Updated: Feb 27, 2020
I'm a handbag designer by trade, so naturally I have more than my fair share of handbags. BUT, I didn't own a duffel denim bag and I really wanted one. No particular brand, just something of a particular size that felt unique. Simultaneously, I was reviewing the contents of my closet and getting rid of things I haven't worn in a while. A pair of baggy jeans with way-too-big holes at the knees from H&M were on the OUT list. And then I had a light bulb moment: make my denim duffel from these jeans! Upcycling is already my thing for the leather accessories I design but I must admit that upcycling my old jeans into a bag for myself simply didn't dawn on me until now.
Funny though that when I look at past Jypsea Leathergoods collections, I have done a little denim upcycling for bags. Below is a yoga mat carrier and a drawstring bag, both trimmed in leather that I designed a few years ago.
This new duffle project kinda just flowed. I didn't design a pattern beforehand. I just cut and sewed, making decisions as I went along so unfortunately, I don't have instructions because it was done on the fly. Pinterest has a bunch of upcycled denim bags with tutorials. I'll link a few of my faves below. But first, here are the photos of my new bag and the pair of jeans it started as. Taaaa dahhhh!
I filled in the knee hole with a patch of black leather and used a leather strap I had laying around.
Want instructions for other upcycled jean projects? Check these sites out: https://www.onthecuttingfloor.com/refashion-15-creative-denim-diy-projects/