Many States in the US are considering outlawing the use of plastic shopping bags. The plastic bags are a large contributor to the litter problem everywhere.
A better alternative is taking reusable shopping bags with you whenever you go to the store.
You can find brightly colored Hawaiian shirts at your local thrift shop.
Step 1: Supplies
For this project you will need 2 Hawaiian shirts and a solid color Men's cotton long sleeved shirt.
Find 2 shirts that have similar colors for the outside of the bag.
Matching thread, scissors, sewing machine, straight pins and measuring tape.
Step 2: Cut Up Shirts
Cut off the sleeves. Cut out the back of the shirts at the seams. Cut off front sections. Throw away collar.
Cut a large square (19" x 19") out of the back of the shirt, this will be the bottom section of the bag.
If the design is printed in a particular direction like mine with the palm trees then you will need to cut the square in half and turn one of the pieces around then sew it back together, reinforcing the seam. The reason for this is because you want the finished bag to have the trees right side up on both sides of the bag.
If the design is an all-over print like flowers or leaves, this step is not necessary.
Step 3: Sew Pieces Together
With the back section of the second shirt, cut 2 pieces 19" x 11". Sew these to the sides of the 19" square.
Reinforce the seams by folding over and sewing the seam allowance down keeping the stitching 1/4" from the original seam.
Step 4: Sew Lining
Cut and sew pieces of a solid color shirt and left overs from the Hawaiian shirts together to make the lining the same exact size as the bag. 19" wide x 39" long.
Step 5: Stitch Sides Together
Fold the bag in half, then fold the lining in half. Pin side together. Stitch up sides with 1/2" seam allowance.
To reinforce the side seams, press the seam allowance to one side and sew 1/4" from the seam as far down into the bag as you can. Or you can just make another row of stitches 1/4" from the first.
Step 6: Sew Corners
Open the sides and pin corners flat. Stitch across 4" above the corners. Cut the corners off, leaving 1/2 seam allowance. Reinforce seam.
Repeat with lining of bag.
Turn bag right side out.
Step 7: Pin Lining to Bag
Place lining inside of bag and turn the top of lining down 1". Turn top of bag down 1". The top raw edges should be in between the bag and lining. Pin around top edge, matching up side seams of bag and lining together.
Step 8: Handles
Cut and piece 5" wide pieces together using the front and sleeves of shirts.
I cut the ends diagonally so that when the strip is folded, you don't end up with all the bulk in one place, it distributes it more evenly. Press seams open.
Make 2 handles 20" long.
Fold long edges toward center and fold again. Pin.
Stitch down entire length of handles at open edge, then stitch down the opposite side of handle.
Stitch down the center then in between center and side for a total of 5 rows of stitches.
Step 9: Attaching Handles
Place a straight pin at the center of the top edge on both sides of bag.
Place the ends of the handles 4" from the pin. There will be 8" between the ends of the handles.
The ends of the handles should be 1" in between bag and lining. Pin to secure.
Stitch around entire top edge of bag. Make another row of stitching 1/4" below first row to secure handles.
Step 10: Finished Bag
Now wasn't that easy? You can make these reusable bags for family and friends.
One size fits all!