Thursday, August 2, 2012

T-shirt bags

OK, so I mentioned earlier that I wanted to try out some pinterest crafts and see how well they work in real life. My first project was to make reusable grocery bags out of old t-shirts. I thought this was a great place to start because I am trying to be "green" and use mostly reusable bags when I go to the grocery store (and to Target where I save 5 cents for every bag I bring from home, yay!)Plus, I have a lot of old t-shirts that I hold on to for sentimental reasons but I know I won't wear anymore. The first step was to find an old t-shirt to use. I used this Beatles shirt from high school. While I still love the Beatles (enough to name my daughter after their songs), I am very unlikely to wear this shirt out in public ever again.
I turned the shirt inside out and sewed the bottom closed. I used very small stitches to give the bag strength and stability. (I have seen where people pin the shirt closed, but I was lazy and just held it. It turned out just fine.)
I wanted to give my bags a boxy bottom so that they would hold more things. To do this, I folded my bottom into a little triangle and sewed across it about 1 1/2 inches down. Again, I could have been really precise and measured and pinned this, but I didn't. I am not entirely sure where my straight pins are right now and I didn't feel like looking for them. My bags turned out fine and pretty even without the measuring/pinning.
That was the end of the sewing (woo hoo!!). The next step was to cut some handles. To do this, I simply lined up the sleeves from the shirt and cut them off.
I cut the sleeves off before the seams so that the sewn seams stayed in place. This provides some extra stability to your handles.
The next to last step was to widen the neck hole. This is going to be the mouth of the bag, so you want it to be big enough so that you can put things in it. Again, I just lined the shirt up and cut what I felt was a nice sized opening (being careful not to cut too much off the design of my shirt). The nice thing about using a jersey material like t-shirts are made from is that they do not really fray so you don't have to make a seam. Just cut and go.
And that's it. The last step is to enjoy your cute, new bag. I have made a few of these and I am impressed by how much they hold. It's a great use for a shirt you might not be using any more and they're so easy to make. (I think each bag took about ten minutes - max!)

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