Friday, August 5, 2011

T-Shirt Tote Bag

Today's tutorial is a little late but I have a good excuse.   The weather was absolutely amazing today and I had to sit outside in the sun and soak it up...all... day... long.  OK, so maybe it's not a good excuse, but it was a good day~

So, because I'm being a lazy beach bum we're going to make something that's super duper easy, but is super duper useful, and not to mention...super duper pretty.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

1) I'm using one of my lovely '80s looking T-knit turtleneck tops that I picked up for two whole buckaroos.  Lay out your T-Shirt and make marks similar to what I have below:

It's actually a very nice teal colour.
The exposure on my camera was a little off for this shot~
3) Cut along your lines.  You should end up with something that looks like this:

4) Turn your top inside out, pin along the bottom and stitch closed.

5)  Turn back to right sides out.  Now, you could just leave it at that and have a cute little tote bag, but as most of you know, raw edges drive me crazy.  So I have to finish mine off.  Plus, by adding some bias tape to your edges you'll reinforce everything and the straps won't stretch out to Timbuktu. 

So, lay your bias tape down, right sides together, along the edge and pin.  I started with the "armhole" edges first and did the big one last.  (This took up almost an entire package of bias tape.  If you're making a bigger bag make sure to get enough tape to do all of your edges.)

Note:  Normally you want your bias tape to match your fabric and blend in.  My fabric store didn't have dark teal blue tape though so I got a contrasting colour that will match something fun I'm going to add after.

6) Stitch right in the little ditch of the bias tape, making sure to overlap your ends.

7) Repeat this step on all of your raw edges. 

8) This is what your edge will look like with the bias tape on it.

Now just fold it to the inside.  It should just naturally roll nicely.  Give it a good pressing.  Pin it down if you have to, and then stitch about a 3/8" hem to secure the tape down.

So, now again, you could call it a day and be done, but I think it's a little boring so far.

8) So, I got adventurous with my silhouette machine and made this cute little iron on transfer.

And now...TAH DAH, now you are done~ (Although you could still add buttons or fringe or something else to totally personalize it.)

DIY T-shirt transformation, Tote Bag Craft, DIY Tote Bag, Easy Tote Bag, Easy Sewing Project

I love how it turned out!  I think it'll be great for picking up groceries or taking to the beach.  If you have some cool T-shirts with great designs already on them you could make some awesome looking bags.  What do you think?  How would you personalize it?

DIY T-shirt transformation, Tote Bag Craft, DIY Tote Bag, Easy Tote Bag, Easy Sewing Project
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I'll be linking up at the usual parties throughout the week.  Make sure to check out the party page up top to find out where I hang out.

If you're new here, make sure to check out the "Follow my Friends" tab up top too.  If you're a follower and you have a blog you can link up your button for a chance at a free feature.  I'll come visit and so will lots of other Etcetorizers.

Have a great week everyone.

PS, Kadie over at Seven Alive made a bag from a sweater a couple of weeks ago.  Check it out for another great transformation~


Unknown said...

Thank you for the shout out!! You are to sweet. Your bag looks great.

Jamie @ DIY Home Sweet Home said...

Love the bird you added. Beautiful. If you get a chance I would love you to link your tote bag up to More the Merrier Monday. It lasts through Wednesday so you have plenty of time to stop by. See you there.

Katie said...

Oh my gosh! That little birdie just makes the bag!! It looks so cute - I bet it's incredibly comfortable on your shoulder too! Love it!

Anonymous said...

cute, cute!!! I love it and I love you used a t-shirt! To me these are the greatest projects and so fulfilling.
following you now

Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers said...

Very cute!!! I might have to give this a try. As a beginning sewer this doesn't look too difficult. I love the bird you used! I have that silhouette shape and fabric painted it onto a shirt. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jill said...

That applique is adorable! Great idea!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea-doesn't look too hard either. I would love it if you linked this up to my weekly link party Tutorial Tuesday !

Newlyweds on a Budget

Unknown said...

Super cute tote, awesome job! I'd love for you to link up at my Tuesday Tutorials Link Party! :)

the vintage lemon said...

This is so cute! I NEED to make some! Thanks for sharing!

Johnnie said...

This is so cool! Stopping by to invite you to link up to Thrifty Thursdays. Blessings!


Unknown said...

Just wanted to let you know that this will be featured at this weekend's link party. Make sure you come check it out. Thanks so much for sharing!

Brooke said...

Very cute, I think the embellishment is a nice touch!

Carolyn said...

Fantastic! You've certainly been very creative with your bag. And a very good price!

Tanya Anurag said...

Cool... that looks easy and fun to make.. only if I knew sewing :( The bird makes the bag so cute :)

We have a link-up party going on - Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you'd link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.

Unknown said...

I absolutely love this idea. I am going to be making this for my pinterest challange ::) Kristin from

Unknown said...

I love this so much. This looks so easy and adorable. I am making this for my next pinterest challange. Thank you for posting this..Kristin from


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