This tutorial shows how to make a bag (with a personality) using fabric pieces from old clothes and other fabrics. The project is very easy to make but takes time and requires a lot sewing with a sewing machine.
Step 1: Materials&Tools
1. Old clothes
2. Left-overs of different fabrics
1. Sewing machine
3. Needle and thread
4. Printer paper
Step 2: Download or Make Your Own Sewing Pattern
The bag's pattern is very simple; you can download the pdf pattern as the starting point for your bag. It uses very simple shapes that can be modified easily to the shape that you want your bag to be.
1. The back, front, inside, outside, and pocket are cut the same size (any size, just make sure that they all match).
2. The outside of the back and front sides can be divided into smaller parts as shown in the picture to utilize small fabric scraps and make a visual pattern.
3. The legs are to be divided into stripes as well (see pictures for example).
4. The flap for the bag can be a different shape and divided into stripes as well.
5. The strap is made of scraps too, the pattern in the pdf is just for one strip. The amount of strips sewn together will affect the length of the shoulder strap.
Note: The main idea of this project is reuse old clothes, the decisions on the size and the patterns should be made considering the fabrics available. It's modular and uses mostly basic rectangular shapes, leaving it open for creativity and modification.
Step 3: Cutting the Fabric
1. Cut the fabrics to fit the paper pattern. Make sure to leave at least half an inch at the edges of every piece for sewing. Mark the exact shape of the rectangle on the fabric; it will help to fit them together.
2. Keep organized: mark the top of each piece, which will give you an orientation when you are sewing them all together. Keep track of the parts of each side so you don't get confused.
Step 4: Back Side
1. Sew the parts of the back side of the bag. This is the side to which the cover flap will be connected.
2. Make sure to piece the scraps together in a way that results in a flat rectangle.
3. Sew together the fabric pieces of the cover flap.
4. To each patchwork side sew a matching piece of fabric, for the inside lining. (The whole brown fabric on the pictures).
5. Sew the cover flap to the back side. Make sure that the patchworked parts are on the same side.
Step 5: Legs
1. First sew all the pieces together to complete the shape of each leg.
2. Then fold in half each leg and sew it together, leaving the top open.
3. Flip the sewn legs right side out.
4. Fill the legs with a bit of stuffing. Don't stuff it to much.
Step 6: Front Side
same as sewing together the back side:
1. Sew all the patchwork pieces together for one whole shape.
2. Sew the inside lining, using one piece fabric. But here it gets a bit tricky: Make sure to slide the legs in between the patterned piece and the inside fabric. (see pictures)
Step 7: Shoulder Strap
1. Sew together all the strips you have for the shoulder strap.
2. Fold the whole thing lengthwise and sew, leaving the top and the bottom open.
3. Flip the tube right side out.
Step 8: Sewing All Together
Now is the time to attach it all together.
1. First make the inside pocket. I made it from two rectangles of the same shape as the sides of the bag.
2. Put the back and the front sides of the bag on top of each other, while the patchwork sides are facing each other. Attach the pocket with sewing pins to the back side (see picture).
3. Sew them all together.
4. When sewing the bottom, make sure to slide the legs inside, in between the two patterned sides.
5. Insert the strap and fold each edge around the edges of the bag. Sew them together but be careful not to sew the strap to the cover flap.
6. After you're done, flip it all with the stitched side facing inside the bag.
7. The bag is done. I decided to attached a button to it as well as you can see at the following step.
Step 9: Adding Button
I used a buttoning strip directly as it comes on the shirt sleeve. See what you can adapt from the clothes you use.
Step 10: La Finale...
The bag is done. Enjoy!
Modify, add and mostly try to get the most of the clothes you are using. Use the colors and the patterns that they suggest. Use cool buttons or other features that already come with the clothes. Give the bag your own personality.