Looking for an easy way to save money, upcycle, and take your style to a whole new level? Then this t-shirt tote bag tutorial is the answer. I love how it looks, and I love just how easy it is. We all are familiar with having a stack of old, oversized t-shirts lying around, so why not transform them into something amazing like this simple t-shirt tote bag! Are you ready for this DIY t-shirt tote bag transformation? Let’s start!
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Tools and materials:
- Old T-shirt
- Sewing Machine
Fold and cut
Fold your shirt in half, lengthways. Next, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut around the collar, as shown.
Next, cut out the sleeves, by carefully following the curved armhole. Basically, you are cutting out a tank top shape.
Sew the bottom
Turn the shirt, well, now it’s a vest, inside out, and sew the bottoms together. You can use any seam allowance, if it’s 0.25 or 0.5 inch, it’s up to you. I pretty much follow the existing line of the shirt, so it comes out straight. Set your sewing machine to a 6 tension with a 2.5 stitch length.
Cut the edges
Cut the edges as shown. This will ensure a neat look and it will poke out better once turned inside out.
Add a flat felled seam
If you’re not too bothered with neat finishes, then you can stop right here. But, I wanted to add a rounded-off, crisp finish and decided to use a flat felled seam around the top edges. Here is an example of one of my other t-shirt tote bags with a lovely hem.
So, turn your bag inside out and make a double fold around the edges. Next, topstitch the fold, as shown. Be sure the fold is slim and thin, so it doesn’t take up too much fabric. You really just want to pull off a polished seam.
And there you have it! A lovely tote bag made from an old shirt. You can use this as a shopping bag, on a fun day out, to college, or even as a simple handbag.
As you can see, I have a whole collection of these, and I’m so happy that I can put them to use instead of throwing them out. It’s such an amazing feeling to know you made something functional and saved the earth from discarding another piece of fabric. Upcycling is key!
- Old t-shirt
- Sewing machine
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Comet on Apr 13, 2021
For those of us with less skillz (or just lazy!) You can cut thru the bottom hem and make tabs all along and tie them to gether for a different style bag. Still cute and useful!
Patricia Paterson on May 19, 2021
Very Creative! Excellent idea, for grocery shopping, since they currently charge you for each bag used to load your groceries in. (...& especially during the pandemic period we’ve been in fir over a year.)