Thursday, July 7, 2011

Not Just Another Jeans Purse ~

I ran across a tutorial for a purse called "Not Just Another Pretty Purse" at Sew A Straight Line, by Sabra Gubler.  It is a nice fantabulous purse made from that trendy grey and yellow fabric that is all the rage right now. It has absolutely everything you could need in a purse, including a zipper pocket, key fob, and cell phone holder. Well, I didn't have any of that very trendy fabric that is all the rage. I had a ton of scraps and a pair of jeans which I thought would work out just fine. So I will show you have I use her pattern and tutorial, which she so graciously shared with all of us and put my own spin on it.

Here's what you'll need:
Pair of jeans, new or old
1/2 yard of fabric for lining, plus a little more for the yo-yos
Fusible interfacing
fabric yo-yos
magnetic snaps
hot glue gun (optional)

I had these Jeans that were given to me by a friend. They were too long for her and, well, not made for my body type even if they had been big enough. The first thing I did was cut off the waist band. Set it aside to use later.

These are were really nice jeans! See how I so expertly covered up the size tag?? But this purse can be made with any size jeans so you're in luck! I prefer the dark-wash jeans because I don't want my purse to look too barn-yardy. I was trying to keep the chic-ness of these Elle jeans.

Then I cut out the butt of the jean, leaving the pockets intact. This will be the back of your purse. These pockets will come in handy for loose change, gum, etc.

This is the part that I found tricky. Since the butt of these jeans was too wide to get the pattern piece on top of both of the pockets, I had to cut out that middle seam. It worked just as well because, again, it eliminated that barn-yardy look and upped the chic factor. Just make sure that you allow enough fabric for a seam down the middle of the pockets.

This next part is pretty much like Sabra's tutorial except for a few minute changes, mainly due to those darn pockets! In her tutorial, she makes her own zippered pocket, which I don't have the nerve to try yet. However, since this one already has pockets, there is nowhere to put a zippered pocket. Just lay out all of your pattern pieces just like she says.

TIP: I did this on the carpet. Why? I have no idea! It is so much easier on a hard surface. Use a cutting board or a table. Or even a cutting board ON a table!

Here is where I place my big pouch. It is on the back of the inside of the purse lining. Isn't that lining adorable??!

I made my cell phone pocket a bit wider because I have a big fat blackberry. I also made another pocket to sew into the back lining instead of that lovely zippered pocket. (Can you tell I'm full of zippered-pocket envy?) To make my pockets, I used the bottom cuff of the jeans. That way I already had the top edge finished off. Besides, I thought it raised the cuteness factor.

One other thing that you will want to cut that I added to my bag is the loops for the handle. Since I used the waist band of the jeans for the handle and wanted to also use the original jeans button, I had to have some sort of loop to hook it through. I forgot to take a picture but my loops are about 4 inches wide and 5 or 6 inches long. Just seam them up the long side, trim the seam, and turn them right side out. When you get to the part of the tutorial that instructs you to sew the lining to the outside of the bag, you will want to put the ends of these loops in between the fabrics. When you turn it, you will have a loop on each end, ready and waiting for your handle to go through.

I took these magnetic snaps off of my old purse. The one I absolutely hated. I don't recommend this because then you have to finagle and bend the prongs back and I had to resort to a pair of pliers. You can get magnetic snaps at any craft store. Another thing about this flap: In the tutorial she tells you to put it about 1.5 inches down on the back and sew. Well, because of those pockets again, I sat there for a good minute trying to figure if how this would work. I did just move it up a bit and my purse still came out fine. I just had to work around those pockets a bit.

Although covered buttons are delightful, I absolutely love the vintage look of yo-yos and thought they would go well with this Elle jean purse. I didn't have any yo-yos so I made my own out of some scraps of coordinating lining fabric. Here's how:

Cut a circle about 6 inches across. With needle and thread, stitch around the outside of the circle on the wrong side. When you get all the way around, pull the thread to make the fabric gather. Your fabric will fold in on itself and then you will have a cute

Check out the price on these buttons! They were on clearance for 25 cents a card! I used them for the middle of the yo-yos but you could use them for the handles or decorations.

I also made 3 smaller circles of the jeans fabric to make smaller yo-yos. I laid these on top of the big yo-yos and then glued a button on top. However, you will want to make your yo-yos ahead and sew them to the flap/purse before you sew the lining shut. This will let your purse be washable. I was just to lazy excited to get this purse done to to it right.
Lastly, I hooked the waistband (which I had trimmed neatly) through the fabric loops on the side and just buttoned them up!

I am looking forward to making many more of these "more than pretty" purses!
And thank you Sew a Straight Line for the awesome tutorial!


  1. That is a great purse! I love that you were able to use some pants that didn't work for you. I have a friend who has given me a few pairs of 'those' pants. lol.

  2. This is DARLING! I love it! I found your blog through a link party and LOVE it! You have some great projects on here! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!