Picture of Protect the Tech
Recycle cast off denim into a convenient caddy with three separate pockets to protect delicate expensive gadgets from your keys, pens, half eaten granola bars and whatever else lurks in your backpack or purse. Add an optional wrist strap and it can double as a minimalist purse.

This is my SewUseful contest entry. See it for sale on Etsy!
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Step 1: Simple ingredients and words of wisdom

Picture of Simple ingredients and words of wisdom
Choose a denim skirt or pair of jeans that has a zipper and intact pockets.

You'll also need a sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins, a pen (not pictured), some velcro, a seam ripper and measuring tape.

Important! Sewing denim is different than sewing other materials. Ideally you should use a special needle made for sewing denim. Also, a zipper foot to substitute for the regular foot on your sewing machine will make sewing this bulky project a lot easier (keep your regular foot close by for finishing the edges though).

Denim is strong - I broke two needles, a pair of scissors and a seam ripper making just two of these little pocket pals. That taught me some lessons I'll pass on to you: Don't force anything and Always cut through the thinnest area possible.

Finally, if you find that the bobbin (bottom) thread becomes loopy as you sew you may need a thicker upper thread. You can also raise the sewing machine's tension setting for the top thread.
EmilyT1 made it!4 months ago

I made mine out of an old uniform, on the other side is another pocket and my name tape and i used the zipper from the uniform trousers, some might see it as destroying a uniform but it was my old one and it's a nice way to use the fabric of uniforms I won't wear again without feel like I'm just throwing them away and I love the idea that I can functionally use the pockets!

Made one a few weeks ago. Great 'ible, though I opted for a thicker strap. Gave it to a very happy 11 year old girl who has declared she will store snacks in it. Thanks!
letterladyz4 years ago
I used a razer blade and (very) carefully cut out the zipper. Seemed to go a lot faster, and I didn't have to strain my seam ripper!!! :D
Plus, I also used my rotary cutter and straight edge which made things go a little faster and easier.
skarabey4 years ago
i like it.
jenniahart5 years ago
Great tutorial- I don't know what is wrong though, when it prints the instructions go all wonky. I'm going to try and alert admin to check on this.
kaste7 years ago
I love this! I've already made one as a gift, and have more planned. Thank you!
Angie's Purselet.jpg
=SMART= kaste5 years ago
hahaa scanning it in, thats awesome !!
mg0930mg6 years ago
The only problem it looks very girly.
Kaber5 years ago
Thanks for the idea/instruction. I made mine similarly to Cluckie. I used a side cargo pocket and a back zippered pocket from some cute Cargo pants. I used the waistband as a shoulder strap. It's the perfect size for taking on a hike. water bottle, granola bar, & lip gloss in the middle and the side pockets are good for my cell phone & GPS and the other holds cash and my ID card. I can stick a pen through the beltloop on the 'waistband-shoulder strap'. I still need to make a drawstring closure though.
Cluckie5 years ago
Instead of using back pockets, I used the side leg pockets from a pair of my son's trashed denim cargo shorts. Since both of them had velcro flaps, I ended up with 3 large secured pockets (including the center zippered section). It's square too...instead of having the "v" shape at the bottom. By using the different pockets, it's too big for my tech stuff, but it's a fantastic makeup case or smallish purse. Thank you for the inspiration and the perfect instructions!
Wow, this is an awesome project. I would love for you to put up more jean projects. rock on!
maryk86 years ago
made this today - thanks so much for the great instructions!
Purse 001.jpg
8bit6 years ago
My girlfriend and I learned a lot about sewing from this! Lined the zippered pouch with some crushed velvet to keep a PDA screen from getting scratched. Thanks a lot for posting. It looks really good.
Thanks for your Step 1 instructions. I have broken 7 needles trying to make a shopping bag and purse. Now I know what to do.
I cut a pocket out of an old pair of pants and then I tell people they dropped their pocket.
Gage9876 years ago
you say no plastic cases yet your ipod is in one
Bitsi6 years ago
hmmm.. having that zipper so close to my phone's touch screen makes me nervous. Gotten any scratches?
kimsfocus6 years ago
This is awesome, I'm going to make one tomorrow! I may try it with a non-denim pair of pants - has anyone tried that yet? Kim
I actually did this about 4 years ago for my friend as a CD case. It was actually pretty neat. I embroidered onto it the CD title and the band.
miss5murder7 years ago
is there a way to make one side the front pocket and the other side the back pocket? because i got a hole in my fave. pair of pants on one side, but i would still like to use the other side to make something like this. or, just to get two of these out of one pair of pants. but this is a great idea.
miss5murder7 years ago
(slightly unrelated) but. when i used a iSkin, dirt+dust got between the skin and the ipod and then, when the skin would move a little bit, the dirt would be ground into the ipod, making it worse to use a skin then not. has anyone else had this problem?
robefran7 years ago
I like it...another use for my recycled denim.
umm.. i will just use my ipod silicon skin :-| its good enouf than carrying an external pocket.
muffyhorn77 years ago
maybe line it with something waterproof.... or spray the entire thing every six months with that spray-on, silicone-based, fabric sealant. with the open top edges, you could still get it wet, but not as easily.
rockyt7 years ago
is it for gurls only?
sagefemme (author)  rockyt7 years ago
No, you can make it with or without the strap, regardless of your gender! Just depends on how you want to use it.