Big Projects

Up-cycled Denim Bag – Part 2

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Welcome back for Part 2! If you haven’t already seen Part 1 click here!

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For this part you’ll need the following:

  • All of your bag pieces
  • Pockets
  • Two strap pieces
  • Pins
  • Tape measure
  • Thread
  • Bobbin
  • Button
  • Buttonhole presser foot (If you don’t have this accessory for your sewing machine, I do have a hand-stitched buttonhole tutorial!

The first step is to attach our pockets onto the right sections. The first pocket will be going inside the bag so we need to stitch it onto our biggest piece of lining fabric (the piece with the triangle included!). I have positioned mine so it has 5cm from the edge on both sides and I’ll be stitching along the lines where I had previously unpicked. At this stage you also want to attach the pocket on the denim piece that will be the front of the bag (so the smaller denim piece).

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Our next task is to join the two strap pieces together to complete the strap. I would recommend using pins for this step because the fabric does tend to slip a bit on the sewing machine. Using a small running stitch, sew about 0.5cm away from the edge and repeat on the other side so both edges are secure.

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Right, now we have our strap made and our pockets are sewn on! Let’s get back to the main part of the bag. Pin your two denim bag pieces together so that the blue sides are facing each other (the pocket should be on the inside) and do the same with your two lining pieces. After you have joined your pieces, just trim off some of the fabric on the corners (this will make turning the bag through a little bit easier).

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Turn the denim pouch through so that the pocket is now on the outside and place your lining pouch inside (make sure that your edges match up and the lining reaches right down to the corners). At this stage I also decided to mark where the button would be going just to get an idea.

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This next part is quite fiddly! We now have to fold the lining and denim down so that they match up (bear in mind on this step that we shouldn’t see the lining from outside the bag!). I folded both of my fabrics down by 1cm. Once you are happy with how the bag is looking, you will then pop the strap in. Make sure you have about an inch of the strap in between the denim and the lining. Doing this will just make the strap a little bit more secure.

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Now stitch all the way around the opening, along the front of the bag, over the straps and around the triangle (make sure to use a seam allowance of 1cm to secure everything down). Just a little tip, when going over the straps, you may find it easier to slow right down and use the hand wheel on your sewing machine. Also make sure once you have cleared the strap, move it out of the way so it doesn’t get caught up in the rest of your sewing.

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Next, we’ll make the buttonhole and sew the button on. I have used my machine to stitch the buttonhole but you can hand-stitch it if you prefer or if you don’t have a buttonhole stitch setting on your sewing machine here’s my tutorial for a hand-stitched buttonhole.

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I like to mark out where the button will be going, either with a fabric marker or a pen (the markings will be covered up by the stitches so don’t worry about that!). Once you have marked out your button width, you can go ahead and stitch the buttonhole. Using an unpicker (seam ripper) cut the fabric between your stitches (if you feel like you might cut the stitching, pop a pin length ways across the end so that the unpicker will stop when it hits it).

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Now we just have to sew our button on! To make sure our button is positioned correctly, fold over the opening to the bag and using a pen, draw a dot right through the middle of the buttonhole and onto the front of the bag. And now that we have the right position we can sew the button on! If you’re unsure how to sew a button on, here is my quick and easy button tutorial.

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And there you have it, your very own upcycled denim bag! I hope you enjoyed this project! If you have a go don’t forget to share your makes with us on Instagram @aboxofbuttons or on Twitter @aBoxofButtons! See you next time!

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