Happy July 4th, everyone!
I finally finished the denim gym bag I set out to make my husband for Christmas, so regardless of which holiday it actually is, I’m counting today as a personal win.
My inspiration for the project was the duffle Ivan made himself in seventh grade home ec class. It was quite good in its day, and even functioned as a travel bag on many trips. But now the zipper’s busted, the handles are shredding, and the 1980s acid wash has faded almost to white.
My idea with the new bag was to replace the old one, using the same pattern or as close as I could guesstimate.
Never mind that there are tutorials for upcycling jeans into bags all over the internet–no, I wanted to be sure the new bag was just like the old one. So while I did browse some pattern sites and Pinterest, ultimately I focused my observational powers on Gym Bag 1.0. I looked at it from every angle, turned it over and inside out, took copious notes.
I wanted to deconstruct it so I could get the measurements, but I also wanted the new bag to be a surprise. If Ivan were to head out to the gym in the next
few weeks eight months and discover his trusty bag in the scrap heap, the jig would be up.
At precisely the point of no return–that is, having measured twice and cut wrong anyway, and sewn many more seams than I cared to rip out–something dawned on me: he’s grown a lot since seventh grade.
See, I created the pattern essentially from eyeballing the original bag and deducing how it was put together. I figured out which parts of the jeans to cut and in what order to assemble them. But I didn’t bother with measuring the original fabric panels to see how much of the jeans to use.
So now, in addition to gym shoes and a covered-dish casserole, the nifty new bag can also fit a skateboard, tennis raquet, and probably some body padding for hockey or football. He’s set!