Today I'm going to show you how to repurpose a pair of jeans and turn one of the legs into a drawstring bag. Pop a gift inside, and there's no need for wrapping. The bag becomes both a present and the wrapping. Read on for the tutorial...
Giveaway ~ Clock Making Kit from Needcraft Ho Ho Ho & On We Sew link party where you can add your own Christmas makes for 2016
I'll give measurements for the bag I made, but you can, of course make the bag any size you want, as long as you can find a pair of pre-loved jeans that is the required size.
Sewing with Denim
Denim is a thick fabric and not the easiest to sew. Some machines handle the thick fabric relatively easily, whilst others struggle.
- ALWAYS use a denim or jeans needle
- Reduce bulk where possible
- Go slowly
If you are not used to sewing denim, the following posts I have written will help...
- one jeans leg
- scraps of contrasting fabric for hexies
- contrasting fabric for cord casing
- double sided fusible webbing
- Cut off the hem.
- Cut jeans leg to the required length. I cut mine off at 13".
Jeans are usually a little, or maybe a lot, wider at the bottom. Choose a portion of the leg that suits. The width of mine was 9" at the bottom and 8" at the top.
- Choose scraps of contrasting fabric.
- Decide on the size and number of hexies. My hexies are just under 1".
- Baste the hexies - in this post I have included detailed instructions on basting hexies.
Prepare Hexies for Adhering to Denim:
- Press basted hexies
- Remove basting stitches
- Trace the hexie shape onto double sided fusible webbing
- Cut inside the line so the fusible webbing is a little smaller than the hexie
- Place the rough side of the fusible webbing on the wrong side of the hexie
- Cover with an old cloth
- Follow manufacturer's direction to iron the webbing onto the hexie
- Peel off the paper. There will be a thin film of glue left on the wrong side of the hexie.
- Place the hexies onto the denim, with the bottom of the hexies 3" from the bottom of the jeans leg.
- Follow manufacturer's directions to iron onto the denim.
Appliqué Hexies to Denim:
- Using a slip stitch, hand sew the hexies to the denim - I have included more details and photos of slip stitching in the Liberty hexagon flower zippered pouch.
If you choose the right coloured thread, the stitching will be almost invisible.
Box the Bag Corners:
- Flatten out the leg. The leg seams don't have to be at the sides. If your machine doesn't like bulky fabrics, keep both seams away from the side.
- Sew a ⅜" seam across the bottom.
- Neaten the seam.
- Measure 1" from the corner of the seam line, in both directions and on both sides of the fabric.
- Put a mark to show where 1" is.
- Pull out the sides of your bag and flatten.
- Put a pin through the top mark. If the pin comes out through the mark on the other side, your boxed corner will line up.
- If the pin is not coming out through the mark on the other side, reposition the fabric until it does.
- Make sure the seams are facing in opposite directions to reduce bulk - if you end up with seams together.
- Take the pin out.
- With a ruler, draw a line across the fabric.
- Hold the fabric in place while you sew.
- Sew across the line.
- Cut the fabric and neaten.
- Repeat for the other side.
Sew Drawstring Casing:
- To reduce bulk, position each jeans seam, at the top of the bag, in the opposite direction to where it naturally sits.
- Stitch in place
- Cut contrasting fabric - 3" x 19" - circumference of bag + (seam allowance x 2)
- Measure and mark ½" and 1" from the edge that will join the denim.
- Sew ¼" seam, leaving a gap between the two marks.
- Open seam and neaten edges.
- Stitch a rectangle around the opening.
- Slide the contrasting fabric over the denim, right sides together.
- Position the contrasting fabric seam away from the jeans seams.
- Position the side with the gap closest to the denim.
- Sew together with ⅜" seam - neaten if you wish.
- Open out.
- Fold over the remaining raw edge ¼" - stitch or press
- Fold casing over to the wrong side, so it is just covering the line of stitching.
- Baste (large hand stitches) to hold in place.
- Topstitch a little less than ⅛" from the edge.
- Remove basting stitches.
- Sew a second line of stitching ½" from the first row. Each line of topstitching will be in line with the top and bottom of the gap in the seam line.
- Using a safety pin, thread a cord through the casing.
That's it. Your denim drawstring bag is finished! It measures approximately 8" x 12".
Fiona, from Celtic Thistle Stitches is helping us to get organised for Christmas, with the Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew link parties. Each month there will be...
- a link party where everyone can add their Christmas makes
- guest hosts with a tutorial for a Christmas / holiday-themed gift or home decoration item
- a giveaway
This month Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew is right here at Threading My Way, just a little further down the post.
This month's giveaway prize is this lovely
clock making kit
from Dannells -->>
Thanks to our lovely sponsors, we also have random giveaways for some lucky linkers throughout this year too. Click on the icons to go to their sites.
I'm looking forward to seeing the projects linked up. If you're new to Threading My Way, welcome.
I'd love you to share this post on social media.