My friend asked me if I could sew denim bag to her out of her old jeans which were low cut and tight, not in fashion any more ;) Project sounded fun so I agreed and she sent me her jeans. Both jeans were the same color; same tone of dye so my first idea to sew a bag with different sizes and colors of denim stripes was not going to work because of the “flat” color hues on the denim. So I looked up from my special japanese quilting technique books and found this pattern which builds up almost in 3d when put together. Quilting it is!
I carefully planned out this bag and measured the right amount of parts also thinking about the dark and light parts of the denim trousers so I could make the most of the pattern. It took some time sewing the parts together and ironing every seam but the end result was worth it.
She also wished for a pocket inside and outside and that the handles were so long that she can carry the bag easily on her shoulder.
Jeans old leather back labels I used upside down on the front of the bag. This cause I do not want anyone to be able to easily read what it says on the labels (small artsy point) but there are there visible to all to remind that reusing and refashioning is the only way to save this planet from textile waste.
The “back” of the bag or reverse side I made out of different sized denim parts, those which were left over from after my first cut. She wished a pocket on the outside so this one is hidden near your body when the “front” of the bag is visible while carrying it on the shoulder.
And just before shipping this bag to her I took it with me on my own photoshoot.
This bags idea I got from fabric sofa samples which I found from Kontti second hand store in Finland. Here I connected evenly measured stripes together with zig zag seam and created a modern and sharp background for my holographic decorations. I used earlier these small triangle shaped vinyl decorations for my wristlets to Intercoiffure Finland fashion photoshoot and now after few years “resting” they still do the trick in this diy bag.
Pattern needed to have right dimensions for the small sized bag so I tried out different variations and found the one that worked for this design.
Strap is made out of old necklace, really thick but light metal chain. Tassel is the pendant from the necklace. Ones again totally recycled bag, every part of it is reused material.
My friend called the pattern “Iris” – the blue royal flower. I like the name. Let the bag shine like royalty but act cool and streetwise when needed.
Straw bag is the perfect outfit addition that just says “now it is summer, let´s go to the beach, summer markets and on holiday”
My bag is made out of two round table coasters from H&M home.
Bag is hand sewn together with thick cotton yarn, the seam was too thick to sew with sewing machine.
I made the shoulder strap out of an old suede belt and attached it with an o-ring to the sides of the bag. Round decorations and the fringe around the bag are made out of leather. Lining is an old tablecloth with traditional pattern.
I made my clothes! Referring to the global Fashion Revolution that challenges people to be more aware where the clothes are coming from that we are buying and raising the knowledge how the clothes are made…and check her out.
Back to my recycled denim jacket. Three jeans, one skirt and one old Ikea bed linen…the materials of which the jacket is made from. All materials, including zippers and other small parts are recycled and adding all together total cost for the materials was about 20€. From a finnish fashion magazine dated 1991 I found a raglan sleeve jacket pattern that I used as a base.
From the old jeans I removed the back pockets and ripped open the hems on the bottom of the legs so I could reveal some lovely fades and washes. The whole idea was to use miss-matched pieces and let the outcome and the colors to feel relaxed and easy. I did not plan to line the jacket but it is more wearable and easier to maintain when it has a lining.
I am pleased of the whole outcome of this jacket and the best of all it is one of a kind! The photoshoot took place in Dusseldorf, in front of a cool graffiti wall. Peace!
I had a stash of small leather left over pieces in different colors and textures which one day started to grow into a canvas by joining the parts together and this “canvas” suddenly into a bag. Shoulder strap is an old belt fastened to the bag with reused jacket parts. Tassel is my own design, giving the bag unique finishing with a wooden animal as the “spirit” of the bag.
Bum bag, fanny pack, belt bag…here is my version. I wanted the surface to have striped effect and joined leather pieces with zig zag to achieve more handmade effect. Pattern is my own, I used an old belt bag as a base. Zipper is reused from an old jacket and the belt is old canvas belt which I decorated with matching flat decorative ribbon. Tassel is handmade from the same leather as the bag.
