Thursday, September 13, 2012

Military Uniform Upcycle

Turn this:

Into this?


Every so often, the Coast Guard makes some sort of change to the uniform that my husband wears to work on a daily basis (called the ODU).  When they do, we have to buy all new uniforms and end up with piles of pants and shirts that he can no longer wear.  I have been holding onto such a pile for about six months now, and I finally decided to cut into it this week.

Many people choose to turn the old uniforms into tote bags featuring the name tapes, but that's not really my style.  While I have tons and tons of bags, many of which I have made for myself, when school starts again and I am running errands all day I usually just ditch the purse and carry around my wallet and phone.  This idea on Pinterest gave me the inspiration to make one little wristlet clutch that can hold the contents of my wallet, plus my iPhone in its huge OtterBox case, and make it all easily accessible.  I thought this would be the perfect project to try cutting into the old uniforms, since they are made of a nylon blend and are quite sturdy.  Plus the shirt pockets have flaps with velcro attached to them, so some of the work was already done.

First, I cut a piece out of the shirt front around one of the pockets that would be large enough to fold in half around my phone and still leave room for seam allowances.  

Then I detached the flap from the shirt and set it aside to use to close up the whole thing.
I added an inset zip pocket on the back for change.

Using coordinating Amy Butler fabric, I made an inside pocket for my phone (with the opening toward the middle, to prevent it from slipping out when I open the flap).  I also made card slots with smaller slots alongside that hold my hair clips for the gym.

The last addition was a wrist strap on a removable clip.

The original flap closes it all up.   There's a surprise inside, too!

Why would I leave the pocket attached to the shirt fabric?  Because that also gives me a "secret" pocket on the outer edge opposite the flap, where I stash my receipts, store cards, and, most importantly, Starbucks Gold card.

 I have been using this for a week now and absolutely love it!  The only issue at all is the strength of the Velcro.  It is either a bit worn out, or wasn't very strong to begin with.  I may have to replace it at some point.

Next up for my military uniform upcycle project? A messenger bag out of a cargo pant leg.  Yes, even though I don't need any more bags.

1 comment:

  1. Omg that's just too cute. I m soooooo making one!


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