Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Denim skirt to shoulder bag

Does anyone else have problems finding the perfect hand/shoulder bag or is it just me?  They are either too big, too small, the straps are too thin and dig into the shoulders and on it goes.  I've been wanting to have a go at making my own shoulder bag for some time now but not at all confident about coming up with a pattern that would suit.  So what to do.  This skirt has been sitting in my wardrobe for some time not being worn.

Light black denim skirt.

With some snipping and........

 sewing I now have this.  Ta dah!!!

Button loop made from a scrap of left over fabric.
Nice wide shoulder straps.
I was going to photograph the process of converting this skirt to a bag but there were so many steps I decided it would be quite tedious reading and viewing.  This is what I did.  After cutting off the bottom of the skirt I took in the waistband on either side to make a smaller opening.  I added pleats to the bottom of the bag as it was too hard to gather the material to make the bottom of the bag smaller.  I triple sewed the bottom for strength and zigzagged all raw edges.

I made the straps from the part of the skirt I cut off the bottom.  They are hemmed, doubled over and I used a very small zigzag stitch to reinforce the edges of the straps.  After pinning them in place, I triple sewed them in place adding an X shape for extra reinforcement.  The pockets were sewn shut at the top as they were to shallow to be used on the outside of the bag.  I created one pocket inside by cutting a slit on the front of the pocket piece inside the skirt and hemming around it.

So there you have it, a new and hopefully just about perfect bag for me that cost me nothing more than my time, yesterday afternoon and evening.  I had the thread and the button already in my stash.  I'm just wondering now if I should embellish my bag.  Anyone with ideas or suggestions?

Have a lovely day,

Anne  xx


  1. Aren't you clever?!
    You can turn your hand to anything!
    It's fabulous!

    Re embellishment:What about one of those crochet flowery type arrangements? - not too foofy though.
    In navy and olive and a zap of off-white.

    Or there's always the Bedazzler!

  2. I love these style bags and they are so strong. I use mine for my library bag and in the summer sometimes as a beach bag. Do you need to embellish it? Less can be more but doilies or braid, bows etc are also pretty. Cherrie

  3. This is great I love it! I wouldn't embellish it at all actually. Think it looks great as is.

  4. Wonderful idea! Your bag turned out adorable! How I love it! You are super-clever!!!

  5. Good for you Anne! Great bag..yes I know exactly what you mean about finding the perfect bag. What a fabulous flower mosaic in your earlier post too. You certainly seem to be doing well for mid winter : ) So glad that you're enjoying Pinterest..your travel "plans" look wonderful. Much love Catherine. Thank you so much for your wonderful encouragement the other day...I so appreciate it.

  6. I know what you mean about finding the right bag - such a good idea to make exactly what you want, and it looks great! Also very satisfying to reuse and recycle your skirt!

    Pomona x

  7. Hi Anne, Great idea. You've inspired me to reinvent some of my wardrobe squatters! Sue x

  8. So clever - it's the perfect tote! I kinda liked the skirt as it was too... great cut. x

  9. I don't think it needs any embellishment at all. It looks great as it is.
    Love from Mum

  10. What a great idea! I have the same problems with bags - usually can't get the perfect size and when I do it's full of loose lining that just gets in the way of things! Grrr!

    I think you should add some embellishments, I'm not sure what, perhaps a splash of colour somewhere, somehow?!!

  11. It turned out good. I like the shape of it. Not boxy, if that makes sense. As for the embellishment, I'm not sure it needs it, but I love adding that certaoin personal touch to whatever I make. I was going to suggest groups of buttons, but I have a feeling that you might lose the bag to your daughter with the button shoes!

  12. Great job on the bag Anne, but I must say I liked it as a skirt too........

    I don't think it needs any embellishment really.
    The colour and weave of the fabric add interest but if you want to embellish it I would probably go for a crocheted flower and a button in a matching colour.

    Claire :}


Thank you for leaving a comment.