Estimated time: 2-4hrs. depending on your sewing skills
Old worn-out cargo pants
Belt (to be the bag strap)
Scissors (heavy duty fabric scissors recommended)
Chalk (optional, used to measuring and marking the fabric)
I used almost all of the material from the pants including belt loops, pockets, and what I could salvage from the pant legs. So be careful when you are cutting and make sure you don't ruin something you might need later.
Step 1: First Step: Cut Up the Pants
1] The top section of the pants will provide the belt loops and back pockets.
2] The middle section started right below the inseam and nicely isolates the cargo pockets and some extra material for building the body of the bag.
3] The bottom of the legs will provide nice lengths of flat material.
I cut the pant leg segments up the middle of the leg to flatten out the material and make it usable.
Step 2: Start Sewing the Main Body
I started by measuring my laptop since that I am wanted a bag I could carry my laptop around in if I wanted to.
I used the legs horizontally, and hemmed the sides. You may notice in the picture that I accidentally hemmed the wrong side of one of the legs, don't do that unless you happen to like the look of it.
I also decided there was no such thing as too many pockets, so I used the pockets from the back of the pants. In order to not actually have to make a pocket, I simply cut an inch around the pocket space so I could fold that under and sew it flat to make a sort of hem.
Step 3: Sewing the Front
I simply placed the pockets facing each other and sewed straight down the side between them to make a nice seam.
In the picture you I have laid out how both elements look so far.
Step 4: Sewing the Front and Back Pieces Together
I simply sewed along the length of the two sections so that they would form a bag with a flap without sides. Building the sides will be the next step.
You will notice a lot of extra material on the sides of the front. I left it there this long so I could match it to the width of the bottom of the bag. Making the sides of the bag was a bit tricky for me so I'll try my best to explain.
First, I made sure I was sewing the bag inside out to hide the seams. I measured out how wide I wanted the base of the bag to be. Then I used that same measurement on the extra the fabric on the sides of the front. It is important that you have enough extra material to be able to sew it to the back of the bag. You will have to cut a square shape out of the corner in order to make it fit. I apologize for not having a picture of that step, I will try and come up with a diagram soon.
After sewing the sides and being satisfied with the size and shape of the bag, I added another stitch along the side to add more shape and strength.
Step 5: Adding the Strap and Finishing It Up!
I individually cut out the belt loops and sewed them onto the sides of the bag.
I wanted to stick with the pants theme, and the pants had come with the belt. I decided I would be clever and make the belt into the strap. If you don't have a belt laying around you want to sacrifice, you can try and find one at a thrift store, or use your own creativity to create a strap.
Step 6: You Are Done! Enjoy :)
Feel free to ask questions or add comments, I would love to hear some feed back.