      Thanks kindly! I hope you get to make one soon.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      This bag is is really really cute..I think I will make one.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Jamie Brock:

      These bags are fun to design because the skirt's style gives you hints, it leads you into the final composition. I'm certain you will be able to make them--just be warned, they are addictive. :) BTW, I added your upcycle link to my tote bag project, as well. I hope it encourages using up fabrics on hand rather than continuing to store them. :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      I have got to get my sewing machine to the shop to make sure it's in good working order. It's been sitting in the same spot for months and it is such a waste. I would LOVE to try making one of these denim bags... I bet you could even get two bags out of one skirt. I love the beaded handle in the photo up top.. so cute! You've illustrated this so well (like all your hubs) and the instructions are easy to understand. I think I can probably do this! Thank you for sharing... voting up, useful, awesome! I wish there was a inspirational button :)

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      StephSev108:

      Well, there's lots to love about a handbag like this denim original. Designing, creating, and using, not to mention giving and selling these purses, all make it a favorite!

    • StephSev108 profile image

      Stephanie Marie Severson 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      This is such a cute idea. I love it!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      TeachableMoments:

      So glad you let me know that you enjoyed seeing this sewing project. A good bag to start with might be a simple tote bag. I hope you get to make and use your own denim skirt bag, and that we'll get to see it in a hub!

    • TeachableMoments profile image

      TeachableMoments 5 years ago from California

      Love the purse. Great idea. Now... if only I could sew. Your pictures are extremely helpful and you include a lot of useful tips. Perhaps I will try this project. Thanks for the idea.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      stessily:

      This purse was a neat project--fun to design and put together. Thanks very much for your input on it. I hope others get to enjoy making them by seeing the how to for them.

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      RTalloni, This project is so clever and so creative and shows that denim is forever. Those handles are unique, and the western styled medallion for the bow's center is genius. Well done. Up + UABI + sharing.

      Appreciatively, Stessily

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Barbara Kay:

      Thanks bunches! I do have some different designs I hope to post, but this Gamecock fan's series has resulted in a change of plans for these hubs. Stay tuned through the summer though! :)

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      I pinned this and now I need to find your other purse patterns. These are great.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      beingwell:

      Glad to hear that you like this denim skirt purse hub. Thanks much for your input!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Shared this hub! Very creative!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Om Paramapoonya:

      It's very encouraging that you let me know you like this project--thank you!

      I'm hoping to post a new one soon. It's smaller than the first two bags.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      This is soooooooo cute! I love everything about it; the beads, the belt and the whole bag! =D

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      VirginiaLynne:

      Thank you! Making the handbags out of blue jeans is definitely trickier. Skirts sometimes come with a lining that helps a lot and I hope to do a hub on one this summer. So appreciate your input here!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 5 years ago from United States

      Great project with so many clear pictures. I've made purses out of regular jeans and it can be a bit tricky on the corners. The skirt is better, and I do think you explain the corners really well. I love the bow and the beaded handle. Great job! pinned.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thelma Alberts:

      Thanks!!! :) It was fun to make and I learned more about what other people like when the fan made her choice of the three. I hope to get the third one posted soon.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Wow!!! This is so beautiful! I love it. Thanks for sharing.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks so much, Pamela99, your input is greatly appreciated!

      If you decide to make one and you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm looking forward to making some new designs soon.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I think your purses and great, very unique. Your flawless instructions don't look too difficult to follow. I think these purses would make a great gift and I would like one for myself.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Vellur:

      Thank you for coming by to check this denim purse tutorial out, and for your input on it.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      This is a cool idea, useful and creative. Great hub.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      missolive:

      Thanks very much for letting me know you like this denim skirt sewing project. Hope we'll see your summer design in a hub!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 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. :)

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      tammyswallow:

      Thanks kindly for letting me know you like this one!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 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.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

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

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

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