Introduction: Drawstring Pouch From T-Shirt Sleeve

About: I've been tinkering and building things since I was very young. The hobby continues on!

About a month ago I decided I wanted to learn how to sew, but most of the beginner projects I could find online required a machine (which I don't have) or are geared towards the female gender (no, Pinterest, I don't want to sew fuzzy panties). So I used this project as my crash-course. Its basically free, and a great rainy day project to get rid of those old paint-stained shirts. This would also look really cool if you use patterned T-shirts, or really any color that isn't black.

Before I began this project, I read this instructable to get started:

It's a nice little bag thats great for holding spare change, cedar chips, pixie dust, road salt, or hand warmers.

It's made entirely from the sleeve of a T-shirt, and uses the hem of the sleeve as the drawstring.

Because we are doing this by hand, it may take longer than usual. So before you start, put on some music and invest in some federal reserve bonds.

Step 1: Materials

For this project, you will need:

An old T-shirt (the bigger the better, I used an XL that I found at a thrift store for $1)

Needle and thread (you could use a sewing machine if you want to, but where's the fun in that?)


Pins, binder clips, or paper clips (for holding fabric in place)

Step 2: Cutting

Now remove the sleeve from the rest of the shirt, and filet it into a flat piece of fabric. You can throw away the original stitching, but keep the hem of the T-shirt. We will use this as the actual drawstring.

Then cut out a rectangle from the fabric. It can be really any height, but the length shouldn't be bigger than half the length of the hem (you could get away with making it a bit longer, I suppose). Don't worry about making everything perfect.

Step 3: Hem

Now thread that needle!

I don't know if this is actually called hemming, but is the closest word I know. Basically just fold the top of the rectangle down, trapping the hem (aka drawstring) inside. Then sew the fold down. I used the backstitch for this, because I think it looks good and will also be strong.

Just make sure that you only put the needle through the actual rectangle of cloth; if you put the needle through the hem as well, the bag will not work. Once in a while you can test the drawstring by pulling it back and forth. It should slide freely. If it does not slide freely, then you messed up somewhere.

Step 4: Invisible/slip Stitch

Now fold the rectangle of cloth in half, and tuck the loose, open, unhemmed edges of the cloth into itself. You won't be able to fold the edges in quite as much up by the edge next to the drawstring, so just do your best.

Paperclip the fabric together once you get it all lined up.

Then begin a slipstitch (which I've always called the "invisible stitch") which will go along the bottom edge, and curve around until you've reached up towards the drawstring. At the end I added a few extra stitches to give some strength by the part that couldn't fold over very well.

Step 5: Profit $$$

Now tie a knot in the drawstring and trim the excess.

The bag is now done!

It works well for holding my spare change, no coins ever fall out.

and since every 'ible needs a disclaimer, here it goes:

I am not responsible if you choose to use this bag to hold any illegal materials or engage in illegal activity while in possession of this bag. If you make a lot of money from replicating this bag, let me have a little bit. This bag is not intended to be used to hold the weight of a human being, and I cannot guarantee that you can carry water or uncovered utility razor blades in this bag.