recycled t-shirt bags

I have a wardrobe problem I like to call elementary-school-teacher-straight-from-the-gym, which is ironic as I like neither gyms nor children. I have a tendency to shop primarily at places like American Apparel and the GAP outlet store which means I dress for comfort in lots of solid color jersey knit, jeans and sneakers.

Since moving to New York and becoming, you know, an ADULT, I’ve decided I should probably start dressing more like one but the wardrobe revision has been slow. Most recently I extracted the solid color t-shirts that I hadn’t worn in a long time because they make me feel like a little kid anyway. They were still in good condition so I decided to make them into shopping bags!

first, grab a couple shirts

These shirts are in pretty good condition but ones with pit stains are fine as you will be cutting that part off to make the handles.

Turn the shirt inside out and sew it shut along the bottom hem.

I don’t know what the technical term for this is but with the shirt still inside out you want to stitch the corners how you see above. It creates a boxier bottom (all the better to hold groceries with my dear) that looks like…

...THIS, when it's flipped right side out...

The next step is to cut the straps.

as you can see i changed my mind cutting the neck

The beauty of using jersey knit shirts is that unhemmed seams won’t unravel. Cut the sleeves off inside the seams and cut the neck down to approximately the same level. Also, be sure to leave the handles pretty thick a. it spreads the weight and is less ouchie on your arm if you have a lot of groceries and b. it’s less likely to tear. I did a test run with a shirt of a lighter weight and the strap ripped when I tested it. Don’t let that happen to you.

ready for shoppin!

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2 Responses to “recycled t-shirt bags”

  1. Mickie Says:

    Great idea ;-)

  2. Cousin Bry Says:

    Woohoo! You’re putting that sewing machine that’s “loaded with features” to great use! ;-)

    Outside of Kim’s inside joke comment, that’s an awesome re-purpose!

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