Embroidered denim bag made from reused jeans

I made one of these recently for Averia for the Good Little Things swap. I used the legs of one of my husbands cast off jeans and the back pockets to make a sturdy work bag, with riveted leather handles.

I embroidered the outer pockets with a gears theme, using metallic DMC cotton floss - FYI - embroidering denim by hand kind of sucks :slight_smile:

But the jeans make for a nice sturdy work bag, and I would rather reuse the fabric rather than throw them out - other bits have been used for making things like denim dog toys and at some point I would like to make a scrappy denim crazy quilt.

Anyways - more about this specific bag on a recent blog post, and if anyone wants to know how I made these bags, I put instructions here, because I made them for jemimah in an earlier swap at that place.


Wow, it’s gorgeous! I can only imagine how terrible it is to embroider on thick denim fabric, but you pulled it off and it looks great!


This is fabulous! Your embroidery is great, too! I thought maybe you had used a machine somehow

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Thanks guys - I WISH I had a machine that could embroider! For all that I spend on supplies and tools, I have yet to make that leap!

Ooh, good idea - I have a bunch of old jeans that are wasting away in a closet. hmmmmm…

Fabulous!! Your embroidery looks wonderful!!

I love the denim project bags you made for me, they are so sturdy and functional (pockets), and look great too :heart:

Nice! It’s great to see good, strong fabric getting a new life. :smiley:

Agreed, jeans make a great bag, but I would so avoid embroidering on them as well XD Great embroidery btw, really well done even if it’s hard

Lovely upcycled bag :slight_smile:
Your embroidery is so neat!

I can’t believe you embroidered denim and it looks so very neat!! Amazing.

Gorgeous! I love it!

I was thinking how messy it looks compared to a nice thin, smooth cotton! Also, you should see my finger - thank goodness it’s the one I cut and had stitched a couple of years ago - never damage = less pain!

I can not believe you hand embroidered all that on denim. It was worth it but what a job! Hope your finger’s ok.

Oooh oooh my bag! The embroidery on this is lovely - and the pocket is fully functional. This bag is so very useful as well as pretty. Thank you @Onyxnox!

So glad you do like it @Averia. I was going to do embroidered tea towels, but was walking by the pile of clothes I told Jim to keep by for me to craft with, after stalking you for a bit, and I thought a work bag would be a good idea, especially as I wanted to try embroidering on denim.

@Magpie - the finger is OK - what I am realizing is that I use it a lot, and now that I have less feeling in it, I actually have to look to make sure I am not puncturing it too much :slight_smile: Oh well - maybe I actually need to start using a thimble - though I kind of hate the feel of them.

I’m impressed that you not only embroidered such a stitch heavy image on denim, but that you did it on a pocket. I’m guessing that you couldn’t use a hoop, which would have made it even more challenging!

Thanks! Actually, I did use a hoop! What I did was I removed the denim pocket from the jeans, and pinned it to a piece of cotton, which was mounted on a hoop. I embroidered the piece onto the denim, through the cotton, then when it was done, I trimmed the cotton as close to the stitches as possible, and sewed the pocket onto the jean leg, before making the bag.

Another way to try is to embroider the cotton, trim back then applique the cotton on to the denim.

Clever! I never would have thought to take the pocket off first!