Sunday, January 22, 2012

Make a Purse from a Skirt

Another upcycled project.  Upcycling is one of my favorite things to do.  This time I wanted to make something for me.  And here is what I came up with.  I love it!

So, here's what I started out with.  I liked this skirt but I never wore it because it's kinda short for my age bracket and the gathering is in all the wrong places (most women don't want extra bulk around their belly).  I did like the structure of it.  And I though the gathering would look much better on a purse than on my belly.

In addition to the skirt I also used a scrap fabric to line the inside.  I used a heavier home decor fabric for that.  I also used fabric scraps for the bow.

After playing around a bit, I decided that twelve inches would be a good height for the purse.  So, I laid the skirt down inside out and marked 12.5" from the waistline all the way around.  I cut the bottom part off and put that to the side to make my strap later.  Then I sewed the bottom together while the skirt was still inside out.

Okey Dokey.  Next I folded the inside fabric and placed it underneath the skirt.  The fold is at the bottom (just underneath the seam I created on the skirt).  I cut the edges of the liner fabric right along the edges of the skirt.  And I cut a couple of rectangles of the inner fabric to make pockets on the inside.  I used a zig-zag stitch around the rectangles and the lining.  Then I folded the top edge of both rectangles down and sewed straight across.  This will be the top of the pockets.

Here comes my disclaimer.  I am not a perfectionist.  I am an Aries.  So, if you happen to be a Virgo or any other Type-A personality than you will probably want to do more measuring than I did.  I just like to wing-it when I can.
I did not measure how far down I wanted to put the pockets.  I just pinned them to the inner fabric, and sewed around the sides and bottom, leaving the top open.  I also sewed a line down the middle so that I had two pockets from one rectangle.  The top of the pockets were facing the top of the lining.  Basically it looked like this:

Then I folded the lining in half from the bottom with the right sides facing each other.  I sewed one side together from the fold (bottom) to the top.  I left the other side open for now.  When folded right side out, it looked like this.

As I mentioned before, the skirt I chose was very structured.  This helped me to put the lining in.  I have no idea what this is called, but there is a lining inside the waistline of the skirt.  It was tacked down.  I used a seam ripper to remove the tacks and to undo it from the zipper.  These photos will probably describe it better, so I will stop typing for now and just add more pictures.


And then with the skirt still inside out I had something that looked like this.  I turned the liner inside out and pinned it along the top.  If I had been thinking I would have attached some magnets to the interfacing here so that I would have a good way to close the top.  But, I did not think of that until today, so... oh well.  I sewed the lining all the way around so that it was now connected to the skirt.  I used the open side of the liner to turn my project right-side out.  And now it looks like this.

You may notice that I did not change the color of my thread to match the skirt.  Again, Aries here.  Since I knew this seam was going to end up inside the purse I didn't think it was necessary to change my bobbin thread.  And, now that I think about it, the bright thread color actually helps me to demonstrate where my seam is for the purposes of this tutorial.  Pretty cool, huh?   :)

Now all I had to do was sew up the open end of the lining.  I had to do this with the right-side out.  Since this is my lining, I am not really concerned about that seam showing.  When I push the lining inside the skirt it now starts to look like a purse.  Hooray!

Using the extra fabric from the bottom of the skirt I made a strap.  It is basically a tube of fabric that I sewed together, pulled right-side out and ironed flat.  Once I decided on the length of my strap, I folded both edges of the strap inside itself so that there were no raw edges.  I sewed each end of the strap to the insides of the purse with an overlap of about an inch and a half.  I sewed the strap into each side of the purse twice.  I wanted two seams so that the strap would be more sturdy.  I tried to sew these edges along existing seams so that they would not stand out as much.  And, yes, this was about when I decided that I needed to change my bobbin thread.  You can also see the edge of the strap sewn into the purse in the photo below.

The purse itself was a square shape now.  I wanted a it to be more triangular. So, I turned it inside out and sewed a diagonal line from the top of the purse to the side.  You probably already figured out that I did not measure this either.  I just eye-balled it.  From the picture above it appears to be almost two inches.  I just did what felt right for me.

Using scrap fabric I made a large bow and attached it to the front of my purse by hand.  One of the coolest features of the purse is that the existing skirt pockets are still there and they are the perfect size for my phone and keys.  

I still haven't decided what I want to use to close the top.  I wish I had thought of the magnet thing before I put it all together.  However, since the original skirt zipper is still there on the side, I may try to go in and put magnets inside with fabric glue.  If not, I am leaning towards putting a toggle button on the inside.  I just don't have any of those right now.  If you have any ideas, let me know.

Happy Crafting!

1 comment:

  1. I am making some of these so I decided to check out some others. I am so liking the extra inside...didn't think of that. mine are mainly 4 T and 5T skirts from my daughter. i have some lONG ones for big purses.... good job


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