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How to Make a Jeans Purse

How to Make a Jeans Purse

Materials Needed:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • Thread
  • Assorted Trims (as desired)


Talk about easy! All you need is a couple of hours to make this cute purse from an old pair of jeans. Once the purse is done, express yourself with appliqués, fabric paints, embroidery or any other decoration.

Cutting Instructions:

Step 1. Lay the jeans flat, tucking the inside pockets up towards the top of the jeans to keep them out of the way. Cut the legs off just below the crotch as shown here. This will be the main body of the purse. Set the legs aside for later.

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Step 2. Cut open the crotch by cutting off the crotch seam, cutting as close to both sides of the seam as possible.

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Step 3. Slice open the remainder of the front crotch seam, cutting as close to the left side of the seam as possible, leaving the top stitching intact. Cut only up to the curve of the seam, not all the way up to the zipper. Trim off the crotch in the back so that the front and back are even.

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Step 4. Place the right side of the front seam flat and lay the left side over it, so that the front is now flat. You may need to clip the curved part of the seam a little further until the front is completely flat.

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Step 5. Pin the overlapped front together. Sew the overlapped pieces together, stitching through the jeans’ original top stitching. figure

Step 6. Once the stitching is completed, remove the pins and press the front flat. Now the front of the purse is one solid piece.

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Step 7. Turn the purse INSIDE OUT. Match the cut edges of the front and the back and pin together. Start pinning at the center and work your way to the sides. You’ll notice that the back is wider than the front, so place your last pin about 1” from each side seam, as shown here.

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Step 8. Hold the original jeans side seam in one hand and fold the extra fabric from the back until the center of the extra fabric meets the last pin. This will form a “Y” shape that creates depth at the side of the purse. Flatten this folded side and pin in place, so you have one continuous seam across the bottom of the purse.

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Step 9. Stitch the bottom seam closed, stitching in a 1/2” seam. Sew another row of stitching over the first row, for extra strength. Be careful not to sew through the inside pockets.

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Step 10. Turn the purse RIGHT SIDE OUT. You’ll see that when the folded corners were stitched closed and turned right side out, the purse now has dimension at the bottom sides, rather than being completely flat. Open the jeans legs and measure two rectangles measuring 3” wide by 24” long. Cut them out and fold them in half lengthwise, matching the long cut edges. Stitch along the long edges in a 1/2” seam. Turn the straps RIGHT SIDE OUT.

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Step 11. Place the ends of the straps underneath the waistband of the jeans as shown here. Be sure to place the ends far enough so that you can stitch them on through BOTH sets of waistband stitching. This will ensure that the straps are sewn securely in place. Stitch the straps onto the purse, stitching through the original waistband top stitching.

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Step 12. If you decide to use trims and appliqués on your purse, it’s a good idea to use transparent tape to tape everything on before anything is sewn. This gives you the opportunity to really plan out your decorations, and you can move them around until it’s just perfect. Once you are 100% sure you can sew or glue everything in place permanently.

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Step 13. With a hand needle and matching thread, hand stitch the ends, being careful to catch the raw edges of the lace. Use very small stitches so that they blend in with the lace and don’t show from the right side

Step 14. Press the finished ends of the lace.

Step 15. Line up the raw edge of the lace with the underarm seam of the sleeve. With this as your starting point, place the lace trim along the edge of the sleeve, overlapping the lace and the sleeve fabric about 1/4”. Pin the lace to the sleeve as you go, until you get back to the sleeve seam.

Step 16. You will have a little excess lace trim; work this excess around the sleeve until you run out of lace and the finished edge overlaps about 1” over the other end of the lace.

Step 17. Using a regular straight stitch on your sewing machine, stitch the lace to the sleeve, stitching as close to the edge of the lace as possible.

Step 18. Using a hand needle and matching thread, hand stitch the finished end to the lace underneath. Trim all of the thread ends, and then press the stitching smooth.

Sewing Instructions:

Step 1. Place the fabric remnant on a flat surface, with the WRONG side of the fabric facing you.

Step 2. With a ruler and pencil, draw a 4” X 4” square on the fabric. Cut out the square.

Step 3. Still with the WRONG side of the fabric facing you, fold back each edge of the square 1/2”. As you fold each edge, press it with a hot iron to hold the crease. This square is the pocket.

Step 4. Cut a 4” length of lace trim. Turn back each end of the lace 1/2”, and use straight pins to pin them in place.

Step 5. With a hand needle and matching thread, hand stitch the ends, being careful to catch the raw edges of the lace. Use very small stitches so that they blend in with the lace and don’t show from the right side.

Step 6. Press the finished ends of the lace.

Step 7. Hold the pocket with the RIGHT side facing you. Starting at one end, place the lace trim along one edge of the pocket, overlapping the lace and pocket fabric about 1/4”. Pin the lace to the pocket as you go, being sure to keep both layers smooth and even. Work your way along the pocket edge until you reach the other end.

Step 8. Using a regular straight stitch on your sewing machine, stitch the lace to the pocket, stitching as close to the edge of the lace as possible.

Step 9. Trim the thread ends close to the pocket, and then press the stitching smooth.

Step 10. With the RIGHT side of the pocket facing you and the lace-trimmed edge at the top, place the pocket on the shirt front. When you get the placement where you want it, pin the pocket to the shirt front; be careful not to pin all the way through the back of the shirt.

Step 11. Using a regular straight stitch on your sewing machine and starting at one lace-trimmed upper corner, stitch the pocket to the shirt front, stitching as close to the pocket edge as possible. Sew along one side until you reach the lower corner.

Step 12. When you get to the corner, leave the needle in the fabric and raise the presser foot of your sewing machine. With the needle acting as a hinge, turn the pocket and shirt so that the lower edge of the pocket is positioned to be sewn. This is called pivoting, which lets you sew a crisp corner with one continuous row of stitching.



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