My friend’s daughter is 8 years old, her name is Luna and she loves sewing bags. Her mom is an excellent musician but can’t sew. So in her attempt to feed her little girl creativity she sent me a message asking for help. Here is Luna’s dilema:
Luna got hold of a worn pair of jeans and she wants to make a bag. She isn’t so confident with zipper placement yet, so she prefer to avoid zipper closures. She also got tons of buttons and a little sewing machine. She is been looking online for some tutorials but she got overwhelmed and couldn’t find the right one to tackle her project.
With all this info, I took the challenge and designed this quick bag for Luna to make, and any little girl out there with the same problem.
First a word of caution about sewing on denim:
Start with a fresh needle. It must be Jeans needle, for lighter denim you can use 90/14 and 100/16 or 100/18 for heavy denim.
Always Use polyester thread for bag making. Cotton thread break easy and doesn’t last.
Always pay attention to grain lines when cutting. If you don’t, your project will appear twisting and unprofessional.
Denim can fray badly; always zig-zag those rough edges.
Use longer stitch length, 3mm is better than the usual 2,5mm.
Not all sewing machines «like» sewing on denim, especially on thicker seams. That’s why I change my mind and made the straps from cotton fabric.
WS: Means wrong side of the fabric/ RS means right side of the fabric
What do you need to start?
- Old pair of Jeans
- A fat quarter of pretty cotton
- Strip of Bias binding for piping and strap 60″X2″(20″X2 for pipping & 40″X 2″ for strap)
- Strip of matching quilting cotton for strap 40″x2″
- 5″ elastic band
- 1 big button or a flower
From the Denim fabric cut:
- 2 pieces of 8″X11″ for exterior panels
- 2 pieces 8″ X 6″, one for flap lining and the other one for lining slip pocket
- A nice pocket for back exterior panel
From the fat quarter cut:
- 2 pieces for lining 8″X11″
- 1 piece of pretty cotton for flap 8″X6″
- 1 piece for slip pocket 8″X6″
- Round all corners. Take a spool of thread and used as guide to round all corners for exterior, lining and bottom of flap pieces. Trace around the spool and cut to round the corners.
2. Make your pipping. Introduce your corn on the fold of the bias binding and baste stitch in place using your zipper foot.
3. Take your flap top and sew the pipping all around. Remember to notch the corners of the pipping strip and slow down around the corners.
4. Pin the elastic band to the flap lining piece and sew in place making a loop . This will be your bag closure as you can loop the elastic around the big button or flower.
5. Pin the flap pieces RS together and sew all around. I like to use the piping stitch line as a guide. Turn it to the RS and press. Topstitch around the border.
6. Make the straps: With the RS together, Sew the 40″ long bias strip with your cotton strip along one long edge with ½’ seam allowance. Next turn the strip to the RS and fold and press the other long edge towards the middle ½». Edge stitch along the long sides.
7. Pin and baste the strap to the back exterior piece placing each short edge 1″ from the corner. Make sure the strap is straight.
8. Sew the pocket to the back exterior piece and hand- sew your button or flower to the front exterior pice as shown in the picture.
9. Sew strap to back exterior piece RS together
10. Pin and sew exterior pieces RS together.
11. Take the 2 slip pocket pieces and sew RS together along the upper edge. Turn around and press. Top stitch the top edge. Pin the pocket RS up to a lining piece RS up and sew all around in place.
12. Pin the 2 lining pieces RS together and sew together the sides and the bottom.
13. Finish all your seams now! Zig zag to avoid fray.
14. Take your exterior bag WS out, Tuck in the flap and the strap. Introduce the lining bag RS out inside your exterior bag and pin together , matching the side seams. Stitch all around leaving 3″ opening for turning.
15. Pull the bag out through the opening and press in place. Close the opening and topstitch all around.
Voila 😬 you are done!!