Tuesday, January 27, 2009

yesterday's pants

Part One: The Skinny on the Skivvies

A few months ago I came across this really cool fabric, cleverly disguised as size 20W ladies capri pants. They were brand spankin' new and I loved the pattern. Gotta love my thrift stores - where else can you find a great piece of fabric for $2? At first I was bummed because I thought it was a skirt; that would have given me alot more to work with. But because of the size there was still plenty. So I snapped them up with plans to upcycle/refashion them. Well today, thanks to the ice storm, I am home with some time to spare. Just after checking the local news and seeing that the schools were closed, I went to etsy searching for the perfect purse. For those of you that don't see me often, I have been toting around this sorry excuse for a purse since last summer. And I complain about it all the time. I think you know where I'm going with this...a little free time + inspiration = aha!

Part Two: Measure Twice, Cut Once

I decided to make my own bag with custom interior pockets for my cell phone, notepad, planner and favorite pen. Everything all tidy and organized -- just the idea of it makes me happy! I've missed more calls fishing around in my old dreaded purse because everything lumps up in the bottom. And strap length - very important. It's almost revolutionary making a purse to suit your OWN needs (or maybe rather colonial actually). Now you have to take into consideration that I am no seamstress. Just a wanna-be. But what's the difference really between design on paper and design with fabric? 21 years of graphic design has taught me well about spatial geometry. The pic above shows the leg I cut off of the pants, using the top piece for the main part of the purse and the bottom piece for the interior pockets. I ended up having to tear out one of the side seams which was a bit of a pain but good practice. After a few calculations, some experimental pinning and a little cursing came the end result.

Part Three: Necessity IS the Mother of Invention

Here it is! I can hardly wait for the ice to melt so my tote can make its public debut. It's not perfect, but it houses all my stuff neatly, looks smart and cost me only a few dollars. I learned a ton of lessons that I will apply to my next purse project. And hey, it's almost February. That's our biggest winter-weather month here in central Virginia, so bring on the snow! I know I've got some other fabric stashed away ;-)


  1. I LOVE YOUR NEW PURSE!!! That's really awesome fabric. You should go check these out and get some ideas for your next purse project: http://www.cahootshandbags.com/

    She's one of the vendors that's going to be at the indie craft show in April, and her purses are AWESOME. I love the old vintage-y fabrics she uses -- I bet you could totally pick up some stuff like that at thrift stores.

    It's another reason to wish you were here to go to the cattle barn fleamarket with me -- there's a stall that sells a bunch of random fabric scraps, perfect for purse projects. :)

  2. cool - thanks for the compliments lovely and the link. I wish I was there to go flea marketing, crafting, snacking, laughing and just hanging out (sigh) but alas - we have to continue in cyber space until Spring! Hope everything's still on for our visit.

  3. You did a fabulous job!! That fabric was PERFECT for that bag! Thanks for letting me in on it. AND I never thought of buying a bigger size at a thrift shop to use the fabric. Especially if the design is cool like that!


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