I see so much suede at the thrift store….I have a few jackets, a skirt, a few pairs of pants….it’s all outdated and just waiting to be cut up and made into something amazing. Here’s my first suede remake project……an old pair of suede pants and a thrift store belt into a fringe handbag. It was actually a fairly easy project. The key is to not cut the fringe until the handbag is finished. If you can’t find suede at the store you can also check Etsy and Ebay for remnants. You can also use leather or microfiber. Here are the original pants:
And here is the finished bag:
The first thing I did was sketch out a template:
Here’s a sketch of my template. You can enlarge it to be any size to make your own:
I used my cup of coffee as a pattern weight and cut the pattern on the fold……using the existing side seam as my fold:
The two main pieces cut out. You can see that I just cut straight through the pockets and seams and left them for character:
I cut out the bottom of the purse and cut the rest of the pants into long strips to use for the fringe:
I used a marker on the wrong side of the suede to mark out my fringe:
I sewed the first long strip onto the side of the handbag upside down to hide the seam. I used a regular sewing machine and regular thread…..I just stitched at a slow pace with a long stitch so that I wouldn’t break a needle.
Here’s my second strip of fringe:
Then I folded the strips back the other way (I top stitched them to keep them in place but it isn’t shown here):
I attached the bottom of the bag. All of the seams you see are the original seams from the pants:
I sewed the sides shut and then sewed the ends of the bottom of the bag closed to create the “box” effect at the bottom. The blue piece is a heavy piece of canvas I attached with spray adhesive to add some weight to the inside of the bag:
When sewing the sides together I was very careful to match the tops of the fringe pieces. I was also very careful not to sew the fringe into the seam:
This was the most gratifying part….carefully cutting the fringe:
I used my pattern to quickly make an identical basic shape using heavy upholstery fabric…..for the lining of the bag:
I place the lining inside the handbag and attached magnetic hardware (you can pick these up at most craft stores). To attach the two pieces together and finish the bag I simply folded the top edge of the purse down over the fabric and stitched along the edge:
The finished inside:
The strap was easy. I picked up this old belt from the thrift store for 99 cents:
I cut it with scissors to shorten it and then used a hammer and nail to poke holes through so I could easily sew it onto the bag:
I used a heavy upholstery thread to attach my leather handle. Fabric glue helped keep the belt in place for stitching and needle nosed pliers helped pull the needle through.
The finished bag!
Under $20 in materials:
I love the boho look of it…..and the fun chicken fabric inside:
So it’s not a j.j. winters bag……but I made it myself…..