I tried to clean my room this summer, and in the process I found a lot of t-shirts that were too sentimental for me to donate, but too old to be worn. As a result, I decided to look into ways to repurpose them!
- An old t-shirt
- Fabric scissors
- Needle or sewing machine
- (optional) Crochet panel
There isn’t really a pattern for this, but here are the steps that I took.
- For a larger bag, cut out two squares from your t-shirt, one from the back side and one from the front side. The size of the squares will roughly equal the size of the bag. For a smaller bag, cut out a long rectangle from just one side of the shirt. The size of the bag will be half of the rectangle.
- Pin the two squares together or fold the rectangle in half and pin it. If there is a design on the shirt that you want to have on the outside of the bag, make sure it is on the inside so that it isn’t visible when pinned! For cut edges, make sure to fold the edges in so that they do not continue to fray. Another option is to use a serger to finish the edges, but I find fewer people own these.
- For the squares, sew along three sides. If there is a design, sew along the bottom side and the left and right sides so that the design will be upright on the bag. For the folded rectangle, sew along the left and right sides, as the bottom should already be connected by the fold.
- Turn your new bag inside out!
- (optional – add the crochet panel to one side of the bag)
- Cut out long thin strips of any extra fabric, and attach these as straps. Remember to sew both ends of the strap to the same panel, or else the bag won’t lay flat when you carry it on your shoulders.
This is the first sewing project I’ve done since the eighth grade, and I’m pretty happy with it. I hand-sewed all of this, so my stitches were fairly inconsistent and messy, but the beauty of this project is that you’ll never see them! I’m a little bit scared of the old sewing machine in my basement, but hopefully I’ll work up the courage to tackle it soon so that I can move on to bigger and better projects!
I loved the look that the crochet panel added to the bag, as I felt it helped to make the bag look more finished. I know that I could have just crocheted a bag, or sewn a bag completely, but this mixing of materials really appealed to me. I think that after working mostly with yarn for so long, I’ve forgotten about the fun that other textiles offer. My goal over the next few months is to branch out more, and explore more types of crafts! Don’t worry, there will still be lots of yarn involved, but maybe in newer ways!
Until next time, happy crafting!