You know those favorite jeans that you just can’t bear to throw out? I recently had a pair of those, which I wore and washed countless times, until the seat was worn nearly through. While renovating this house, they finally gave up the fight after too many ascents to the top of a ladder. At that point, I sadly retired those jeans, but I didn’t throw them away.
I have several projects in mind for my jeans, and the first is a business card case. This could also be used as a coin purse if you choose a more secure fastener for the front.
For this project, I used one of the pockets. Now, before you start, keep in mind that nothing is really straight on an old pair of jeans. If you’re a perfectionist, like me, just let go of that right now. OK, using a seam ripper, remove one of the pockets. In most cases you’ll be removing two rows of topstitching, so this is the hardest part.
Trim off the top edge of the pocket. Fold out the turned-under edges of the rest of the pocket and trim them off. You should now have a neat, flat pocket.
Now, what used to be the top of the pocket (the straight edge), will now be the bottom edge. Decide how deep you want your card case to be. Double that measurement and add 1/2 inch for seam allowances. Measure the straight edge of your original denim pocket. Cut a piece of contrasting fabric using these two measurements. For example, I wanted my case to be 2-3/4 inches deep, and the denim was 4-1/2 inches across, so I cut my fabric 4-1/2 wide by 6 inches tall (2-3/4 x2 + 1/2). Fold that piece in half, with right sides out, and topstitch along the folded edge to give a clean finish to the top of your interior edge. This piece will later be placed on the denim as pictured below.
Next, use the denim pocket as a pattern to cut a lining from your contrasting fabric. Layer all your pieces as follows: denim pocket right side up, folded and topstitched interior pocket, and lining right side down. If the edges of the pocket stick out beyond the edges of the other pieces, trim them off.
Secure everything with straight pins, then sew along the edges with a 1/4″ seam, leaving an opening at the bottomfor turning. Clip the curves to make them lie more smoothly, then turn your case right side out. Turn the edges of your opening to the inside, and press everything really well.
Tuck a piece of ribbon into the opening, then topstitch all along the edges. This will secure the ribbon and will give your edges a cleaner finish. Attach a button to the front of the flap, and wrap the ribbon around it to close.
Notes: 1) A button with a shank works better than a flat button. It gives you space to wrap the ribbon. 2) If you plan on using a different closure, you may need to work those steps into the beginning stages of construction. For example, if you use velcro, you’ll want to attach half of it to your interior pocket before you sew all the pieces together. 3) Closure options include snaps, button with a buttonhole, or velcro.