Saturday, September 18, 2010

Upcycled Messenger Bag

Oh, blog land, how I miss you.  September is proving to be a rather trying month.  Grad school is a lot of work, a very dear friend of mine is getting married (on short notice) two weeks from today, and my sweet son has also decided to evade naps.  More specifically, I have a 5 page paper due Tuesday, a 10 page paper due Thursday, over a 100 pages of reading total, I've been commissioned to make that bride a guest log for her wedding and her headpiece as well (and I don't think I've gotten permission yet to show off the wedding stuff here which I think will be pretty cool), I have been trying desperately to get some stash busting projects done, and today is the first time my son has taken a nap in four days. 

I'm a bit over-whelmed.  In fact, I need to thank my husband for this post because he was watching me just sit there doing nothing while trying hard to find out where to start.  He said, "it doesn't matter what you pick, just do something right now."  Thanks, babe.

But I did finally finish a stash buster.  I turned this old, well-worn, much-loved pair of cargo pants:


into a messenger bag for school...



I swear the pants looked better on me than they look in this shot of the back.


I'd been using my bird seed bag, but my larger and very rectangular folders didn't fit well inside of it since it was a bucket shape, plus I needed something with a divider so I can separate the books from stuff like lunch and keys and wallet.

Not only did I try to keep intact all of the original pockets of the pants, but I added a divider inside as well as a double pocket.  I like to keep all of my junk sort of organized.


And I didn't have to buy a thing to make it.  Obviously the pants were upcycled, the lining and pocket fabrics were from my stash, as well as the burlap and the magnetic clasp.  I used some template plastic to shape the base of the bag and lined the whole thing with batting, both also from my stash.

I had big plans for Stashbusting September, but I'm not sure how many I can complete before the end of the month, which is dangerously close already.  I have already separated a bunch of old t-shirts and baby clothes to make my son an upcycled quilt, but I know for sure there is no chance it'll be done this month.  I have started a sweater for him, though, from my stash of yarns.


You can't tell in the pic, but there is some ribbing at the bottom.  As usual, I am ad-libbing the pattern and this is my first attempt at fair-isle knitting.  I kind of like it.  Either way it's a great project to take along on my commute in and out of the city for class.  I've found that I can read or study on the way in, but am usually too exhausted to on the way home.  This will be a better use of time.

38 comments:

rome said...

ooooooo... I need me one of those. :) I'll be sending some old pants your way soon. haha

Your hubby is pretty smart. It's true, when you feel super overwhelmed with everything you have to do, the best thing is not to think about everything - instead just pick one thing and focus on getting that done, then move on to the next, etc. You'll be able to do it and you won't have all that anxiety.

liz taylor said...

Oh my gosh, that bag is so cute! I love the burlap stripe!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Envy My Cooking said...

How crafty are you. Really like that! Hey if you ever need new recipes come on over

Missy said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog! Your project turned out pretty nice!

Kristi said...

Oh, my gosh! I love that bag! I"m a sewer, but only a very um... geeze, I can't think of the word. Let's just say that I can only do the basiscs. NOw, knitting, I'm awesome at that. ha ha. Anyway, I have a friend who loves to wear cargo pants and she loves carrying cargo-ish bags. She'd love something like this. I might have to try and figure this one out.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my owl hoop! I"m a new follower!

~ The Speckled Dog

PinkPowerRangerMom said...

I LOVE the fabric you used to line your bag. What a great idea!!!!

PinkPowerRangerMom said...

I LOVE the fabric you used to line your bag. What a great idea!!!!

PinkPowerRangerMom said...

I LOVE the fabric you used to line your bag. What a great idea!!!!

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Man, you REALLY must not want to do your grad school paper or make that bride's headpiece if you are taking the clothes right off your back and making items out of them. LOL! :)
gv

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

P.S. You KNOW I'm kidding. You are very creative in making this bag. Lucky I could put pants ON, nevermind making something out of them...

Delia said...

