Monday, April 21, 2014

My favorite Am Eagle jeans, reinvented

When I lost weight about a year ago I had the happy but sad truth that my favorite "Am-n Eagle" jeans had to be shelved.  It's my favorite brand of jean but I won't pay the price for new ones so I seek them out in every thrift store I visit.

Anyway, I kept looking a my old jeans and flashed back to the 1970's blue jeans purses and thought Designer purse!

Below, is a loose step-by-step on how to do this yourself.  Be patient and you will be rewarded!

At first I thought I could just cut the the legs off below the pockets and sew up the bottom.  What I soon discovered was that it wasn't going to give my purse a nice, compact and pleasing look so deconstruction was the key.  I used a razor blade and carefully cut through the seams but left the top edge of the waist band intact, as well as the coin pocket.  Once that was done, I used a pant leg to form my purse body, sewing on the pockets and details as I went along...

With right sides together, I sewed along bottom and sides and across the bottom corners to create a round and flatter bottom, then turned it out.

Next, comes the liner...I chose a nice contrasting cotton print to accent the orange-ish thread accents on the jeans.

I cut the liner in the same shape as the purse, put it inside (wrong sides together) and sewed it in fairly close to the the top edge of the purse....

I don't have a good picture of the zipper assembly (and one could actually skip this part) but I cut two pieces of the liner fabric a couple of inches longer than the length of the purse.  Then, folding each over lengthwise with right sides together, sewed the raw ends, turned out and pressed.  I sewed on the zipper along the folded edges and sew the whole thing to purse along three edges, leaving the zipper end turned down inside the purse (see the opening on the right?)

Next, I added the the "waist band"

Layers start getting pretty thick at this point so make sure you're using a machine needle suitable for jeans.  

I had to cut the band down on one end to fit the new dimensions of the top.  I chose to sacrifice the button end, leaving the button hole for a nice accent, adding a button later (simply for asthetics). 

Next, I sandwiched the top raw edges between the waistband sides and top-sewed along the waistband bottom seam using the same color thread as the original (in this case, orange).

Then, I made the handles.... Of which I have no pictures (sorry, wasn't planning to blog this originally).  Using the remaining pant leg fabric and contrast fabric, I cut them the same length but with the contrast fabric a little narrower.  I sewed them, right sides together, along the long edges and one end and turned them out, forming a tube.  Folded the remaining raw end in on itself and sewed closed.  Then I pressed and top-stitched along the edges for detail.

Last step, sew on the handles.  I hand-sewed them using embroidery thread.


I've been using my purse for over a year and still love it!  It's great to just toss in the washer with your jeans from time-to-time.  The handles feel soft and comfortable when hanging on your arm, too.  

I hope you enjoyed this post and are inspired to create one of your own :)


  1. This is a great post. Just add more and be sure to link this and your others up to some of the linky parties. There are a lot of craft blogs, scour around and link up to some of their parties and you will start to get a ton of followers.