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Sunday, August 18, 2013

"Upcycled" Messenger Bag

From the Fall 2012 issue of Stitch (pattern by Betz White):

I don't like the term "upcycle" (just a hipper version of "recycled" or "remade") but I'm interested in any way I can reuse jeans that are too worn to be, uh, worn in public.  Two previous pairs of jeans became a long hippy skirt, and I've cut off many back pockets in all sorts of sizes for an eventual wall-hanging pocket organizer, but this pattern came along just as I wore holes into a third pair of jeans.

This is not the first time I've made something from Stitch magazine, and it's not the first time I've had problems with the instructions (in this case sewing the lining into the bag, and sewing the flap on).  I've come to the conclusion that the editorial staff maybe needs to do more pattern-testing; not only are the instructions not always as clear as they could be, they sometimes neglect details and considerations that may be small but that affect construction.  Moreover, in this particular project, examination of the pictures accompanying the pattern show that whoever made the bag constructed part of it quite differently from the instructions.  I think a beginning sewer in particular might become frustrated and discouraged, and that would be a shame because the projects themselves are pretty neat.

All that said, I do like the bag and the way I was able to use up almost all of the jeans.  For the flap decoration I made hexagons via the English paper-piecing technique, something I've wanted to do for a while:
I'd love to do a whole quilt like this, but who am I kidding?  I already have a gazillion finicky projects that will never get finished.

The plan is to use this as a diaper bag.  Of course, the idea came to me after I had sewn the lining in so I couldn't use waterproof lining, but oh well -- the bag should be washable.

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