Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jean Purse Tutorial

I thought I would share with you how I make Jean Purses from a pair of jeans.  These really turn out cute, but I pre warn you, you need to be prepared for no specific formula for the purses.  Here's what you will need:
  1. Pair of Jeans (I like to use somewhere around a size 10 boys or girls)
  2. Extra pocket from another pair of jeans
  3. 1/2 yard of coordinating material
  4. Thread
  5. Scrap of Pellon fusible webbing
  6. Snap or magnetic purse closure
  7. Sew machine 
 First, chop off the legs.  I like to do it a little below the crotch, just because it gives me a little breathing room.  I'll trim that off later.
 Sew a straight light across the bottom.  Sew a box seam (see the lining picture below for a better picture) on each corner.  I like to measure in 2 inches from the corner, and sew a perpendicular line to the side seam.  I've done almost 10 of these now, and each one takes it's own shape, so don't worry if it still looks a little more like jeans or a little more boxy.
 Here's what that box seem looks like on the out side, once the corners are pushed out.
 This is the inside of the box seam, after I trimmed the triangle off.  The lining will show the box seam with the corner still on it.
 Here's what the inside looks like right now.  Trim all the seams to 1/2 inch.
 Some of the jeans have floppy pockets in the front, so I often tack them down below the bottom seam so they stay in place and can be used.
 Here's my lining material.  This has no measurement - I just lay the purse on top of the material folded in half and sew 1/2 inch seams down the sides.
 Now for a look of that box seam without trimming.  I just fold the bottom seam to meet with the side seam, and then measure 2 inches from the tip of the triangle and sew the third side.  I obviously eyeball it, but you could use chalk to draw it on with a ruler first.  You would end up with a much straighter seam than I do, but I don't have the patience to do that.
 Next, I like to add a pocket on the inside of the purse, so I cut the pocket off another old pair of jeans.  I leave about an inch of extra material on the top, so I can sew across the top of it, without shutting the pocket.
 I press the extra material at the top down and leave about a 1/2 inch to sew across.
 Place the pocket on the right side of your liner where you want it.  Sometimes, finding the right pocket can take a few tries, because some are bigger or too small for what I'd like.  Sew around the pocket, on the seams and then across that extra 1/2 inch that you pressed.
 Next, add the pellon fusible webbing scrap to the middle of the WRONG side of the lining where you want to place your clasp.  This will make your material stiffer and stronger under the snap.
 I had these snaps on had, so I hand sewed them in place on the right sides of the lining only.  Also, be sure to fold the top edge of the lining down at least 1/2 inch to the wrong side.
 Cut the legs of the pants to the width and length that you want your purse to be.  I made these 3 inches wide and then just eye-balled the length to my daughter's shoulder.  I sewed two of these together.
 Then turn them right sides out and sew 1/8 inch down each side to finish the handles.
 Sew the handles on the inside of the purse.  I like to put the seams on the top of the jean seams on the waistband.
 Here's what it looks like when it's done.  The end will be hidden in the lining.
 Pin the lining to the inside of the purse with the wrong sides together.  Pin like crazy, matching the seams at the sides.  Sew down the top seam of the jeans at the waist to attach the lining.  I have also attached this on the bottom seam, too, it just depends on which has less bulk to it.  This is the most difficult part, because the machine sometimes can't take all the layers.  Don't worry about sewing over belt loops, just be sure everything is flat.
 Cut a piece of lining material long enough to go around the waistband (I've been lucky so far - the width of material off the bold has been just right.).  Cut it to be 4 inches wide and sew the RIGHT sides together to make a tube.  Reverse it so the right side is out.  Tuck the ends and sew them together.  This is the belt - just string it through and tie a knot or bow as you wish.
 You have made a purse!  Love how cute these work out.  I actually pick up girls jeans when I see them with   bling on them so I can match the lining to it!

I'd love to hear what you think.  If you use old holey jeans and scraps from your stash, this can be a free project to do!  I love that.  This purse went with my son to Japan as a gift for his host Mom.  Hope she enjoys! Please leave your feedback for my Tutorial and any questions.  Oh - check out those other blogs on the right column, too!