Tuesday, May 28, 2013

From cargo shorts to boy bag.

If you have boys in your life and you like to sew, chances are you've felt frustrated at one time or another by how tough it can be to sew for boys.

Sewing for girls is easy. There are about a gazillion patterns and online tutorials available to get you started sewing clothing, accessories, dolls, bags and just about anything else you could dream up. And fabric? No problem! Nearly every fabric store is overflowing with girlie prints.

Now let's talk about sewing for boys. Not so easy, right? Your pattern choices are much more limited. There are some really good tutorials on blogs if you know where to look, but it can take some time to find them. And good luck finding much in the way of cool fabric for your little guy. The selection doesn't even come close to what is offered for girls. And then there's the fact that boys simply don't have the same range of accessories as girls. 
A few weeks ago I was sharing this very rant with a girlfriend at school, who has a son in Miss C.'s class. (God bless her for listening to me go on about sewing!) She mentioned to me that it's been nearly impossible for her to find an Indiana Jones style satchel for her son. Nothing fancy, just something to carry his bug collecting kit and other assorted treasures when they're out and about.

I went home that night with that bag lingering at the back of my thoughts.

And then it hit me: cargo shorts!
Hubby had some ancient pairs of cargo shorts languishing in the closet, so I snagged one (I did check first, and no he didn't need it anymore in case you were wondering) and started cutting. Nothing was wasted on this bag: nearly every piece of available fabric was stitched up to make the body and straps. Pockets were left intact, with one positioned at the back of the bag for storing super-secret treasures.

I don't have much boy fabric in my stash yet, so I did pop into JoAnn's for a half yard of Star Wars awesomeness to use as lining. 

And now an old pair of cargo shorts has a new life as a cool boy bag. Eat your heart out, Indiana Jones!

You can find this project linked up at:


  1. What a great idea! Beautifully constructed as well.

    1. I'm glad you like it! I definitely have some ideas for how to give it an even more polished look should I make another one. I like the look of top stitching on both sides of the seams. I didn't think to do it until after I'd made the body of the bag, but tried it out on the straps. Next time, for sure!