How to Make a Mini Tote out of Embroidered Jeanscomments (12) June 24th, 2008
I have been putting these jeans on and taking them right back off for a year now. I bought them at my favorite store, Anthropologie (there's definitely something in the air that makes that store "Jennifer Land"!). Anyway, at the time, I thought they would be my new favorite jeans, but after wearing them the first day, I was very dissapointed. I realized that the front pocket bags were too short and they kept poking out and the denim was way too stretchy, causing a funny thing to happen in the front crotch area after I had worn them for a few hours. Since then, I have wanted to wear them—I would put them on, check the mirror, and take them right back off (I think I secretly thought they would look fabulous each time I tried them on). Anyway, I have officially given up on the hope that they will look fabulous and decided to make a cute mini tote out of them. I did try them on one last time before I cut them up...just to be sure!
I love to recycle and remake clothes into something new—the best part about this project is that I can breathe new life into the beautiful embroidery that was seeing a lot of the inside of my closet.
Here's what you need.
- A pair of embroidered jeans (or any garment that has embroidery on it)
- Stiff fusible interfacing (A brand like Pellon Shirt Tailor does a wonderful job of making any fabric bag worthy!)
- 1/4-inch nylon braid or horsehair
- Sharp scissors
- All-purpose sewing thread
Start by cutting your jeans apart so you can take full advantage of where the embroidery is. I cut mine down the center-back crotch seam, down the inseam on one leg and down the side seam on the other leg so I could take advantage of all the embroidered areas.
Then cut out all the pieces to your tote bag (you could just as easily make a purse). Plan which pieces will have embroidery and which pieces will be plain denim. Be sure that there is a big enough section of jean to accommodate the pattern pieces as you decide where you want to position them. (Keep in mind that you can make a bigger piece to work with by sewing sections together. For example, you can cut a leg apart and sew another piece of denim to it to make it wider or longer...or both!)
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery