DIY Tee Shirt Tote

So as I continued to work my way through my closet for spring cleaning, I came upon this old shirt which I love, but never wear anymore.  I didn’t want to cut it up too much, so I decided to make a cute little bag out of it!

These tee shirt bags are durable and awesome for keeping in your car for last minute grocery store runs.  I’m apologizing now for my terrible sewing directions for this tutorial!  If you have any questions about any of these steps, let me know and I’ll try to explain myself!

This is a great project for all those tee shirts that you love, but never wear.  I’m thinking specifically of those meaningful high school shirts, or shirts that a loved one gave you.  It’s great repurposing craft that’s easy to make and fun to show off!

Tee Shirt Bag

Materials:

  • An old tee shirt
  • Sewing machine and supplies
  • Scissors
  • Lining fabric (I used some complimentary fabric I had on hand)

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Instructions:

1.   Okay, first you want to find a shirt that you love that you just can’t wear anymore. For me, it’s this adorable giraffe tee. I love it but it’s just not appropriate for me to wear to work, etc. So first you’re going to want to lay it out flat so all the seams match.

2.   Next I carefully turned the shirt over and pinned it all around. I started at the bottom, then folded the sleeves back and pinned those down, then pinned the top (I also cut off the top collar before pinning, since I knew I wasn’t going to use it.

3.   Then I cut along the folded seam on the sleeves and removed them, because they were just nasty!

4.   So this is what my shirt looks like now…no collar and no sleeves.

5.   Next take out all the pins and then repin the front and the back pieces to the inner lining fabric of your choice. I’m using some old fabric I had on hand from when I made my shower curtain.

6.   With some extra discarded tee shirt fabric from the bottom of the shirt and the top, I created two sides and a bottom, which I also pinned to the lining fabric. Here are all the pieces: the back, front, two side pieces, and bottom piece.

7.   Next sew all the pieces to the lining. This will give your sewing machine the workout of its life!

8.   Once all your pieces are sewn to the lining, you’re ready to assemble! Starting with the front of your purse, place the bottom piece front sides together onto the bottom of the front of your purse (sorry if that’s confusing!). Sew along the seam you already made to attach the bottom piece to the bottom of the front piece. Repeat this on the bottom of the back piece of the bag. Here’s what your purse should look like now. Just a reminder, all your sewing should be done on the inside of the purse…as is the case in most sewing projects.

9.   At this point, or really anytime before this, you can hem the top portion of your purse. Fold the top down about a half an inch and sew so you have a nice clean line at the top of your purse. You could also do this step before you begin assembling.

10.   Next sew the side pieces on, first sewing them to the front piece and then the back. It may take some maneuvering once your purse is nearing completion, but just be patient and work slowly.

11.   I then took some extra lining fabric and created handles. Sew those into place and turn your work inside out so the lining is inside…and there you have it! A fun and stylish tee shirt bag!

I’m sorry if these directions are confusing and don’t make sense! Most of my sewing projects are very spur of the moment and unorganized…so if you have questions about anything, please let me know here or on the Facebook page.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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