Tuesday, 28 July 2015

My satchel made from old denim

I started cutting 4" squares from two pairs of old denim jeans.  One pair darker and than other to create a contrast.  I wanted to see how well denim would work using the stacking bowtie technique.  Initially I had considered making a skirt but decided that maybe I should try something smaller first.

I  quilted the interior fabric with needle punch and stitched trimex onto the back of my main fabric (stacking bowtie denim) since a satchel is usually a very firm bag.  The trimex made it very difficult to sew when assembling the bag.  In fact I had to upgrade my machine needle size to 110 (bent the 100). 

The sides of the bag are only supported by needle punch - maybe a double layer or a heavy Vilene should have been added to prevent them from collapsing a little.

The strap is made from jean legs.  I avoided using the knees as this part of the fabric was stretched.

It was meant to be a fun project but without a pattern I did a LOT of unpicking.  My Janome Horizon 7700 managed to sew through the thick layers but in some areas my stitching is a little rough - had trouble manipulating all the layers particularly where I had placed trimex.

Interior fabric

Rose jean buttons - found these at the Sewing Depot (Petone NZ)

The back. 
I'm still deciding how I will secure the flap of the satchel but have decided against magnets (they are either to weak or to strong), a zip (annoying - especially if it jams) and buckles. I am thinking of using two pieces of fine elastic (or something similar) which will be sewn behind the center diamond and can be stretched over the two rose jean buttons on the edge of the flap.  Will post a picture once I have figured this out.

4 Standard jean buttons have been placed at the bottom of the bag help protect the fabric from soiling when placed down on the floor etc.  I thought this was clever however this hasn't quite worked with this bag as I hadn't made a rectangle base so doesn't quite sit flat.

Still - I'm really happy with it and have learnt a lot making this satchel.  I won't be making a skirt using this technique out of denim as it will be to heavy.  My next plan is to try linen.

Happy sewing friends.


  1. Cute fun bag. I can see it must have taken some manipulating with the bulk.

  2. It looks cool. Perhaps leaving out the trimtex until it is done then fusing it in afterwards? And I have those rose jean buttons too, LOVE THEM! xo

  3. A very cool bag. It should be serviceable.


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