Bought Susan Briscoes book Japanese quilt blocks to mix & match from a craft fair in Finland few years ago and the amount of inspiration it`s given me! This denim bag started from the idea to have just one big quilt block instead of several small ones and the pattern is called Kurume kasuri goku masu- five squares.
Struggled a bit with the scale but finally got it right!
Super happy with the end result! All denim used are from old jeans, shoulder strap is old leather belt and the lining is made out of old skirt. So again 100% recycled!
Photoshoot for the bag took place in very mystical surroundings….
This project was started up by two pieces of fabric sofa samples that I found second hand…and one belt. Idea was to make a roomy bag, easy to sew and without any super fancy decorations.
But as the project went on I wanted to do something extra, to give that unique touch to this bag also rather than leaving it just black. I found from my cross stitch stock this “dragon”. It´s almost ten years ago I bought it and now was the right moment for it. By placing it in the middle of the bag it serves also as a pocket. Buttons are vintage too, red ones to boost up the red from the cross stitch.
Canvas belt found second hand had some nice studs on it and looks amazing as handles for the bag. By hand stitching some decor to one of the handles makes it look raw and crafty and the pattern just “created itself” while stitching.
Overall look of the bag is a little bit medieval- maybe thanks to the studs and the dragon. Location to shoot the bag was in this case easy to figure out- it is an old mill from 17th century in Röttle near Gränna Sweden. I think I felt some vibes from times passed by while taking pics there…
Idea of this leather bag began when I found a pair of leather trousers second hand. I often buy worn and outdated but good quality leather clothes second hand…of course if the price is ok, under 10€ is still a bargain of a good leather.
In this case I cut out the front and the back pieces for the bag from the leg part of the trousers because leather on the legs were in good condition and I did not have to do any extra seams. I tryed out different motifs on the bag but finally I ended up playing with the swiss cross and by adding black leather squares the pattern looked deeper. Studs are there to “rock” the bag but the style is still versatile to combine with different looks and outfits: preppy, rebel, chic etc.
Because I wanted the bag to have “one piece look” so adding in handles was out of the question. Instead I cut out holes to the top part, folded the seam allowances from the cut out to the back and glued them with a flexible glue. Lining is done out of leather and denim, I repeated the same cut out hole and then I just glued the front and the back together. So more glue than seams on this leather project. Glue I used was BISON transparent, it was really easy to work with and now after carrying various loads in my bag for a week around Paris I can say that the glue hold the leather together super good.
Photoshoot is done in Musée des Arts et Métiers and Centre Pompidou in Paris. Thank you Paris!
This black leather bag with modest shine is actually a gift so the size of the bag and as well the color combinations are carefully thought trough. Inside the bag needs to fit a smart phone, wallet and home/car keys and the person who is going to to get this likes shades of black and grey…and of course silver color. For easy carrying cross body the strap is longer and a flap with magnetic clasp safeguards carried important items inside the bag.
I took apart my latest second hand bargain, long black leather jacket and cut the parts for the bag from the back and the sleeves of the jacket. Adding silver colored leather stripe decorations (cut out with my Fiskars zig zag scissors) enhances the shape and personalizes the whole bag. I used the same zig zag pattern in strap fastenings and in the lining.
Zero waste clutch bag; made out of old suede trousers and a white leather vest into my all time favourite clean and graphic pattern stripes. Pattern that looks good with almost any outfit you choose. Triangle decorations on the sides add interest and more body to the clutch. By adding the option that I can wear this bag also on my shoulder makes it more versatile, although the solid purpose is clutch in which only the necessary items fits in, such as lipstick, keys and my phone.
