Denim Skirt Tote Bag

I’m still busy with my yard sale, so with that in mind I have another transformation of a yard sale find.

Denim Skirt Tote Bag

While on one of my yard sale adventures I found this cute denim mini skirt. It was obviously too small for me, and a bit short for anybody, but that didn’t stop me from seeing the possibilities. I decided a skirt tote bag was just the ticket. I have made jean totes before, but they always look like you’re carrying your butt on your shoulder. The length of a jean tote can also be hampered on the distance between the waist and the crotch. The curves on the bottom of jean butts also make it difficult to cut and sew a straight line along the bottom edge of the bag. With a skirt, these issues were non-existent.

You can find my tutorial here.


Camera Bag-Restyled Purse

I was gifted with a new camera for Christmas, but it didn’t have a case. I looked high and low for one, but wasn’t impressed by the selection. Too masculine. Too boxy. Too expensive, while looking really cheap. Seriously, as a crafter, I know how much fabric costs. Why are they charging a mortgage payment for a bag made from dollar a yard fabric?

Well, it’s been a few months and I hate taking my camera anywhere. I’m afraid it’s going to become damaged. When I do take it with me, I wrap it in a towel and slip it in my purse. Classy, huh?

Finally a Eureka idea! I had a purse that I loved, but was never satisfied with how small it was. Okay, at this point, you are probably thinking I’m hard to please. Really, I’m not. Really. Anyway, I decided I could deconstruct the purse and reconstruct it into a camera bag.

This is a bare-bones tutorial on what I did. Everybody’s camera is different, and so are purses that may be used. Sharing my measurements and specifics will do you no good. You’ll just have to be satisfied with the techniques I used and my problem-solving explanations. You’ll also have to trust me that this worked for my camera. I can’t take a picture of my camera.

I turned the bag wrong side out and cut out the lining. It wasn’t going to be needed and this project was too fiddly to begin with. I didn’t want to use a seam ripper, because it looked like the seam was the same one that had attached the zipper, so I just cut as close to the seam as possible.

I did use a seam ripper to remove the little loops on the ends of the handle. I liked the way they looked and wanted to reuse them when I had the bag altered. Things didn’t go that smoothly though. Once the seam was gone, I realized the little rivet thingies on the loops went through the purse. The rivets had to be removed, and the only way to do that was with pliers. They (the rivets) were a mess after that. They couldn’t be reused. That left me with two holes in both handle loops. Hmm, more on that later.

With the bag still turned wrong side out, I cut off the sides of the purse. I also cut little squares in the bottom corners so that when I re-sewed it, the bag would have a flat bottom. Also, and this is key, I didn’t cut the excess zipper on either end. I’ve shortened a zipper like that before and it always ends up splitting on the finished project. The excess won’t show anyway. It get’s tucked between the purse and lining.

Stitched and turned right side out.

I sewed the loops back on over the side seams, then I was left with those unattractive holes.

I dug around in my craft room for awhile, and came up with nail heads. You know, those things with the prongs on the back. It took a little (lot) brute strength to get the prongs through all the layers, but I finally succeeded. They don’t match the rest of the rivets on the purse, but my husband said if I hadn’t told him, he wouldn’t have noticed.

Finally I was left with the lining. I had a failure for this step. The foam I had was too thick and didn’t mold into the corners of the bag. It looked horrible. I slept on it. This morning I went digging through my craft room again. I found an old mattress pad. Perfect! Using the dimensions of the camera bag, I made a mattress pad bag and a matching bag using my lining fabric. I put them together and attached them. Lastly, I inserted the padded lining in the camera bag and glued the top edge in place. Don’t judge. I needed the case right away (prom is tonight) and I didn’t want to press my luck with sewing.