Some years ago, when I was new to this whole sewing lark, I was browsing the Internet for ideas. I needed easy sewing projects that wouldn’t break the bank. One of the most inspiring I found was this clutch bag made from the sleeve of an old suit jacket. I loved the look of it and I knew my dad had an old sports jacket that I could cannibalise. Eventually I didn’t make the clutch but I made this bag instead.
This was the first bag I ever made and I pretty much just cobbled it together with no knowledge of bag making but it turned out really nicely and it’s still one of my favourite ever makes. Unfortunately I gave it away as a Christmas present because I really did love it!
My sister was also quite enamoured with this bag so when she had an old suit that she loved but it no longer fit she came to me to see if I could work some baggy magic. She sourced some awesome fabric with camera film for the lining (from Plush Addict if you’re interested but long out of stock!) and I got to work. I wish I had thought to take a photo of the suit before I chopped it up but it was from Reiss and was something like this.
Unfortunately I was very pregnant when I said I’d make this bag and in the intervening year and a half I’ve been a bit busy and a bit distracted! However now I’m sewing again and with her birthday on the horizon I thought really I should get a move on and get her bag finished.
The bag was a pretty basic design. The shape was more or less the same as my Totally Reversible Tote, although I put a recessed zip in the top and a flush zip pocket in the lining.
I love the recessed zip. You can have the bag closed and secure but you can still see the awesome lining! I’m definitely going to incorporate this feature into my future makes. It was a little fiddly but worth it, I think!
The front of the bag is made from the front of the jacket. You can see some of the lovely tailoring that I have tried to keep as some nice detailing on the bag. The back was taken from the legs. There wasn’t really enough fabric in the back of the suit jacket for the back of the bag. Plus there were pleats, many panels and I manage to rip the wrong seams! There really isn’t enough fabric in a size 10 suit jacket!
I made an adjustable shoulder strap made from the legs of the suit. I’m regretting not interfacing the strap a bit but I suspect I might be the only person to notice! Thankfully everything came together quite nicely. I now have one WIP dealt with and all the associated guilt of not finishing a job for someone is gone! Plus my sister now has a pretty snazzy bag. Everyone’s a winner!
Now onto my next bag. I have some suit jackets just waiting to be sliced into but I have some bunny pouches to finish first!