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Recycled Denim-and-Canvas Bag with Embroidery and Quilted Lining
If you love quilted bags but want to make one that stands out from the crowd, this tutorial is for you! In this tutorial, you will learn how to use upcycled canvas and denim from a pair of old jeans to create a gorgeous bag. The embroidery adds a touch of color and personality to your bag, making it truly one-of-a-kind. This project is easy and fun for beginners who want to explore the possibilities of quilting and embroidery. You will be proud of your handmade bag that showcases your creativity and style. Let's get started!

We used the designs from the Geometric Border Set. The lining panels are free-motion quilted.

The finished size of the bag is about 17"W x 12"H x 4"D.
Finished tote bag with embroidery on the front and back panels and quilted lining.


You will need :
  • embroidery threads, you can follow our color cards or choose colors of your own,
  • 1 pair of old jeans,
  • about 1/2 yard of light-colored canvas (light cream, pale yellow, off-white),
  • 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for the lining,
  • medium-weight cut-away embroidery stabilizer,
  • low-loft polyester batting,
You will also need:
  • quilter's ruler,
  • rotary cutter and/or scissors,
  • tailor's chalk pencil,
  • iron,
  • #12, 14 and 18 universal needles,
  • quilting thread,
  • extra strong thread for the bag,
  • sew-on snap closure 1/2" large.
Cutting:
Out of the old jeans, rip out one of the back pockets. Cut
  • 2 strips measuring 3" x 18 1/2" each,
  • 2 strips measuring 3" x 34" each (for the handles),
  • 1 strip 3" x 36".
Out of the fabric for the lining, cut
  • 2 pieces measuring 20" x 17"
  • 1-2 strip/s measuring 7" x 18" for the inner pocket/s.
Out of the canvas fabric, cut 2 pieces measure=ing 13" x 20" each.
Embroidery:
Upload the files from the Geometric Border Set into the embroidery machine, select threads.

Mark the position of the outer pocket and embroidery designs on the fabric. Please note that the piece is cut bigger than needed for easier hooping.

Stabilize the fabric with medium-weight cut-away stabilizer. Hoop the fabric tightly. Embroider the designs one by one.

Trim the piece to 11" high and 18 1/2" wide.
Canvas part of the front panel with embroidery and a pocket from old jeans.

Embroider and trim to 11" x 18 1/2" another canvas piece for the back panel.
Sewing the Outer Bag:
Note: seam allowance is 1/2".
Topstitch the pocket in place.
Sew the 3 1/2" x 18 1/2" denim strips to the upper and lower edges of the canvas. Press the seams open and topstitch on both sides of the seams.
The finished front panel of the bag.

Repeat for the back panel.
The finished back panel of the bag.
Position the panels face to face, align all edges. Pin the bottom. Stitch together.
Press the seam allowance open. Topstitch 1/4" on both sides of the seam.
Stitch the bottom. Press the seam open and topstitch it.
Fold the bag with right sides together, align all edges. Stitch one of the sides, seam allowance 1/2". Press the seam allowance open. Top-stitch 1/4" on both sides of the seam.

Repeat for the other side.
To make box corners, separate the front and back sides at the corners. Fold the bottom of the bag so that the bottom and the side seams align. Pin.

Measure 2" along the seam from the corner.

Draw a line perpendicular to the seam across the corner.

Stitch along the line.
Measure 2" along the seam from the corner.

Stitch along the line twice.

Fold the corners to the bottom and with a few hand stitches sew the ends of the corners to the bottom seam.
Stitch along the drawn line twice.

The Lining:
Place the lining panels on the backing. Pin them together. Quilt in a free-motion style, we used a meandering pattern.
A piece of lining fabric and the batting quilted together.
Press with heavy steam. Square and trim both panels to 15 1/2" high x 18 1/2" wide.

On the lower edge of both panels, cut out 2" x 2" squares at the corners.
On the lower edge of both panels, cut out 2" x 2" squares at the corners.
The Inner Pocket/s
Fold the 9" x 15" piece widthwise in half, face inwards. Stitch along 2 sides, seam allowance 1/4". Trim the corners and turn right side out. Press.
The inner pocket. Stitch 2 seams and trim the corners.
Tuck the unfinished raw edge 1/2" inside. Press. Topstitch it closed.

If you are making 2 inner pockets, repeat for the remaining piece.
Sew the pockets to the lining panels about 3" from the upper edge and equal distance from the sides.
Pin the inner pocket to the lining.
Position the panels face to face, align all edges. Pin the bottom. Stitch together with seam allowance 1/2".
Press the seam allowance open. Topstitch 1/4" on both sides of the seam.
Stitch the bottom. Press the seam open and topstitch it.
Fold the bag with right sides together, unfold the upper edges and align all edges. Stitch one of the sides, seam allowance 1/2".
Press the seam allowance open. Top-stitch 1/4" on both sides of the seam.

Repeat for the other side.
Stitch the sides. Press the seams open. Topstitch on both sides of the seam.
Fold the bottom of the bag so that the bottom and the side seams align. Pin.
Stitch. Seam allowance 1/2". Stitch several parallel lines.
Fold the bottom of the bag so that the bottom and the side seams align. Pin.
The finished lining.
The finished lining.
With back sides together, insert the lining into the outer bag. Line up the side seams and the upper edges. Pin together. Stitch together, seam allowance 1/4".
With wrong sides together, insert the lining into the outer bag.
Measure the circumference of the upper edge of the bag. The circumference of our bag is 35", we are using a 3" x 36" strip to finish the upper edge of the bag. If the circumference of your bag is larger or smaller, adjust it accordingly: it should be 1 to 1 1/2" longer than the circumference.
Fold one of the long edges 1/2" to the wrong side and press heavily. Fold one of the short edges 1/2" back and press heavily.
Starting with the folded short edge of the strip, face to face with the bag, pin the strip along the upper edge of the bag.
Stitch in place, seam allowance slightly more than 1/4".
Stitch the strip in place, seam allowance slightly more than 1/4".
Fold the upper strip back, towards the lining. Press the seam. Topstitch with seam allowance 1/4".
Sew the folded edge of the strip to the lining by hand.
Sew the folded edges of the strip to the lining by hand.
Handles
Prepare the 3" x 34" strips. Fold them lengthwise in half and press. Open.

Fold the unfinished long edges 1/2" inside to the creased line and press.
Press the long raw edges 1/2" to the creased line.

With face sides inside, fold the short ends of the strips to the central creased line and pin.
With right sides inside, fold the short ends of the strips by the central creased line and pin.
Stitch with seam allowance 1/4" along the short edges. Trim the corners.
Stitch with seam allowance 1/4" along the short edges. Trim the corners.
Turn right side out. Pin together along the long edges.
Turn the right side out. Pin together along the long edges.
Topstitch 1/8" and 1/4" along the long edges.
Topstitch 1/8" and 1/4" along the long edges.

Pin the handles to the front and back panels, equal distance from the side seams. Topstitch in place.
Pin the handles to the front and back panels. Topstitch in place.

Attach a sew-on snap between the handles.
Attach a sew-on snap between the handles.
Sew-on snap attached to the bag.

Have fun!
The back of the finished bag.
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