Thursday, August 22, 2013

Peony Pink....Upcycled Wearable Art Bag

Highly embellished, large denim cross body bag. Raw edged and pieced with my favorite fabrics, jewels, and thread.

I used a pair of denim jeans I found at the Humane Society Thrift Store in Stuart, Florida. I kept all the pockets and it is a large bag.

 I lined the bag with a soft poly and added some pockets. The largest pocket fits an ipad and the smaller pockets are for all the rest of the stuff we carry around.

The strap is pieced and quilted, then sewn to a layer of denim for strength. The strap is very long at 47 inches to wear it across your body. The length is easily altered. You could also cut it in half and make two straps.
This is the bottom of the bag. The fabrics are pieced and quilted while allowing frayed edges. I added more color with random circles and flowers.
I added some of my favorite jewels and dangling beads. I really have evolved since my sewing sabbatical because I am enjoying hand sewing. It adds an organic, personal touch that adds contrast to the stitches from the sewing machine. BUT, the sewing machine is essential to get my ideas down fast.
Free motion stitching is my favorite mode of thread art. For me it equals the "pencil" tool in Illustrator....well, somewhat. At least it's fun. 

Here is a close up of the dimensional free motion stitching. That 30 weight rayon thread really does a good job. It fills in fast and has a luster that I love. When I'm doing this it really takes me to a calm, soothing place. What makes this all possible is the fact that I bought a new sewing machine that I LOVE. This machine just knows what I want to do. It allows me to sew at any speed with any thread.
Life is very good.


  1. I love what you've done with the recycled jeans! I'm working on a denim jacket, trying to add/embellish with fabric and thread. It's hard to maneuver under the machine, but I'm determined.

  2. You're right, that it is hard to get to where to want to go over the big lumps. I love the strength the sewing machine but had to give in and thread a big, fat needle with embroidery floss and do some hand sewing. It was difficult to attach the strap to the bag. I used really strong thread (nylon) to do a hidden stitch, then made an embroidery design with the floss that shows on the outside of the bag (which catches some of the strap). For jackets, I do as much of the design work on a layer of stabilizer and then attach it to the jacket. I've even dyed the stabilizer if I thought some of it might show between the embellishment. I hope to see it on your blog!