I am a chronic recycler and so I put together this tutorial of one of my favorite recycling projects – a mini skirt into a cute bag.
Start with a mini skirt that is on the smaller side and has some pleating. Pockets and other detailing makes for a really unique bag as well. Cotton, corduroy, line or wool skirts are usually easier to work with than denim, unless it is really lightweight. I used a size 7 fine wale corduroy skirt with two side seam pockets and a side zipper. I removed the zipper and sewed the seam back together. If you like, you could cut the skirt apart where the zipper is and sew it back together if it doesn’t work to take the zipper out, or alternately you could add a secret pocket that is accessed through the zipper (the secret pocket is another tutorial though!).
Next, turn the skirt inside out, press the pleats so that they lie evenly, and pin the bottom right sides of the skirt together. Stitch along the bottom of the skirt. If the hem appears too bulky, you can trim it and ziz zag or serge along the bottom to finish the seam.
If you want to add more depth to the bag you can box the corners by aligning the lower edge with the adjoining side edge to form a point, then stitching across the point forming a triangle. Turn bag to right side.
(there is a good tutorial here on boxing corners)
To make a lining, lay the bag on two layers of lining fabric and cut around the bag, leaving 1-2 inches around the three edges and and about 5 inches along the top edge. Sew the lining right sides facing and box the corners. Turn lining and insert into bag, wrong sides together. Fold over lining and pin so that the top edges are even, or leaving a small bit of the lining showing. Set aside.
Sew handles by cutting two strips of fabric and medium to heavyweight interfacing 25″ x 4″ each. Lay fabric right side down, place interfacing on top and fold in half lengthwise. Press, forming a long strip. Open and fold long edges in to meet center fold, hiding all raw edges. Stitch along the edges and down the center of the handle a few times. Attach handles to the bag on each side in between the outer and inner layers. Stitch all layers together following the stitching lines of the skirt’s waistband.
Your new bag is ready to show off! This project has endless modification possiblities. You could add pockets, applique, snaps, or buttons. Look for skirts with unique detailing to create a different look every time. Good luck!
About the designer: Amy likes to make stuff. She believes in thrifting, improvising, recycling and making it up as you go along. She also believes that creating connects people and makes life so much sweeter. One-of-a-kind is her favorite kind and handmade is where it’s at. Currently, she spends a lot of time sewing handbags and accessories, aprons, baby and toddler clothing and some other random things as the spirit moves her. Website