I recently decided to see what I could make out of the less desirable front pockets on jeans. I had a light and a dark pair that had already donated their legs and back pockets to other projects, so I decided to start by pieceing them together!
The waistbands met reasonably well, but the bag would not have enough depth for what I had in mind, so I decided to add a strip both sides. Then I joined it into a tube, and made my life difficult fitting a bottom to that. What I should have done was added a strip across the bottom then added the back panel beneath that and my life would have been simple. That's how I made my denim crazy patchwork tote.
But I didn't, I bulled ahead and fitted a bottom from another strip in my jeans scrap bag.
So now the outer was assembled, I dug out a piece of fabric from my mother's stash, a nice printed cotton. I added a zipped pocket on one side and a divided pocket on the other side, and tried it out. It was all too flimsy. After rummaging around I found a few pieces of Soft and Stable, and added it to the lining in 4 seperate pieces.
What I should have done - bought a new pack of Soft and Stable and added it to the outer shell in one piece - but I didn't, and it sort of worked but it made the lining too loose, so I seamed all 4 corners which pinched the fabric tight and joined the Soft & Stable together. Bingo, the lining held it all up nicely!
Now the front looked rather plain and boring, so I added a patch pocket (saved from another pair of jeans). Still too plain, so I added some applique hearts. Better. I lined the pocket and attached it. Still not quite right, and the waistband seams would not lay flat. So I added some hand embroidery which held the seams flat, and some more following the curves of the pockets. Like that.
Next I considered what to do about handles. I decided to make red fabric straps with gate-hinge rings and attach them using the belt loops. Hmm, still need something else, so I added red heart-shaped buttons. It was at this stage I showed the bag to my niece, who was over for a visit. She said her eldest daughter had planned to ask if I could make her a bag for starting Senior School in September. So we all looked at this bag, and decided with a few finishing touches it would fit the bill.
So there are the right ways, and other ways, but in the end it's the results that count. I delivered the finished bag and everyone seems happy with the result, despite my less than "by the book" methods!
I will put more pictures in my Album "Denim Recycling"