Well, that depends on how you think of it.
I had this old pair of capris that I wanted to do something with. I love the fabric, and they are in great condition, but they were a few sizes too big for me. They were my grandmother’s. I thought about tailoring them to fit me, but I don’t know much about pants, and that would involve a lot of deconstructing. Instead, I decided I could use a new purse.
First I cut the legs off, as close to the crotch as possible. One leg will be the outside of the bag, the other leg the liner. I took the liner leg and took in the side seams 1/4 inch, to help it better fit inside of the other leg.
On the liner leg I attached a zipper pocket. I like a zipper pocket for holding my phone and chapstick inside my bag. The zipper was one that Jeremy removed from an old duffel bag he deconstructed and disposed off. I used half of the one pictured.
To make the pocket, I used my typical zipper pocket tricks (as seen here). I first attached one side of the zipper to a rectangle of fabric (cut from the butt of the capris). Then I attached the other side of the zipper to the liner leg. Usually these pockets are formed by being sewn into the seams of the bag, but in this case the side seams were already closed. I just stitched around the perimeter of the fabric with a strong zig-zag stitch. To hide the ends on the zipper I folded over a small rectangle of fabric and stitched its perimeter. You can see how unattractive the uncovered right end of the zipper looks.
I cut these two rectangles for the bottom of the bag – grey vinyl for the exterior and capris for the interior. To determine the size of the bottom (3″ x 14″) I held open the wide end of the leg by the side seams, in a rectangular shape and measured the opening.
The strap of the purse is also a reuse. It’s a black corduroy strap that buckles on both ends. It was on the bag I was previously using. I damaged that bag pretty bad, so I figured I would at least rescue the strap for this new purse.
The installation of the strap is pretty easy, all I have to do is attach the two buckles. I inserted the lining into the exterior of the bag (wrong sides together). I folded down the tops of both fabrics, and inserted the buckles between their folds. I then stitched along the end of the fold.
This project was fun because it challenged me to reuse as much as I could. Also, it is a different approach than I usually take when making bags. I normally attach the lining to the exterior of the bag and end up turning the whole thing right-side out through a little hole in the bottom of the lining at the end. This time I just inserted the finished lining into the exterior of the bag.
Anyone else working with unusual materials? Trying old projects a new way?