It has a front pocket that can hold a water bottle, inside pockets to organize your stuff, and a key leash so they are easy to find at the bottom.
Denim Backpack TutorialSupply list
©2014 Carol Steely
©2014 Carol Steely
2 pairs of jeans – one light, one dark
(2) 15” x 20” fabric panels for lining
(2) 7 1/2” x 11” fabrics for inside pocket
11” gross grain ribbon for key leash
(1) Clip hook for key leash
4 yards of 6mm braided cord for drawstring(1) Large button
(1) Large elastic hair tie
Step 1 – Ready Jeans
Seam rip and remove the back pocket.
Seam rip and remove two belt loops.
Cut the pant leg in to a large rectangle removing the side seams. You will have one rectangle from the front of the leg and one from the back.
Step 2 – Decorate the Pocket
Decorate the pocket any way you like. I used a machine embroidery design from Embroidery Library. They have thousands of designs and they always stitch out really nice.
Step 3 - Create the Denim Panels
Sew the denim strips together using a 1/2” seam.
Press seams open.
Cut in to two 15” x 20” panels.
Step 4 – Make the Front Pocket
Center and stitch the elastic hair tie to the back of the pocket top edge. I like to stitch over the stitching that’s already on the pocket so it doesn’t show on the front.
Center the pocket 3” up from the bottom edge on one denim panel.
Stitch in place. Remember to stabilize the corners by sewing a little triangle.
Mark the button placement and sew it in place.
Step 5 – Create Drawstring Loops
Baste the belt loops on the sides of the denim panel 5/8” up from the bottom edge. Make sure the “pretty” side of the loop is facing the “pretty” side of the panel.
Step 6 – Sew the Outer Bag
On the back of the denim panel make a mark 1” down from the top edge on both side seams. Place a second mark 1” below these two marks. This will be the opening for the drawstring.
Pin the denim panels with “pretty” sides together. Sew the sides and bottom using a 1/2” seam. Do not sew between the marks your made.
Press the side seams open.
Stitch a “key hole” around the drawstring openings. This will reinforce that area and keep the seam allowance from pulling out.
Turn the bag pretty side out and set aside.
Step 7 – Make Inside Pocket
Pin the 7 1/2” x 11” fabrics with “pretty” sides together. Sew the two short and one long edge using a 1/4” seam.
Clip the corners.
Turn out and press neatly.
Topstitch 1/2” from the top edge to reinforce it. The bottom edge of the pocket will be open.
Step 8 – Attach Inside Pocket and Key Leash
UPDATE NOTE: I made another bag and placed the pocket 3" up from the bottom edge. It seems to work better when the bag is full.
Center and pin the inside pocket to the bottom edge of one of the lining fabrics.
Sew around the pocket to attach. Remember to stabilize the corners by sewing a little triangle.
You can divide and shorten the pocket sections any way you like. You can find a full pocket tutorial here.
Thread the ribbon through the clip and stitch next to the pocket to create a key leash. Adjust it so your keys will sit on the bottom of the bag.
Step 9 – Make the Lining
Turn the lining fabric over. Mark a 4” opening centered on the bottom edge. This is where you will turn the bag later.
Pin the lining panels with “pretty” sides together. Sew the sides and bottom using a 1/2” seam. Do not sew between the marks your made.
Press the side seams open. You can stitch the seam allowance in place for 2” just like you did for the drawstring opening. This will reinforce that area and keep the seam allowance from pulling out.
Step 10 – Attach the Lining
Place the denim bag inside the lining bag with “pretty” sides together. Make the top edge even and pin.
Sew around the top edge using a 1/2” seam.
Turn bag out through the opening you left at the bottom of the lining fabric.
Sew this opening shut and stuff the lining down inside the denim bag.
Step 11 - Make Drawstring Casing
Press the top edge neatly.
Stitch around the top edge of the bag approx. 3/8” from the top. You can use the top of the drawstring “key hole” as your guide if you like.
Stitch again approx. 1” below the first stitching. You can use the bottom of the drawstring “key hole” as your guide if you like.
Step 12 – Add Drawstring
Use a safety pin on the end of the drawstring to help guide it through the casing. It will enter and exit the same opening on the bag.
Bring the drawstring down through the belt loop at the bottom of the bag and knot the ends together. This will make a full circle with the cord.
Repeat for the other side of the bag.
Enjoy the Bag!