I love working with old jeans, worn denim has a such a lovey feel to it and it is so hard wearing. It recently dawned on me that I have never made my husband a toilet bag, when away camping we share taking it in turns to visit the facilities! My husband also works away from home fairly regularly. He has a tendency to throw his toiletries into the end pocket of his overnight bag… I spent the weekend reading many different box bag tutorials. After reading many versions I came up with my own, lining the box bag hides the internal seams, although it is somewhat more complicated to sew. Keep reading for my box bag tutorial. If you love bag pattern check out all my free bag patterns and tutorials.
I have made up a variety of sizes, perfect for home, camping, festivals – they are so versatile.
Today I am taking part in a #DIYBlogChallenge, the theme “Summer Festival”. Box bags are so versatile, great as toilet bags, how about using them as craft projects, they are perfect for a crochet hook and your latest project.
I am going to show you how you can convert a child’s pair of jeans into a box bag, a great toilet bag for men. The finished bag measures . When choosing your jeans to transform pick a pair which has straight seams, as this will be much easier to sew up (unless you have some super wide jeans where you will not have to include a leg seam!). The fusible fleece adds shape to the bag but also stops the denim stretching as you sew it.
I have created a video to show you how to make the bag, or alternatively, follow the written instructions below.
The large denim bag is shown in photographs below.
Here are the measurements for the three different bags:-
Large denim bag measures
Green box bag fabric finished bag measures 14″ long, 8″ width and high
Small denim bag fabric, finished bag measures 14″ long, 8″ width and high
Are looking for further ideas for what to do with your old jeans? Check out my 25+ craft ideas for old jeans
Personally I am rather passionate about bag making – if you are new to bag making I have the perfect Beginners Bag Making Course for you which covers so many essential skills for bag making, and includes many free bag tutorials.
Box Bag Pattern
You will need:
Two pieces each measuring 17 by 11 of:
Iron on heavy weight interfacing
Waistband of jeans for strap
Pocket for detail (this pocket measures from a child’s pair of jeans)
Top tip – your sewing machine may struggle to sew these layers of fabric. I suggest a brand new denim needle, plus when sewing the layers together towards the end of the instructions a walking foot. Changing to a new needle and the walking foot made all the difference to complete this project!! If you would like a Top Tips for Bag Making guide plus PDF bag patterns sign up to my newsletter.
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Iron the fusible fleece to the back of your denim following manufacturer’s instructions. Iron on interfacing to the back of the lining.
If you are adding a denim pocket, measure pin and place. This pocket measures and is placed ” in from one side 3″ down from the top edge (zipper edge).
Make a sandwich of fabric for your zip – right side of lining facing, zip then wrong side of denim facing. Stitch along close to the zip.
Turn and press. Top stitch the lining and denim away from the zip (this will stop your zip becoming caught up in fabric).
Repeat for the other side of the zip.
Fold the right sides of your denim together, and the right sides of your lining together. Stitch the bottom seam of your denim together (the long edges you have just matched). Repeat for the lining but leave a turning gap of several inches in the middle of the seam.
Unzip the zip by three-quarters (don’t skip this step like I did in the video!).
Now, this is where it becomes complicated – fold your denim seam you have just stitched to the zip and pin. Repeat for the lining. You have created loops of denim and of lining fabric.
Stitch from the edge of the loop towards the zip, stopping an inch short.
Repeat for each loop, you are stitching 8 seams.
Mark in the corner of each loop a 2″ square.
Cut a corner of the lining out. Fold the right sides of the fabric together and stitch. Repeat for all lining corners.
Place the lining side seams on top of the denim side seams (the ones you stopped short an inch before the zip in a previous step). Stitch along this seam joining up the gap and attaching the lining and main fabric together.
Turn the bag right side out, pulling gently through the turning gap in the lining.
Ladder stitch shut the gap in the lining. You can find a great tutorial here for ladder stitch.
Here are the measurements for the two denim bags:-
Large denim bag fabric 17 by 11″ finished bag measures 11″ long, 6″ width and 5″ high
Small denim bag fabric 13 by 9″, finished bag measures 7″ long, 4″ width and 4″ high
My small super cute denim bag is filled with our paired down first aid kit, perfect for taking to festivals, camping. The middle sized toilet bag (shared on the video) is perfect for a toilet bag or craft projects, and the third denim box bag fits my size 8 with heels shoes! Somehow I don’t think I will be stopping at three box bags.
Why not check out my fellow #DIYBlogChallenge bloggers, and see their DIY creations on the theme of Summer festival