*** Disclaimer: I am no sewing expert. I only learned how to fix and use our family's dusty old sewing machine two weeks ago to work on another project. I promptly broke it again during this project, so if you read any part of this project that makes you cringe and yell something similar to, "NO! You can't use that type of stitch!!!" please post your suggestion in the comments and I'll make the appropriate changes to this Instructable.
Step 1: Stuff you need
- A scrap t-shirt with the sleeve intact (long-sleeved for a larger bag and shorts sleeve for a small bag)
- An old shoestring or whatever other string you have lying around. I would go for something longer than 30 cm (1 ft) for ease of use
- Thread. The thread material should ideally match your t-shirt material
- Fabric chalk or a sharpie
- Sewing machine (optional. you can do this by hand)
Step 2: Cut the sleeve off
Step 3: Sew the base
Flip the sleeve inside-out before you sew. I've marked the line that I wanted to sew along, but you can just go ahead and sew without it. I started with my sewing machine and used the straight stitch setting, but if you were to sew by hand, I believe a backstitch would be most ideal. Take a look at this reference for hand sewing instruction.
Step 4: Open the drawstring hole
Step 5: Strengthen the drawstring hole
Step 6: Thread the drawstring
If you are using a string that is a bit more difficult to work with, you can either tape the end to make a makeshift aglet or tape the end to a stiff wire, skewer, or other device that can be pushed through the drawstring hole.
Once the drawstring is through, you are all done! How far off is the 5-minute estimate? :)
* One final note: It later occurred to me that you can make a much larger bag by using the body of the t-shirt. I couldn't do this because my previous project had left me with only sleeves, but it would allow you to use up an entire t-shirt to make two small bags and a big one. You would just need to open up two sets of holes for each of two drawstrings.