Kids love to imitate adults in many ways. Carrying bits and pieces around in their own little bags is one such example. Today's tutorial will show you how to make a kid sized tote bag, utilising an old pair of jeans and some cotton fabric.
With a finished size of 10½" x 12½", the Jeans Pocket Tote Bag is larger than the Little Shopper Tote, and smaller than the Library Bag.
- Pocket from a pair of denim jeans. Leave roughly ¾" of jeans fabric attached to pocket on all sides.
- 2 pieces of denim 11" x 4" (28cm x 10cm) - contrast for the top of the bag
- 2 pieces of cotton fabric 11" x 9⅜" (28cm x 23cm) - main colour for the outside of bag
- 2 pieces of cotton fabric 11" x 13" (28cm x 33cm) - bag lining
- 4 pieces 10" x 2" (25cm x 5cm) - cotton fabric for handles
- 2 pieces 10" x 2" (25cm x 5cm) - sew in medium weight interfacing for handles
- Denim or Jeans machine needle
Instructions:All seams are 3/8" (1cm), unless otherwise indicated. The seam allowance is not critical, as long as you are consistent throughout the project.
Use a denim or jeans needle. If you are new to sewing with denim, read the following posts...
- the contrasting denim can be cut from any part of a pair of jeans
- sew denim to main cotton fabric as per the Library Bag with contrasting fabric ~ tutorial
Attach jeans pocket to front of bag:
- Leave the pocket attached to the jeans.
- Cut roughly ¾" outside the edge of the pocket.
- Fold under ¼" on all edges.
- Centre pocket on bag.
- Baste (hand sew with a long running stitch) pocket to front of bag.
- Remove pins.
- Stitching close to the edge of the denim, sew the pocket to the front of the bag.
- Remove basting stitches.
If pocket has any metal rivets, keep well away from machine needle.
Finish tote bag:
- Complete denim jeans pocket tote bag as per Library Bag ~ tutorial
- I totally forgot to record the position of the handles in my notes. I'm guessing I placed them about 2½" from the side seam. Try it and see what they look like.
- Make sure button is securely attached.
- Due to the button, this bag is not suitable for children under 3 years of age.
If the recipient is younger than 3 years of age, or an older child who still puts things in their mouth, choose a pocket without a flap and button, and without any small metal rivets, etc.
I only attached one jeans pocket, to the front of the tote, but you could easily add one to the back as well.
Complete with a pair of matching shorts and a couple of picture books, this set has been sent off to the other side of the country for a young man celebrating his third birthday.
As I often do when sewing shorts, I used the Mud Puddle Splashers pattern, but it appears not to be available any more.
I have to say, I am rather pleased with the the Denim Jeans Pocket Bag. The upcycled jeans pocket works well with the cotton quilting fabric. I wouldn't mind playing with this combination and making a larger bag for myself.
What projects have you made with jeans pockets?