refashioning, recycling, making do with what you’ve got…they all mean the same thing: taking something old and making something new from it.
at the beginning of this month, i talked about homeschooling during the summertime. in that post i mentioned field bags that were made from old pants. this month, i’ve worked on making some for my kids: my oldest daughter got one out of light turquoise corduroy, my oldest son, one out of some old camoflauge pants and my youngest daughter, a salmony pink corduroy.
about the time i was making them, one of my favorite purses was falling apart. it was a simple purse, a rectangle with a zipper on top and a side pocket zipper. both zippers broke, the fabric came unstitched on one side and the cotton string strap broke. it was time to retire the purse.
i’ve had the purse for at least 10-15 years and so i was sad to see it go. i started taking it apart to save the neat fabrics, hoping to use it in another project down the road. that’s when i had an ‘aha!’ moment. i could take some mossy green corduroy pants, use the fabric for pockets or patches and viola! a new purse with the old feel to it. yay! unfortunately, i wasn’t insightful enough at the time to take pictures of the process but i have patched a few in here that will hopefully give a better visual of what i did.
i started by cutting off the bottom of one of the corduroy pants legs. there was some embroidery stitching around the bottom that would add a decorative element to the purse. originally, i just ripped the seams from the bottom, turned it inside out and sewed a hem but the leg was not straight so i ended up ripping out a side and sewing it in a straight line as well. while it was opened up, i laid the bigger piece of old purse fabric on the right side of the seam and pinned it to there. i decided it would become a flat outer pocket, one i could stash receipts and shopping lists in to keep the rest of the purse clutter free.
i straight stitched and then zig zag stitched (oh how i wish i had a serger!) three sides of the fabric onto the outside. on the opposite side, this time on the inside, i pinned the smaller piece of old purse fabric to create a pocket on the inside. i straight stitched it on. the thread blends into the corduroy well and you can’t see the stitches on the outside.
then, i turned the whole thing inside out and sewed up the side and bottom, zig zagging to reinforce it.
next up, the handle. i took the length of the leg and cut 2 5″ strips from it, as long as the length would allow. then, i sewed one end of each together to make a doubly long strip. i ironed down the excess fabric and then sewed up one side and turned the piece right side out. i decided to zig zag the entire strap on both edges to accent the zig zag stitches on the front panel pocket. then, i pinned each end inside the purse and sewed around the edges creating a box.
done! i am thrilled with this new purse of mine. this was a fun project that took me about an hour or so to complete, maybe a little longer because i was making it up as i went along but if/when i do it again, it will go a lot faster!