Martha Stewart Living, October 2005
Choose or cut a piece of denim half the width of the finished bag and 1 inch longer. (The depth of the bag is half the width of the fabric.)
Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together so the selvages meet. Turn the fabric so the selvage edges become the top of the bag. Sew along the right and left sides with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
Cut two lengths of denim or other sturdy fabric for the handles; they can be as short or long as you like. Pin the handles in place, then sew them on the inside of the bag. Use thread to match the fabric. Turn the bag right side out. Embellish the tote with easy denim floral brooches (see below).
Rip a denim strip (1 1/2 inches wide and the length of a pair of jeans). Beginning 1/8 inch from edge, sew two rows of running stitches 1/8 inch apart. Pull on the ends of the threads to gather. (On a sewing machine, use a denim needle and a wide stitch length; tug on the two bobbin threads.) Hand-sew the gathered edge in a spiral shape as shown. Attach a safety pin to the back.
Basic sewing supplies
There's more than one way to wear a pair of jeans. With a length of denim, the perfect tote bag is a few stitches away.