"My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I'm told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown, but it's silver when it's wet,
And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet."
-Shel Silverstein

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The T-shirt Bag

When my aunt saw my jersey bag and mentioned me making her a bag with an old t-shirt, I figured it'd be a breeze. I knew sewing with knit wasn't a walk in the park, but I was pretty confident that I could do it. For Pete's sake, I will NEVER sew another thing with knit again. Seriously, oh. my. goodness. I was a nervous wreck, and was pretty convinced I had ruined her shirt forevermore! I guess it turned out *decent* (which is pretty debatable actually). I was all geared up to do a tutorial, and I sort of did, but I'm telling you people- run for the hills! Don't attempt this! My tutorial is choppy because 1) my camera died about 5 pictures in and 2) I was so frustrated and ticked off I didn't care about pictures or tutorials anymore- I just wanted to FINISH the dumb thing! Anyway, moving on to what I have... :)

If you're crazy enough to attempt this, just remember I warned you! Gather your supplies- your t-shirt, lining fabric, fusible fleece, belting for the strap and all the cutting materials- cell phone and coffee are optional but highly recommended!
I started but cutting right across the bottom so I could work a little easier with the sides. I cut a few inches off the bottom, but left a few under the design since I knew I'd be sewing it to be "boxy" and it would lose a few inches at the bottom.
Cut the sleeves off by cutting up each side. I went 2 inches from the design.
Cut the top straight across directly under the neckline (or somewhere above the design and under the neckline if your shirt is larger)
I thought I was pretty much a genius by using masking tape to keep the edges from pulling when I sewed, so I added that and then pinned the sides right side together. (BTW, I'm totally not a genius and my idea pretty much STUNK!)
Then cut your lining fabric the same size as your measured piece of cut t-shirt. My shirt was 15.75 in by 17.5 in. My used a long piece for the lining and folded it in half, so I cut it .5 in shorter to allow for the missing seam allowance on the bottom.
Then cut matching fusible fleece to be ironed to the lining fabric
Iron the fusible fleece to the lining material
Cut a piece of lining fabric to be used as a pocket (I made mine shallow but long so it covered the entire length of the bag and made 3 smaller pockets- not necessarily by design but because that was the size the left over lining material was and I'm too cheap to throw it out). Sew around the edges with right sides together, leaving an opening to turn right side out. This is when my camera died, so after you turn it right side out, clip the corners and iron it flat, turning in the opening.
Pin in place on the lining, but keep in mind that you'll lose about 1/2 in at the top for the seam allowance. Be sure and pin the opening down, because you'll want to sew it shut when you sew around the pocket.
Sew the sides and bottom of the pocket. I then sewed up two more lines to make 3 pockets.
You could even do yours straight. I mean, if you really wanted to...

Sew up both sides of the lining, but leave an opening to turn the bag right side out.

Now the most fun part (I'm completely kidding now). Sew the sides and bottom of the t-shirt. Nothing I tried made this easy or even anything close to easy. It was horrible. I finally decided to go look online to find some tricks to sewing knits but lo and behold my internet was down... Stinkin' Time Warner. UGH! So I just kept struggling until (after about 2 hours. Seriously) I finally finished...
Then mark a line across the corners of the bag- both the t-shirt (which I didn't photo because it was just a continuation of the train wreck that is sewing knit) and the lining, and sew across to make the boxy part of the bottom. Cut the excess off and turn the t-shirt right side out and place inside the lining (so right sides are still together). Pin the strap where the seams meet on the sides and place the strap between the right sides of the fabric. Sew around the top, double stitching where the straps are connected then turn right side out and push the lining down into the bag. I had to finally hand sew the opening (which I never do because it's easier to machine sew normally) but the machine and I werent' friends by this point...
Then (after a gruelling morning) you're done. There it is... all that work and it's sort of lopsided. Oh, my. I hope my aunt doesn't cry when she sees that I butchered her shirt. :( Sorry Aunt Bon!

Here is the final bag- the inside:
The whole she-bang...
Maybe the fact that there's a hottie on there will make up for the poor worksmanship!

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  1. I think you did a great job! Sewing knits is like giving a cat a bath. You can do it, but it will be a challenge! I know your aunt will be proud of her bag.

  2. We’d love to feature an original creation from your site on our blog www.sewittome.blogspot.com.

    But first we need your permission!

    We post sewing creations almost every day, but we also have fun themed days. Visit our blog to view the list under the "Don't Miss Days" link.

    If you have an idea of which creation(s) you would like us to feature, please let us know.

    We are looking forward to hearing back from you and we are on pins and needles until then:)

    Vanessa & Eva
    Sew It To Me Duo


  3. I think it turned out good! I cannot sew - but thought for a minute that I might take some of the hubbys old high school track shirts and make a quilt for him for Christmas. Maybe not!


  4. Looks great - love the way it turned out! And I have to say I'm not a fan of sewing with knits either... :)

  5. I LOVE how this turned out! I am probably not brave enough to take it on, but I love seeing yours!! Thanks for sharing!


  6. The bag turned out great! I'm sure your Aunt will LOVE it! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!!

  7. wow that's really nice!!!! =)

  8. Love it! I host an upcycled craft linky party and would love it if you would share.

  9. Wow, this is great!

    Thank you for participating in the Therapy Session with Life in the Pitts!

  10. what a great way to keep a favorite t-shirt! A very fun project. Thanks for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's!

  11. Looks like you did a great job! Cute too! Thanks for joining us for another great Anything Related! ~Bridgette