Transformation: Pants to bags

Once upon a time, (well, it was just before the year 2000 began at a folk festival, actually), I bought this pair of Thai fishing pants.  I had never seen a garment like them before, and I had never owned anything hand woven before I made the big decision to buy them.  They have had some mending and a lot of wear, and finally, it has come to this.

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They once had a green pattern, but it has long since washed and worn away. They have been in the cupboard where garments for re-use go awaiting a good idea for a few months. This week I decided that this fabric was too worn to be the outer of a bag, but it would probably make a suitable inner lining. I cut them apart, ripping the beautifully finished seams away from the main fabric and cutting off the hems and tie. The bigger pieces readily made a lining for this bag, cut from fabric left over when I made a dear friend a cabbage print shirt.

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In the end, I sewed together the leftovers and ended up with enough to line two more bags.

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I can’t remember where I got this lovely batik fabric, but I think it was a garage sale. It was square, with a border around the edge. Perhaps a small table cloth?  Perhaps a wrap?

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Now it is three bags!

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As I looked at all that now remains of those much loved pants, I had a thought.  The seams and hems and tie would do a perfectly good job of tying up a dye bundle. And needless to say, I couldn’t stop at four bags!

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Filed under Sewing

10 responses to “Transformation: Pants to bags

  1. Pia

    I wonder if the Thai pants I was given last year are fishing pants. I have found a way to tie them on, but am actually unsure if it’s the “correct” or smartest way. They are so excellent for a hot day!


    • Pia

      Looked it up and yes they are. I’d missed the folding part of the procedure! Just might reverse engineer this pattern…


      • They are so comfortable–I use them as pyjamas too! Sounds like you have found a way that works for you. I slip them on, and pull the waist out in the front centre of one leg, then fold that part across the body and tie. I am not sure it’s done that way in Thailand though!


      • Pia

        I’ve just generally bunched it up, but I think folding will work better. I’ve only worn them a few times in summer, but they’re definitely ready for next season! And I’m already thinking of card woven bands for eventual new pairs….


      • Ah, future pleasures!


  2. Susan

    Wow, what an ingenious pair of pants…to say nothing of ??? how many bags has this morphed into 🙂


  3. I’m wondering if you’ve come across Japanese Boro-Sashiko? It’s a craft that started as a way of patching clothes to keep them in service for as long as possible, but it developed into a decorative craft as well over time. In another post (about making shirts out of tablecloths) you also commented about how your stash of interfacing was nearly used up and you were wondering about other alternatives- sashiko can also fit the bill there, because the way the fabrics are layered and stitched together makes it a bit stiffer and sturdier. It’s generally a hand sewn method, so fairly time consuming, but some people do use machine sewing to do it.


    • Hi Sandra, and thanks for dropping by! And oof rthe link. Some lovely images there. I do know of boro and sashiko. I couldn’t claim to be part of these exquisite and thrifty traditions exactly, but there is no doubt it is the same basic process I used to patch these pants back into use several times (by machine). But probably the closest thing I have done to boro is the major mending on this shirt. Sure enough, people think it is embroidery with no purpose other than loveliness… and I find it lovely too.


  4. Pingback: So many hand made bags! | Local & Bespoke

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