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From Pants to a Bag

Updated: Mar 10

Whenever my cargo pants, those that have many pockets, can't be worn as pants anymore and need to move on to their next life they become bags.


The fabric is sturdy and what I like the best is that there are many pockets. This time I decided that my much loved tie dyed pants had to move on, so what better way than to create a multi pocketed tote bag.


The tie dyed pants have been with me for a number of years and have been worn in an out. A number of years back I added zippered pockets to the sides.


In my pile of tie dyed treasures that I came back with from the USA on one of my trips. Carol Kinney had added a pair of tie dyed pants. Beautiful, in all my colors.


When I teach I carry my office around with me so I need lots of pockets on my pants.


I decided to add 2 side welt pockets with zippered openings. I had some remnants left over from a purple cotton sheet which were perfect for this.


Find a detailed tutorial of how to create pockets on my site here



progression of making pockets in pants



next progression of pockets in pants





sewing the zipper in place and attaching the pockets into the pants


Most of the pocket is not visilbe barring for when the zippers are opened and then one sees a glimpse of the pocket so the colors still have to match the pants.


I doubled the fabric layers and stitched twice around the pockets and added a third stitching line at the bottom. From experience, the weight of keys, purse and pelephone on one side and notebook and pencils on the other side cause wear and tear.


Purple pockets

I found 2 deep navy blue zippers in my upcycled stash which were perfect for the pockets.


Navy blue zippers
Navy blue zippers

Stitched all around the zippered opening in a complementary thread color and the pockets are done.


Side welt pockets with zippered closure
Side welt pockets with zippered closure

The waistband was too low for my liking. So I found a polycotton stretch fabric in my stash, again in a complementary color.


Too low waistband
Too low waistband

Created a new high waistband and added 2 buttons and button holes.


New high waistband
New high waistband

Perfect. I have many solid colored t shirt tops in shades matching the pants. Turquoise, burgundy, fuschia and purple. I am going to get a lot of wear out of them.


I have worn these pants many times and they are ready for a new life. So I reconstructed them into a multi pocketed tote bag.I also wrote a tutorial for it.


Tote bag from a pair of pants



A selection of bag tutorials can be found here on Etsy

and here on the site





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