Tämä laukku sai alkunsa inventoidessani nahkavarastojani. Löysin palan hiekanväristä nahkaa ja mustaa mokkaa joista leikkasin samanlevyisiä, suorakaiteen muotoisia paloja. Ompelin palat yhteen värejä vuorotellen ja aikani valmista nahkapintaa katsellessani päätin tehdä siitä kädessä kannettavan laukun, clutchin. Laukun sivuihin ompelin tehokeinoksi “kolmio”nahkasomisteen, näin laukku sai myös yksilöllisen ilmeen. Lisäsin laukkuun olkahihnan joka näin muuntaa kädessä kannettavan myös olalla pidettäväksi. Olkahihnaa vaihtamalla laukun saa myös nopeasti päivitettyä asukokonaisuuteen sopivaksi. Irrotettava metallinen olkahihna löytyi kirpparilta mutta hihnaksi käy myös vaikka ohut vyö. Clutch ei ole tilaihme mutta mukaan mahtuu kätevästi kuitenkin kaikki tarpeellinen.
Green stands for balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. It’s the symbol of prosperity, freshness, and progress. In Japanese culture, green is associated with eternal life and in the highlands of Scotland, people used to wear green as a mark of honor. Green is the color of love associated with both Venus, the Roman goddess and Aphrodite, the Greek goddess.
And green hues are also the base in my artsy small bag, together with black patterned leather and gold colored metallic parts. My wardrobe were one green bag short, that I could notice when I was choosing my outfit one day and the last detail was missing: the green bag. In this design I joined triangle shapes out of different structured leather and fabrics together with zig zag seam. As usual I started up not really knowing how to fix the handles but in the end it all came together part by part. It is totally 100% recycled materials, made out of thrifted bags and belts.
I am experimenting different ways to do leather decorations.
I love to take photographs of my designs, usually I take my back bag carrying my Canon and the design plus a variety of stuff you might need when taking photos outside (clamps, tape, silk paper etc.) This photoshoot took place one misty morning upon a hill here in Gränna. The weather was just perfect, mysterious shapes and blurred colors everywhere. Enjoy the pictures, I do for sure!
Little bit of staging does wonders.
Taking a moment of reflection.
I could not refuse the temptation to take a selfie.
Watching anime gave me the idea for this bag. I strongly relate to the phrase and I think that the emotions described as “mono no aware” are similar to the ones that are present when I seek for ideas. Beauty lies silent and hidden and it never reveals itself when one is looking for it, beauty happens.
Mono no aware on japanilainen sanonta, jonka yleensä käännetään tarkoittavan “herkkyyttä asioiden edessä.” Sillä viitataan kaihoisiin tunteisiin, jotka syntyvät kauniiden asioiden katoavaisuudesta ja hetkellisyydestä.
There is a number of ways you can repurpose a basic jersey tee—everything from braided accessories to full-blown woven rugs. It is all about making yarn out of your old, worn and torn T-shirts…and it is super easy just check out these instructions. For my bag I used three old T-shirts and the color stripes I crocheted horizontally…I did not decide the pattern or shape of the bag beforehand, I just went with the flow. When the bag was ready I came up with the idea to add long shoulder strap so that it would be easy also to carry the bag across my chest. Tassels I made out of black cotton yarn and by adding two different buttons I wanted to underline bags rugged hippie look…and buttons are of course vintage!
I am so into stripes at the moment. Black and white can not ever go wrong, timeless color combination and easy to mix and match with a variety of other colors and styles. Material for this bag is cut from second hand leather jacket and trousers…the white jacket is already several years old. Stripes are 3mm wide and I joined the pieces together by zig zag stitch.
Lining for the bag is denim that also supports bags structure. Shoulder strap is taken from another bag and the studs and other metal pieces are also recycled from old bags. Pattern and placement of the studs are irregular…it needs to feel like the deco just “rain” on the bag.
This beatiful fabric “Kaktus” is designed by Erja Hirvi for Marimekko. When I bought the fabric over five years ago I had it hung as curtains and now after a long search for a cool fabric for a long jacket I found it from my pile of old curtains that I had statched away.
To the shawl collar I left raw edges and also some of the seams in the jacket are inside out and left on purpose unfinished so that the fabric looks like it is worn and old. Frontpiece of the jacket is right way out but both sleeves and the back part is showing the garment inside out, which in this case makes an interesting look for the whole jacket. Lining is only put in for the front and back, to make the jacket heavier and more comfortable to wear.
