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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Upcycled Shopping Bag Tutorial

Here is where the basic idea came from these bags came from.  I tweaked it quite a bit.

My bags are upcycled from old mens dress shirts from the free area in our apartment.

Gotta love the free area!

Supplies you will need are fabric, scissors, pins, a needle and thread.  Some additional supplies I used were included chalk (a pencil or pen will work), a sewing machine, a safety pin, an iron and ironing board.  You could also use a ruler but I didn't. 
Lay the shirts out on the floor.
cut the sleeves and neck off, but save the scraps.

Lay large piece of fabric down, folded in half and trace a square with the chalk.  
This will be the main part of your bag
Save the long strips that came off the sides.  If your bad was big enough that it didn't have straps you can use the sleeves and the front of the shirt with the buttons.

Use contrasting fabric to create the pocket. 
Create two triangles.  
I used the sleeves and the fronts of the shirts.
If you didn't save the strips next to the large piece of fabric cut some out of the sleeves or front of the shirt.  
These strips are folded in half.
You will also want to cut out two more strips (or use a string).  
I used really thin material for these because they will be the drawstrings.
For this bag, I cut out a pocket that will be sewn on the front.  
I haven't sewn it yet but will post it when I do.
Alright, now that we have all of the pieces, it is time to start sewing.
Take the large piece and unfold it.  Fold the top (what will be the top of the bag) over about a half inch and sew.  
Do this again to create a finished edge.
 To create the straps take your two strips and fold them in half and sew about a half inch from the open edge.  
This should create a tube.  
Take your safety pin and attach it to one end of the tube.  
Use the safety pun to turn the strip inside out by pulling it though and pulling the material through as well. 
I ironed the straps after I finished sewing.

There are several other ways to create the straps.  
You can also fold a strip in thirds (the long way) and sew it, then finish it by folding in half and then sewing.

Create the tie strigs the same way.
 Attach the straps to the inside of the bag. 
This should be the same edge that we folded to make a finished edge.
 Fold the bag in half with the right side out.  
Add the triangles to the bag using your stick pins.
I used the edge of the shirt so it already had a place to pass the string through.
If your triangle doesn't have a slot that runs through it, fold about a half inch over and sew.  
Also but the two corners off of the triangle.
 Fold the bag wrong side out and sew around the edges, making sure to catch the triangle.
 Once it is sewn cut the corners.
And turn inside out and thread the strings through.


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