Upcycled Jacket Bag


We're going on a treasure hunt...
That's what I tell my kids whenever we go to the Thrift Store. Of course they call it the "Friff Store" but however you pronounce it, we're all agreed that when you go you're looking for treasures. For them, it usually means a previously loved, albeit grungy toy that I will pay a quarter for, take home, and scrub to within an inch of its paint job. For me, it ususally means a trove of notions, purse handles, zippers, that I can't believe someone would not want and I am happy to snatch up. Occasionally I find a roll of fabulous fabric that I need to have and then, there are days like these: where something jumps out of the tired rounders and slaps you in the face. (Actually, I think it slapped my friend, Holly, in the face first, but I digress)
What we found and how long it sat in my closet...
Here it is! A fab emerald green velour-esque jacket with the coolest button details. I took one look and knew it had to be a bag. So I took it home, introduced it to all of its other fabric brothers and sisters in my stash and let it sit and marinate for a few months, while i figured out what to do with it.
If you're gonna rip off the band-aid, best to do it fast...
I knew I wanted to use this for one of my first fall bags. So, I dragged it out and sat it on my cutting table, where it mocked me in my indecision for at least a few more weeks. And then yesterday, for no good reason at all, I took the plunge and cut off its head.

Look at that! It looks like a bag already! It was just a simple matter of sewing down the placket and across the bottom. Yes, but what to do with the rest of it. Ah, well....that part wasn't as easy.
Here's what I had left. The arms (yes, those would be straps, certainly) and see those top-stitched pieces going down the chest? Those wound up being loops to hold some big wooden hoops where I attached the strap. It's all coming together.
Oh, and here is what I would use for the inside, also from The Thrift. It's one of those pre-quilted dealies. Awesome fall colors, and the leaf just happens to match the jacket color perfectly.
Here's the inside pocket, made out of that fabric.
Then I got ahead of my picture taking, sorry. I traced the outside shape onto the quilted fabric to make the inside part. Attached the pocket, and sewed the whole thing up. Slipped the brown inside into the outside and made a little strip to sew around the top. I decided to poke those little top-stitched pieces under the lip of the strip, making loops for my hoops...hahaha. Here's a pic of loops and hoops and the inside.
And a close-up of the finished front. There was no way to stick a magnetic snap closure in there with all the bulk around the top, so I opted for a button closure. I simply made a flap from the last possible piece of the jacket (it still even has the original tag on it) and made a pocket shaped flap. I threw a button-hole in there and so it just buttons into one of the existing buttons on the front of the bag. So fun!
Where do I go from here....
I've always liked the idea of making things out of something I can repurpose. It's challenging because of the limited materials, the predetermined shapes and all the deconstruction. It's also a more responsible way to go about things. (Gosh, this living in Colorado is rubbing off on me!) But mostly, I just like treasure hunting. I like finding something that a bunch of other people have passed up and making something out of it that people stop and stare at. This bag is one of the fastest selling ones I've ever made! I couldn't even get its story out there before it was on its way to a new home. So where do I go from here? Back to The Thrift of course. For the next treasure!

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