Friday, August 24, 2007

Making a Messenger Bag from a Skirt

I made this messenger bag from a recycled skirt. Here are the instructions for a really easy project

Use a knee-length straight skirt. I found my skirt at a thrift store. The skirt will form the body of the bag. Sew up any side or back slits, remove the waistband and cut off the hem.

Sew the skirt closed at the bottom edge and then fold the bottom corners toward the side seams. The width of the bottom of these corner triangles will establish the width of your bag. I chose a 4" wide bag. Top stitch the triangle sides to the bag.
Mark the back side of the skirt about half way between the top and bottom, depending on how tall you want your bag to be. The top part of the skirt will form the flap, and the bottom part will be the body of your bag. I decided to keep the zipper in the skirt, which will form a zippered pocket on the inside of the flap.

Carefully cut across the marked line, through only one layer.
Turn right sides together at the top of the skirt, and stitch. I took the waist darts out of my skirt, but would leave them in next time. This way your flap is narrower than your bag. Now you should have a completed bag exterior. To make the lining, cut a piece of fabric the size of your bag, exclusive of the flap. I used a piece from an old corduroy skirt. For the pockets, stitch some rectangles with right sides together, leaving an opening for turning right side out. Turn the pocket and stitch it to the lining on three sides. Top stitch across the pocket to make sections.

Now run your bag by your feline design consultant. Bunny is channeling Coco Channel for me. I cut the bag strap and hardware from a worn out messenger bag and attached it to the new bag using a loop made from the skirt's waistband. Pin the loop between the lining and the bag and top stitch the bag opening all the way around. You will be attaching the lining to the bag and to the inside of the bag flap.

Reinforce the strap loop.
To stabilize the bag bottom I taped two layers of cardboard together with mailing tape. I wrapped the cardboard in an envelope I made from a piece of denim.
Voila, a new bag.

Boy this tutorial writing is harder than it looks! I hope these instructions were clear.


allie aller said...

This is a fantastic project, Barbara. Thanks for the tutorial...
The only part I didn't get was sewing the right sides together at the top of the skirt...???? If I had it in front of my though, I think I could figure it out.
Nice work!

Rian said...

Wow, what a cool bag, and wonderful tutorial. I'd sure love to make that bag some day.

Deb Hardman said...

Very Cute & Clever, Barbara. Gee I never realized that my cat might be channeling for me, darn! Too funny!

Deb Geyer said...

What a neat bag! And a great tutorial! Thanks!

Susan said...

Great bag! Love the fabric. Thanks for the tutorial.

Debra Dixon said...

I always love to see recycled items made into something useful! Great looking bag!

Fun Christmas pieces too!

Finn said...

Great tutorial Barb! And yes, they are alot more work than a person would think until they write one...LOL
You did a good job and I love the bag...will have to keep my eyes open for a suitable skirt..something I don't give a second glance to normally! Hugs, Finn

Peggradyart said...

What a fabulous bag! Now to get Cali to channel a genius designer for me as she checks out my donation bag of clothes for a suitable skirt.

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