Make a Tie-Dye Quilted Beach Bag Out of T-Shirts

Sew Much 2 Wear
by Sew Much 2 Wear
5 Materials
3 Hours

Drowning in a pile of old clothes I didn't know what to do with ... I knew I needed a crafting intervention.

My goal was to take things from my big pile of stuff in danger of being donated or thrown out — And turn it Into something I’ll not only use — but actually was about to go buy new.

You know those ikea bags? The ones that are awesome because they carry everything. Like everything? Well I love those … but wanted one that was a little more dressy. Less crinkly. I almost looked to buy a big beach bag… until I realized…. I could make one with my old clothes pile.

To pull it off I collected scraps from my t-shirt blanket project, two pairs of old jeans, and a strap from an old purse.

About a year ago I made a t-shirt quilt. I intended to use the pile of big scraps so they wouldn’t go to waste.

Here's the t-shirt blanket.

The scraps came from the blanket project so I had already poured bleach onto the shirts, added some fusible stabilizer so that the t-shirts would not stretch when sewing them together in a quilt. This makes sewing t-shirts together much easier for beginners because the stabilizer doesn't allow the stretchy jersey to fall out of place or ripple under the needle of a sewing machine.

If you want to make a patchwork t-shirt bag, I would highly suggest ironing on the stabilizer first.

Finally ready to tackle this pile of scraps, I got to work.

Using a rotary cutter and a rotating cutting matt I cut 5x5 inch squares out of my t-shirt project scraps.

Once finished I laid them all out together to get some different ideas for a format. I decided on this patchwork rainbow design.

I then started the process of sewing all of the squares together to form one big block. To see how I did it, check out my video at the top of the project! It's much easier to understand in action.

I made sure to use my iron to press open the seams of each of the squares that were sewed together. This ensured the patchwork design was clean and crisp.

I knew I wanted material stronger than t-shirts to ensure the bag would be heavy-duty so I pulled out two pair of jeans from my donate pile.

I opened the side seams by cutting up the legs and then cut the pant legs off at the crouch.

I then sewed the two pant legs together. I repeated this process with both pairs of jeans, which resulted in to big jean panels made out of pant legs. They would become the front and back of my bag.

I sewed my quilt blocks onto the jeans that would become the "front" panel of my bag by pressing the edges of the t-shirt blocks down about a half an inch, pinning the whole thing onto my jeans, and sewing a straight stitch about a quarter of an inch away from the edge. This allowed me to attach the quilt to the front, while also making sure the edges were finished — all in one swoop.

I then sewed the front and back of the bag together.

I used the belt loops from the jeans to sew loops onto the corner of the bag that I could clip an old purse strap to.

To create some kind of closure at the top I cut the waistband from the jeans the sewed the button onto the front of the bag, and the button hole to the back.

To close the bag, all I had to do was button the jeans.

If you have any questions about the creation of the bag, definitely refer to the video to see the steps in depth!

Let me know if this is something you would be willing to try?

What do you think of the tie-dye patchwork purse?

If you give this project a try don't forget to tag me on instagram at @SewMuch2Wear. I'd love to see what you make!

Suggested materials:
  • Old t-shirts
  • Fusible stabilizer
  • Bleach
See all materials

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Sew Much 2 Wear
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4 of 25 comments
  • LibertySAP LibertySAP on May 08, 2021

    Fantastic idea I wish I’d seen it before I donated! I’ll keep for future, many Thanks

    • See 1 previous
    • Sew Much 2 Wear Sew Much 2 Wear on May 10, 2021

      Donating is an amazing option too! Upcycling is great as well because you know for sure its not going to the landfill. Unfortunately a majority of donated clothes don't get purchased in the thrift stores and end up in the landfill. Either way, so many great options that are NOT the garbage for old clothes :).

  • Laurie Cole Laurie Cole on Feb 21, 2022

    Now I'm looking through all the material in the house for cotton scraps to do this.