I made a matching bag out of the leftover pieces; a bag to have on with the jacket. In the bag I left the name of the company and designer to be seen when I carry the bag, it makes the bag unique and shows in cool way the designers name.
This clutch is actually a placemat called SNOBBIG from IKEA. Structure was quite stiff so it was easy to handle. First I sewed the lining and decorative ruffles and the belt while the placemat was still flat then I joined the sides together. For the lining I used one old t-shirt from which the ruffles are also done. Studs are actually plastic ones and each of them hand sewn.The lock is an old belt.
Shirts are my older DIY designs, necklace a showpiece for a photoshoot. Ankle boots and hats all vintage and second hand findings.
Fall is my favorite season; it accompanies mind and spirit as well as body, from the crackle of leaves to the sweet smell of decay.
Fall is also the time of the year when you can daringly play with your outfits- layering different materials and shapes takes the whole autumn look into new dimensions. Why not layer a long cardigan with a short leather vest and experiment freely by mixing scarfs together with different sizes and colors.
My long cardigan is self-made from woolen blend jersey. It is a pattern from 1992 Burda which I altered by lenghtening it and also took away the collar. Rounded patch pockets has a lining inside them and pockets are big enough to create an eyecatching element in the front but also super comfy to keep your hands in. My back bag is made from old leather pants (seen in the blog earlier)…but the black scarf is a new player!
I bought 8 rolls of Ambiente black wool/alpaca yarn (not cheap) and crocheted the scarf with 15 sized hook (made from bamboo). Reason why I spent so much for the materials were that I wanted a black basic scarf with quality material; alpaca mixed with virgin wool makes the scarf super soft and quite light to wear. The extra that makes the scarf pop are the tassels I made from the same yarn. I just love autumn <3
Thrifted the skirt already while ago and did not really know what do with it. Animal print; black spots on turqoise, glittering base is not really my type of fabric but this crazy combo could work on some smaller surface. Inspiration for the shape I got from a round leather bag and I wanted to experiment the shape on this fabric. Adding some support inside to keep the form as round as possible was necessary and using foamy placemat cut into shape worked out perfectly. The shoulder strap and zipper are both thrifted, it is amazing how much accessories for sewing you can find second hand for only few euros…these things usually build up the price on a bag but in this case the total cost for the bag was 5€. Oh and the denim jacket is also second hand…just adding a lot of different fabric patches to make it fab!
I do find the Finnish Red Cross Kontti second hand department stores very exiting and worth a visit every time. They have a special deal for all the craft items they sell…it is priced by weight. So these fabric sofa samples (at least over 20 pieces in one bag) were all together 2€.
My first try out from the samples is this bag. I used five of the samples and the lining and handles are made out of old jeans.
I added the chain which is an old necklace and the decoration parts in the handles and on the both sides of the bag are actually from various old bags.
And a bag is not finished until the tassel is there! Inspiration picture for statement bag, click!
For carrying mobile phone cross-body. All pouches are made from recycled materials; denim, leather and all the metal parts are from thrifted bags or jewellery. Lining is made out of old scarves, as long as they have silky and smooth surface to easily slide in and take out the phone. I used various type of cords for the strap…from shoe laces to self made ones.
Some of the pouches I painted and stamped with lines and circles and the swiss cross symbol was just perfect for the more simplified and sharp look. Love to use also washing instructions from old garments as decoration.
Now I just need to find homes for these unique pouches…
Free hand painting on denim. Bought this denim fabric for 2€ from local thrift shop…it is a large piece of denim, almost three meters so this bag will be the first one of a bigger wave-family.
I lined the bag with the same denim fabric so the bag both looks and feels sturdy…easy to also carry heavy items and the bag keeps its shape even when half empty. Shoulder straps I padded to add extra comfort and fastened them to the bag with gold colored badges (which I found on a flee market in Ghent…30 pieces for 2€).