Very cool. You did a nice job, especially considering all the crazy things happening in your life. When kids drop naps it is life changing. :)

Amanda @paintitsewthrifty.blogspot.com said...

Cute blog! I saw you were a new follower and I had to check yours out! I'm converted! Love it!!! Thanks for stopping by!

Diane said...

That is an awesome bag!! I love it! I think you did a fantastic job. :) I may have to try one now too. I have plenty of old pants that I can't get rid of because I know I can use them for something! ;)

Good luck with everything! You are busy! Good luck with school and all your projects! I hope this month doesn't get too stressful! :)

Following along! :)

Jill said...

I haven't read Limits to Growth (the 30-year Update) by Meadows...but it's on the list now!! :)

Love the bag too! :)

Shelia said...

You're so clever! The bag is so cute and I love the pretty lining fabric! Everyone who sees it will want one.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Dewi Citra said...

I love it, I love it and I really love it
It is so lovely. How did you make that bag
I'm gonna feature this on my blog and my facebook page, really, I'm serious :D

Ginger said...

Cute bag! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

Mare said...

hi cecily,
this is great idea:))....
greeting from croatia:))....
M.......

Hollie said...

Great idea! I love it!

Hollie said...

Great idea! I love it!

Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating said...

Cool bag! I never would have thought to reuse old pants this way. I hope your busy schedule slows down soon!

MessyMissy said...

Whoa, that bag turned out great!! I love the usefulness and style of messenger bags.

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

Great and funky bag. I think the amount of stuff that bloggers and crafters save from landfills is amazing. From dressers and furniture to repurposed clothing, there are so many very creative people, and you are one of them.

Kim said...

This is another great job, Cecily. I've been meaning to get over here (to your blog) to see what you've been up to. Good luck on all of your school work. Try not to stress out. *hugs*

Quiltstory said...

Thanks for the super cute link up!

Hattie said...

I love that idea! It looks great and all your pockets are such a good way to keep things neat :-)

Chantal said...

What a cool bag! Love that you get to use the pockets still - what a brilliant idea!

Lori@Paisley Passions said...

What a great idea!!! Love how it turned out. Thanks for sharing it on Thrilling Thursday!

~Lori S.
Thrilling Thursdays @Paisley Passions

Tasha said...

Wow, that is quite the load. I don't know how you have time to do anything. But, I do understand how you make time for some :) Love love this bag. What a fun idea. It turned out so fabulous. I love this. Thank you for linking it up!

Beth said...

Great job on the Fair Isle! I've yet to try that, either. It looks great...wonderful colors....and I see the ribbing.

Love the bag, too!

Thanks for linking to Fibers on Friday!

Татьяна said...

Отличная идея, спасибо!!! Сумка прекрасная!

Cecily said...

I translated this last comment online. She said:

Excellent idea, thanks!!! A fine bag!

Meg said...

This is AWESOME! I love it! The lining is gorgeous, but I loved how you used all the pockets of the pants on your bag. The more storage, the better! Wonderful idea!

★All Thingz Related★ said...

Very clever! Looks great!! Thanks so much for stopping by and joining us at Anything Related!
{Rebekah}

Katie's Nesting Spot said...

Wow now that is a cool upscycle! I totally love the fabric you lined it with! Thanks for sharing at A Crafty Soiree! I hope you'll come back next week, we missed you last week - at least I don't remember coming by through that. But since I am going through a bit of a crafting dry spell I can totally relate!

Holly said...

This is too cute! Just style...love it!

malia said...

this is amazing!!! step by step? pretty please! xoxo malia

Erin said...

I am green w/ jealousy---first that you are so talented, and secondly that you managed to find the time to make this w/ everything else going on in your world! When I was in grad school and working part-time, that was about all I could handle! Anyway, I LOVE this bag you made, and the inside is gorgeous, too. I came over from Holly's place (504 Main) and I'm your newest (and very green---so I love that you upcycled!) follower! Happy Friday and take some deep breaths. You will get through it all!

erin @ the mother load
@erinlynn76