Friday, September 30, 2011

Jean Purses~ Hogan Stevens

This is something my mother started doing a few years ago, and it really has become quite popular with everyone in my family. They’re cute, stylish, inexpensive…and the best part is that you can do it all yourself!

Start out by getting a pair of jeans. They don’t have to be a brand new pair; maybe you have some older ones that no longer fit, or you can even find nice jeans for a great price at thrift stores. One thing: Make sure the jeans you choose are a smaller sized pair, around size 9 or 8, because if you get them too big the purse will end up looking not as nice and compact.
Cut the legs of the jeans off just a little ways below the bottoms of the front pockets, and set the legs aside for later because you’ll need them again soon. Now, turning the rest of the jeans inside out, sew the bottom together with a sewing machine at the place you just finished taking off the legs.

When you are finished with that, you’ll need to go ahead and start on your shoulder strap for the purse. Taking one of the cut-off legs, snip off a strip however long you wish, though make sure to make the width twice as long as you want it to be, because you need to turn this strip over to the wrong side and sew both sides together. Once finished with the sewing, pull the strip out to its regular side, the one that matches the rest of the purse. Press it nice and flat.
Now, lay the shoulder strap aside for a moment and get back to the actual body of the purse. Choose some sort of fabric (perhaps a colorful old shirt or bandanna; it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.) and cut out a belt for your jeans. Go about this the same way you made the shoulder strap--make it twice the preferred width, sew it together on the reverse side, and then pull it through right-side. Make sure you press it flat. And, just like any belt, thread it through the belt loops when you’re finished making it. You can tie it off in the front in a square knot, as we’ve done here.
Of course, you don’t have to make a belt if you don’t want, though I really do like the look it gives the purse. We usually sew our fabric to the jeans so that there’s no way it can come loose and fall off, but if you wanted you could probably make a few different belts and switch them out according to your outfit. Do whatever you wish--it’s your own little project, a way to let loose your creativity.
Let’s get back to the body of the purse. Go ahead and turn it inside out once more, because now it’s time to attach the shoulder strap you made earlier. Attach it on the inside of the purse, making sure each end is centered over the side seams of the jeans. If you’re not careful and accidentally sew the strap on crooked, it will end up not sitting on your shoulder quite right.
If you want a clasp for your purse to keep it closed, cut out a slightly rectangular strip from one of the legs, with one end slightly wider than the other. Decorate it with anything you like. We simply sewed on some more fabric. Now, cut a hole into the wider end of the strip, and then sew around the hole; otherwise, it may fray or split apart. As you can see in the pictures, my mother used a zigzag stitch in most of her work, just to give off a bit of a flare.
Once you are satisfied with the way your clasp looks, sew it onto the back of the inside of the purse, again making sure that everything is straight and even. For the fastener to clasp each side of the purse together, you may simply use any time of button or hook, or even the ties of the hand-made belt.
We’re through with the hard stuff! Now comes the fun part--the decorating. Buttons, tassels, patches, fabrics…The choices are nearly endless! In this particular purse, we simply sewed on some hand-cut hearts, again using the zigzag stitch.
If you feel like it, you can also make a cute little phone holder from what you have left from the legs. Remember the method: inside out, sew, pull right-side.
Let your creative juices flow! This is a purse you can make any way, YOUR way, so experiment. And most of all, have fun! If you have any questions about any of the steps, I would be glad to help out. Also, if you do end up making one of these purses, let us at LAT know! We love hearing back from our readers.

Did you know that Hogan is extremely double jointed?!


  1. I'm not really a purse person, but these make me want to start carrying one around! They're cute :)

  2. So cute!!!!!!!! Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)