Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to make a cute belt purse with an old jean skirt

So, I ride a bike to work and back about every other day. (The other days I am lazy and ride the bus...or it is raining and I beg my boyfriend for a ride...<_<)

And as I'm going to work, I don't want to bring a huge book-bag just to carry my keys, small coin purse, and GRE study cards. Anything that can't fit discreetly in my work apron has to go into the cubby-hole area. This cubby hole area is prey to any body or any thing who might just happen by and claim my stashed items. I usually can fit everything in my work apron, but this gets cumbersome at times when I am moving around, or when food particles fall into my apron and mix with my keys and things (ewww).  I want to make a small container that I can slide onto my belt for when I am riding my bike.

Henceforth this tutorial came about. I was inspired by these pictures, (I googled "fanny pack") and found all these very cool looking items that I am sadly unable to purchase.
So, lets get started! I used an old skirt, but you can do this with fabric, of course.

Step 1: Find an old skirt, shirt, jacket, something that has at least medium thickness and seems rather sturdy. I chose an old jean skirt I don't wear anymore. Also, find some fabric (about a fat quarter should do) for the lining, and a zipper for the top.
Step 2: determine the size of your pouch. Mine is going to be small. Lay your skirt out, and double your fat quarter one top. (same as above picture)

Step 3: Use a pen, pencil, or fabric maker, to draw a circle/square/rectangle-thing about the size you want your pouch to be. Then cut this out, cutting through all four layers of fabric at once (right sides together) to ensure its all the same. You should now have four pieces of fabric.
Step 4: Fold your pieces in half (right sides still together) and double check to make sure your pieces are symmetrical. Mine were not, so I did a bit of trimming.
Step 5: Add any pockets to the inside of your bag before you sew it together. I added a pockets with a straight stitch. I made this entire bag with that stitch. (I don't know if this was the correct way, but it's what I used)
Step 6: Embellish the outside of your purse! Lace, applique, zigzag, or embroider it! Or, add ruffles! Mine looked like this when I was done:
Step 7: I decided not to make a belt for mine, but to put three loops on the back so that it can be worn with a belt, on a belt.  You want these loops as close to the top of your purse as you can, so the purse does not "droop" when you put it on the belt. You don't have to sew on top of the "loop" like I did, just wanted to try something different.
To make a loop:
Then turn right-side out, to make:
Pin them on. It's really important to make sure they line up on top. I used a ruler and a fabric marker to draw a line.
Now you are ready to sew. Once again, I used a straight stitch.
Step 8: Sew lining together, right sides inside. Flip.
Step 9: Sew outside of bag together, right sides inside
(I had lots of fluffy edges, lol)
Step 10: put lining in bag. Then cut two strips and fold once, press, twice, press, and then fold around the top of your bag (like seam bindings!)  What we are doing is covering up the raw edges.
Step...11? So...I must confess I have no idea how or when to apply the zipper, so I did it last. I basically just pinned it on, put my zipper foot on and went at it...it's not like I could follow the directions on the zipper package, having no way to get into the bag. It turned out okay, you can't tell the difference from the outside =)
Yay! Belty bag =) This is me about to ride to work with my new bag. I think I'm going to make 2 more, one a bit smaller and one for my etsy shop =)
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