So what did I do this morning? I made a bag! Noah slept really late today, and Zach has a bad cold so was mellower than usual. I posted mine on my shop at Etsy, but honestly it's easy to make your own if you sew:
1. Start with a pair of old jeans. Mine came from a yard sale for this project, provided by my mother-in-law.
2. Choose the part of the pants you want to use. I used the bottom of one leg. It was a large size pair, so that was big enough to make the size of bag I wanted. Make sure you choose a big enough part.
3. Lay out what part you want where. I chose to use the bottom cuff as the top of my bag, but I could have chosen that as the bottom of my bag, etc. I wanted to keep the frayed/distressed look of the bottom cuff and pocket, so those became the top. Generally, you don't want to complete the sewing yet.
4. Embelish! I carefully took off the back pocket and sewed it to the front as a pocket. I added some baby rickrack and a butterfly applique. This is easier with as many seams open as possible. In my example, the bottom of the bag was still open at this point.
5. Choose and add handles before or after step #5. My handles are from some material from the leg of the pants. Make sure you get these along the grainline if at all possible. Handles cut on the bias or crossgrain will have a tendency to stretch. I took strips and folded them then topstitched. I then sewed these to the bag.
6. I closed off the bottom of the bag at this point as my last step. Since I had a raw edge where I cut it from the rest of the pant leg, sewed it with a double stitch (because it was the bottom and holding weight) and then serged to keep the edges from fraying. Denim really frays badly. Another good open in a bag bottom without lining is a french seam, but this fabric was too thick to make that a good option for me.
7. Enjoy your new bag!