Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lined Denim Tote Bag


Hello...my name is Nerd and I am a fabric scrap hoarder. Everything has potential, even if it takes a while to figure it out. If you sew, then you understand exactly what I am talking about. I have been saving the scraps leftover from making shorts for Quirky for years now, and although I have made a minor project here and there with them (an outfit for her favorite stuffed dog...AKA Oscar Fido) but still had quite a pile of them and burning urge to do something with them. So I pulled all of them out and pulled out the pieces that I wanted to work with and got busy. 



First off I used a seam ripper to rip out all the seams because I wanted to use very inch of the fabric and plus I wanted to showcase some of the funky color changes in those edges. A big of mess later and several passes with the vacuum cleaner I was done...all in all about two nights of work. It was hard, just messy...little pieces of denim and string everywhere. 


After that I trimmed the edges up with the pinking shears a bit and ironed the heck out of them.  I really like how the edges turned out. The contrast of the dark and light and the worn spots all working together to make these awesome patterns. I am really glad that I ripped the seams instead of just cutting off the edges.


After all that, it was time for some fun with patterns. Truthfully it was like trying to put a a giant denim puzzle together or playing with tangrams. I must have moved those pieces of fabric around a hundred times. And then I picked them all up and moved them around a hundred more...ok I am probably exaggerating a bit. Seriously though...it really did take me longer to make that decision that it should have...but I finally made a decision and pinned them all together and stitched them into this 
long piece of quilt fabric thingy...you'll have to use your imagination  on that one. I forgot to snap a 
picture. Then I had to decide what to make. My first thought was a skirt, but there is no way anyone 
is going to see me in a skirt that short...not anymore anyway. So it turned out that it was destined to 
be a tote bag. 


I ended up turning the "fabric" at angle when cutting out the bag, which made these great triangles. 
I even pulled out some scraps that were leftover from making an apron a few years back and lined the inside and put in a pocket. I love the surprise jolt of color when you look inside. 



On the sides of the bag I stitched on some pockets that I had cut directly off of a denim skirt that Quirky had outgrown. Because I just cut them out of the skirt and didn't rip the seams I ended up with this great double pocket. Yeah, even more places to stash all my stuff.


Even the straps are made out of scraps, and planned with an extra surprise. Each strap end has a little loop to clip on a caribeaner. So a perfect spot to clip my keys or hang my sunglasses. 


Now that it is all done, I am so glad that I decided to make it into a bag. I can't wait to take it to the library or stuff it full of my art supplies and take it somewhere to go sketching or load it up with a picnic lunch and head to the park or...well I guess the possibilities are just endless.