Once again, I'm working my way through my stash of clothes to be upcycled. I have a few men's shirts in that stash, so set to work on one of those and created this bag!
Here's how you can make your own cute bag from a men's shirt:
You will need:
A men's shirt
Fabric for the bag lining and trim
Two round wooden handles
First cut a rectangle from the centre of the shirt - through both layers, the size you'd like your bag to be.
Mine was 42 x 34cm (16.5 x 12.5")
Cut 2 rectangles of your inner fabric the same size:
For both the inner and outer bag fabric, pin the rectangles right sides together along three sides. Leave what will be the top opening of the bag open.
Stitch around all 3 sides.
To 'box the corners out', Put your hand inside the 'pocket' you just made and flatten one corner out like this
Stitch across that corner about 5cm (2") in from the tip:
Then cut off the point beyond the stitching.
Repeat this for both bottom corners of the inside an outside bag pieces. Then you should have this:
Now you need to gather the tops of both pieces. To do this, run a line of stitching around the top of each piece around 5cm (2") in from the top. I use an elastic band to mark where this is on my sewing machine! You stitches should be on the longest setting for this:
It's probably best to stitch two separate lines one on either side of the bag:
Then pull the threads at each end to 'gather' the tops of the bag pieces - sort of like you were closing a drawstring bag:
One both bags are done, make sure the outer bag has the right sides out, and the inner bag has the right sides facing inwards and put the inside of the bag, in the outer bag:
Adjusting the gather if need be as you go along so that it's even, pin the two pieces together along your line of stitching.
Then stitch through both layers:
Now to make the top rim of the bag.
Fold the top of the outer bag over,
then, fold the inner fabric over the top of that and tuck the raw edge under just past the line of stitching. Go all around the top of the bag doing this, and pin into place.
Then top stitch all the way around.
Now you just have to add the handles.
Cut two rectangles of the inner fabric
- mine were 15 x 8cm (6 x 3")
Double fold all the short edges of these rectangles over and stitch.
Then for each handle, wrap one of the rectangles around it and tucking the raw edges in, pin together:
Using the zipper foot on your machine so you can get close to the wooden handle, stitch where you have pinned on both handles.
Then pin and stitch the handles to the bag:
And there you have a cute new handbag!
I decorated mine with a simple fabric yoyo with a button in the centre.
For the free downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.
For more ideas on shirt upcycling, take a look at my
Or you can browse over 600 clothes upcycling projects and add your own to the ongoing linky party here.
And for over 100 of my free sewing tutorials go here.