And the tassel…cause what would a bag be without a matching tassel? Painted some black leather with the same gold color and finalized the tassel with twisted metal wire (done from an old bracelet). Now waves and vibes for good times!
The leopard print fabric and the cute Hawaiian motif one were a gift from a friend. What to sew out of these fabrics? I am not a big fan of animal printed clothes…so I came up with the idea to join both fabrics in the same item – a backbag. The Hawaiian print fabric I used as a lining. Shoulder straps are from thrift shop; a belt with gold colored studs 3€ and the chains from an old necklace. It is more my style to wear animal print as accessory – as a contrast or matching part of my outfit.
Photoshoot took place at harbour; beatiful sunny day and glittering water. From nationalgeographic.com: “Leopards are strong swimmers and very much at home in the water, where they sometimes eat fish or crabs.” ;-)
This crochet fringe bag was born in wintertime in Finland Lappland. I found second hand a box filled with untouched black cotton blend yarn rolls. I knitted and crocheted many various things out of the yarn but this bag became my favourite. In my mind I was carrying it in snowy scenery because it looked kind of winterish and warm finished but when I unpacked it in summer I realized how perfectly it even fits summertime also!
It is crocheted with a big sized hook into a rectangle piece and then folded to the shape of a bag and hand stitched together from the sides. Fringes add the hippie look and I also placed some silver colored buttons on the flap to make the bag stand out.
Jersey fabric from the golden 90´s with some bold statements on. The words were so cool and graffitilike so I cut them out and sew them on denim. I have a pro camerabag for my Canon but it is quite big and boring and often I just want to carry with me only the camera when I go on a photoshoot- so why not carry it in a cool and funny bag! I padded the bag with foam to secure the camera from getting any hits. Shoulderstrap is long enough to carry the bag across shoulder to hip and it is made from an old canvasbelt. The denim tassel was originally created for another project but by adding a wooden pearl to it tassel was a perfect match with my new bag.
“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The lord of the Rings
This was just another of my denim clothes refashioning projects. Crafting with old denim clothes is thrifty and you will have a unique garment; here I sew together a pair of jeans and an old denim dress which was outdated in style and shape. The jeans are added to the dress horizontally from the waist and they make a nice fishtail shape to the front. Stars are added for that final, signature touch.
Out of the remaining denim pieces of the dress, I made a clutch with quilting technique, adding a metal handle and a lobster clasp for funky detail. I love to work with denim, you can simply take some of the scraps from your stash and get creative!
Camo bag decorated with black suede rings from a second hand belt. I made a little bit longer straps so it is easy to carry on the shoulder even when you have a bigger jacket.
Tämän camo- kassin koristelin mustilla pyöreillä mokkakangaspaloilla jotka olen purkanut vanhasta kirpparivyöstä. Olkahihnat mitoitin pituudeltaan niin että kassia on helppo kantaa olalla vaikka olisi päällä paksumpikin vaatekerros.
Narrow stripes cut free hand out of leather. The stripes I arranged first so that the colors flow evenly and the outcome is interesting. Then connected the pieces by sewing them together on top of each other. Bag closes with magnetic clasps and the shoulder strap is long enough to carry the bag cross body. The flap I decorated with shorter leather strips and left the edges raw.
Epäsymmetrisen raidallista nahkapintaa pitkiä paloja yhdistämällä. Leikkasin vapaalla kädellä mustaa, valkoista ja beigeä nahkaa pitkiksi suikaleiksi jotka yhdistin päälleompelulla toisiinsa. Sommittelin nahkapaloille järjestyksen ensin lattialla, sain siten tasaisen mutta vaihtelevan pinnan väreihin. Laukun läppään ompelin somisteeksi suikalepinnasta ylijääneen osan ja se kätkee alleen myös kiinnitysmekanismin, magneettinepparit. Kantohihnan mitoitin niin että laukkua on kätevä kantaa olan yli ristiin. Laukku on ehdottomasti katseenvangitsija jolloin vaatetuksen voi sävyttää laukun värimaailman mukaan.