This project is perfect for an old t-shirt that you (or someone else) love but that never gets worn. Whether the t-shirt is now too big, too small or perhaps has a small stain, grab it, your scissors, and a dinner plate. You are ready to create your own t-shirt tote.
What is extra great about this project is that it is almost no-sew (okay, you have to sew a straight line but that’s it!) and really quick to make. Seriously, even if you are a total beginner, you can make this. In fact, I said before you need to be able to sew a straight line but the truth is, no one can see your seam so it doesn't even have to be straight. Trust me.
Step 1:First, lay your t-shirt flat.
Cut along the arm seams and remove both the sleeves. Note - cut on the side of the seam that will be removed, this leaves a clean, reinforced seam where it had been attached.
I tried both pinking shears (because they were sitting on the table after I just got them sharpened) and regular shears. I definitely liked the regular shears better and re-trimmed the second sleeve.
Place your dinner plate at the neck of the t-shirt so that you have about 2" of fabric showing on each side. These will become your handles. My plate was almost perfectly centered with one half off the shirt and one half on the shirt.
Take your pencil and trace along the edge of your dinner plate. The result will look like this. Cut along the line and you have now created the opening to the bag and your handles!
Step 5: (beginner)
Turn the t-shirt inside out and sew the bottom front and back of the t-shirt together to close up your bag. I suggest sewing it 2 or three times or once and then with a zig-zag stitch to reinforce the seam. (Please ignore the cut-outs in the photo - I forgot to take a photo of the shirt before I cut it - if you're wondering though, see below)
Step 5: (adventurous beginner to advanced)
Turn the t-shirt inside out and cut a 2" x 2" square out of the bottom two corners of your t-shirt. Sew the front and back of your t-shirt together (see note above about reinforcement). Now pull the corners of your cut-out squares together so that you've formed a diagonal line. Sew this together and you have now created gusset corners for your bag. This will give it a boxed bottom and allow it to sit better when filled. Again, reinforce these seams.
Turn your t-shirt back right side out and you are done. Voila, your very own recycled t-shirt tote!
Your T-shirt Tote is perfect for the pool, beach, dance class, soccer, etc. If you use a large kids shirt or an adult shirt you will be shocked by how much they actually hold.
Now that you've made one, I bet you want to make more!
(To see Part 1 of our series, click here.)