Wednesday, 26 August 2009

How I turned an old skirt into a new bag!

I had this skirt. This wonderful skirt that once was a wardrobe favourite and has since fallen into disuse. I had kept it for months because I couldn't bare losing it with all those beautiful colours! But I never wore it because I don't have anything to match anymore.

I tried to give it to a charity shop, I really did but some things just can't be parted with. So instead, having been inspired by a few refashionista articles, I made my self a new book bag for when I go back to Uni in a few weeks time.

I knew what I wanted to do, but actually figuring out a design took me a surprisingly long time, the main problem was that this skirt flared out a fair bit, and therefore I couldn't cut out a flat piece of fabric from it to make the bag body. I attempted to cheat by smoothing it out every way I could think of but in the end I had to suck it up and undo the seams of each panel (painful!) and sew them back together to make a flat fab
ric. The thought of ripping out all that thread made me want to scream, but once I'd made the decision it wasn't as emotionally draining as I'd thought it would be and I actually found myself enjoying this task! It also meant I had a chance to use the zipper from the side of the waist, I had hoped I could salvage this. I don't have a good zipper selection round here so when a cool one comes my way it's too precious to waste!

Next, after much thought as to what shape the bag would be and how i would construct and reinforce the handles I decided to go for a very simple rectangle big enough to get a couple of textbooks into and sewed up the edges nice and tight. It started to look like a bag!

I had bought this dotty fabric from my local fabric heaven for 40p. It was the last 50cm of the roll and was so beautiful I couldn't leave it there (especially not for 40p!) when I new it would come in handy somewhere along the line. Fortunately for me not only are the colours a perfect match, but it was also the perfect size to line my bag and make a handle! So I whipped this up nice and quickly! I also made a quick little zipper pouch using the original skirt zipper which I sewed onto the lining fabric to keep my keys and phone safe.

The strap is just a simple tube of leftover lining material which i then pinned in between the outer and the inner fabric where the side seams where. Two lines of stitching later and a quick reinforce of the bag straps and it's good to go! 

After all the effort I put into this bag, I am so glad I didn't get rid of that skirt. 
Now I can wear it forever!

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