Even vacations are not entirely craft-free. One of the projects I did this summer was a fun fashion design project with a young friend. It’s fun to see the “do it yourself” bug catch early, and creativity naturally expressed.
My crafty friend had cut off a pair of jeans into shorts, but the removed pant legs had embroidered gold stars, which she felt (and I agreed) were too fun to simply throw away. Her quest: to make a handbag or tote bag, out of the leftovers from her previous project.
The fabric, typical of re-purposed scraps, showed some wear, and required us to design around the frayed cuffs. So I trimmed off the most worn pieces to see what size and shape this bag might want to be. The following photo shows the embroidered star detail that my young fashion designer friend wanted to preserve, in her design:
Then, we set about making all the choices inherent in up-cycled sewing designs: what shape should the bag be? What kind of strap should it have? One strap or two? How long should it be, where do you want the bag to hang, on your body, as you carry it? What kind of closure: velcro, snap, or zipper? What fabric to use for the lining?
Of course, as with most projects, we were limited in the amount and styles of supplies we had on hand. But we went through the process step by step, and ended up with a bag.
Click to see how it turned out!
She chose a fairly big, tote-style bag, on a long enough strap to be worn low, or cross-body. We put a cotton lining in to strengthen the worn denim, and a velcro-tab closure on the inside:
I reinforced the strap attachment to the body, in anticipation of lugging lots of stuff, and toward the same end, made box-corners on the bottom edge of the bag, to give it some width. Indeed, by the time we got to take these modeled photos, the bag was already filled with goodies.
All in all, a good, recycled-fashion design, demonstrating an easy way to makeover one item of clothing into something completely different, using whatever supplies are at hand, from a thrifty young crafter with a great eye for creative projects, and strong personal style, as well.