Sunday, November 5, 2017

Wrong Meets Right: Half-Backwards, Reversible Denim Scrap Purse Tutorial

Here's a crossbody 7" x 9" upcycled denim pouch that can be worn inside-out, or outside-in.  In fact, it's not at all clear to me which way is out!  Let's call this Side A, Orientation 1....
Turn it over to see Side A, Disorientation 1 

Open it up, reach inside, pull out the inside, and here's Side B, chaos...

....and Side B, not so chaotic....

This makes a guaranteed unique gift and even if you don't crochet, you can improvise alternatives. Here's how it happened.

It all started out, as most of my stuff, as therapy sewing. I love sewing wedges, especially  wedges made from old jeans. The soothing blues, the foamy whites, the gentle oceanic ripples and creases that I'm too lazy to press out; wedges give it all a wavy feel.  Sometimes I cut wedges improvisationally...
...and sometimes I use a wedge ruler, like I did for this project. I started out with a light set and a dark set. Here's the finished side of both sets, both about 7" x 8".
 Their reverse sides:
As usual, I couldn't decide which I liked better! The finished side is neater, but the oh those raw edges!!! So I decided to sew my two panels together with one wrong side facing one right side! I did a straight stitch around three sides (stitching shows best where the arrow is pointing.)
 Next, I used my handy Edge Perfect blade (no financial affiliation) ...
to cut evenly spaced holes just outside the stitching. I did a blanket stitch through the holes with a light blue perle cotton.
 The flip side:
 I also cut holes along the top. The next step was to do a couple of rounds of single crochet with the light blue embroidery floss. Along the top opening, I  separated the layers before crocheting. (If you're not a crocheter, you don't need to do this at all. Or you could conceivably sew or even GLUE trim around the edges.  Just a pompom trim along the bottom?)
Next, crochet a flap, and make it loose in the area where it is likely to meet a button. I crocheted a circle, but a square, triangle, parallagram, etc. would work, too. If you're really good at crochet, unlike me, make a fabulous mandala! Here's my non-fabulous flap.
If you're not a crocheter, you could cut a scrap of leather, faux leather, ultrasuede, or even another piece of denim, etc., to make the flap. You will need to cut a buttonhole, soon. 

Stitch the flap securely to one side of the purse. 

 On the flip side, place a button. I used a white plastic shank button on this side. 
If you crocheted your flap loosely, you don't need to "make" a buttonhole - just button through the crochet. If you're using an alternative - say a piece of ultrasuede - use this button placement to cut a buttonhole.

Reach in and pull out the reverse side, and plant another button where the hole in your flap will meet it. On this side, I used a vintage mother-of-pearl and metal shank button.
 And here's the back:
I added a round of dark blue crochet to the purse edges. I crocheted a 47" strap using double crochet, sized for an adult, but of course you should size it to whoever will use the purse. This is a good project for teaching youngsters to sew and/or crochet! For many more denim and crochet projects, click "denim" in my word cloud on the right! For bags, click on purse. 


6 comments:

  1. This is way cool! You always have such wonderful ideas!

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  2. I wondered how you were able to crochet on Jean fabric. So you do the buttonhole stitching in the holes then crochet off the button hole stitch? I love the fact that you appreciate amd embrace the frayed chaotic side of things. Such is life 😉

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    1. Yes, exactly, I do a blanket stitch through the holes cut by the Edge Perfect blade.Then I crochet through the part of the floss that runs parallel to the edge. I can do as many rounds to build it outward as I like! Does that make sense? The Edge Perfect blade isn't mandatory, one could poke holes with a needle, but I think it puts less stress on the fabric, and of course the holes are evenly spaced. Can't alter the spacing, unfortunately. Thanks for the thoughts!

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  3. Lovely tutorial! And, the edge perfect blade sounds aptly named. Probably lots easier on the wrists and hands than forcing a needle through the denim! Love this! Your creations are delightful!

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    1. Aw shucks, Jeri! You're easily delighted! That delights me!

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