Scotty Dog Bag - A Clothes Upcycle Tutorial

My pile of clothes to upcycle for the school carnival is getting smaller - and I'm starting to have to piece bits together to make larger items - like I did for this bag.

I used a skirt, and the left over parts from a pair of cargo pants, together with a scrap of tartan fabric from my stash for the Scotty Dog appliqué. I made good use of the pockets from both clothing items and also used the waistbands for the bag straps.

Here's how to make your very own Scotty Dog bag, 
from old clothes.

You will need 2 items of lower body clothing - skirts or trousers/pants. Plus some fabric for the appliqué Scotty Dog and some fusible webbing to stick it to the main bag part with.

Main panels
You will need 2 outer and 2 inner side panels. 
I made mine 36 cm wide by 38 cm deep. (14 x 15").

The fabric from neither the skirt nor the trousers was big enough, so I cut pieces as large as I could - using the pockets, and then pieced together other pieces to make the size I needed:

So you should now have 4 side panels., all the same size.

Bag Straps
Next for the straps. I used 2 waistbands for these. The smallest one was 80 cm long (31.5"), so I cut the other waistband to the same size. Cut the waistbands from the clothing items - I unpicked the zips out so they can be reused too! Trim all the belt loops off. If you have unpicked the zip or any other part - machine stitch any gaps closed, and turn raw edge in to finish off if you have trimmed any length off the waistband. 
To determine the length of strap you want for your bag - drape the waistband over your shoulder as you would carry your bag and judge where you would like your bag to sit when finished.

The Scotty Dog
You can download and print the template for the Scotty Dog by clicking here. Iron on some fusible webbing to the back of the fabric you want to use for the appliqué. Then cut out the template and draw around it on the paper backing of your fabric. Remember to place the template upside down on the back of the fabric so that your finished dog faces the way you want!

Cut out the dog shape, peel off the paper backing and place on one of your outer bag panels, slightly up from the middle to allow for the base of the bag. Iron into place and stitch around the edges using a tight zig zag or appliqué stitch on your machine.

Put your bag together
All the pieces are now ready to assemble your bag.
Pin then stitch the outer main bag pieces right sides together down the sides and across the base. Repeat for the inner bag pieces, but leave a gap of about 10 cm (4") in one side. you will need this to turn the bag out at the end.

Give your bag a flat base
You now need to 'box the corners' of your bag. To do this, put your hand up inside one of your bag pieces and to the inside corner.

Now pinch the corner between your fingers on the outside so that you push the side and bottom seams together and flatten the corner into a triangle.
Pin then stitch across the corner about 4 cm  (1.5") in from the tip.
Then trim the corner off.

Repeat with both corners of the inner and outer bag parts.

Attach the straps
Take one of your bag straps and place on the front of your main bag (now turned right side out) where you want the straps to lie.

Make sure the strap sits flat and is not twisted at all. 

Pin the other strap to the back of the bag, lining it up with the front strap as to the placing. Stitch both straps into place with a stitched square and cross just at the bottom of each strap. Be careful and not stitch too close to the top open end of the bag as you need to stitch around here next!

Now push your outer bag into your inner bag like this - so the right sides of both fabrics are facing.

 Make sure the straps are both tucked in. Pin the open raw edges together, matching up the side seams. Stitch all the way around.

Turn the bag right sides out through the gap you left in the side seam of the inner bag.

Hand-stitch the gap in the inner seam closed

Finally, push the inner bag inside the outer bag and press around the top opening.

Top stitch all the way around the top of your bag.

All done!
Admire your new Scotty Dog Bag.

For the free downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here

Now all I have left of those two clothing items is this:
A couple of zips, some elastic, a little pocket, a decorative silver square and a few scraps of fabric.  All useful bits to be saved for future projects!

To see what else I've upcycled for the school carnival stall from old clothes, go here.

Or for lots more clothes upcycling inspiration, why not visit my long term linky:


  1. Brilliant upcycle, love it:) doing a round up post later in week of upcycled bag tutorials, I will include it:)

    1. Thanks so much Vicky!! I shall look forward to seeing the other upcycled bag tutorials you find!

  2. The bag is an awesome upcycle, but the Scotty dog applique is the perfect finishing touch!

  3. Oh my goodness how cute! & a genius idea! I'm visiting from Wonderful Wednesday Linky.
    PS - If you haven' t hopped on board the Great Blog Train (blog hop) yet there's still plenty of time - we are digitally traveling to Manila, PHILIPPINES this month:

  4. so super cute, the little scotty dog often says fall to me
    come see us at

  5. I am in awe of your sewing and love following your step by step guide. I love how the pockets on the inner lining become really handy internal pockets in the bag. A great piece of upcycling, I really want to come to your school carnival! Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

    1. Thanks so much Fiona! I love upcycling and have a lot of fun with it. I'm hoping to inspire others with it too at the school carnival!

    2. I'm sure you will inspire others, take some of your printable tutorials with you to share.

  6. Awesome post! I would love to invite you to my new link party The Beautifully Creative Inspired. The party launches every Fridays at 9AM eastern time on 5 BLOGS! It runs until Wednesday night :D Hope you can party with us!

    1. Thanks Shanice and thanks for the invite too. I will come and visit your party!

  7. What a cooool bag! I love the interior just as much as the outside. The scotty dog motif in plaid is so adorable!

    1. Thanks Mich! I'm liking this one lots myself so much it might never make it to the carnival stall.....

  8. Cute! Pinned and tweeted. Thanks for stopping by and partying with us! I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, so we can pin and tweet your masterpieces! Lou Lou Girls

  9. Hi Jill, this is great, love it :)

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays

  10. Gorgeous! So clever and really clear instructions. I'm a big fan of giving old things a new lease of life :)


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