Introduction: Grocery Bag From Old T-shirt

About: I make stuff. All sorts of stuff. I prefer to use materials that would otherwise be headed for the landfill. It's the best seeing someone's face when you tell them what that nifty item is made from (post-po…

A little known factoid:  The "T" in T shirt is actually an abbreviation of training, as this shirt was originally used exclusively for athletic training.  And now you know!

Reusable shopping bags are not a new concept by any means.  Plastic bags are ubiquitous, but they fill up landfills at an alarming rate.  Enter the T- shirt bag! 

Who doesn't have an old, crappy, stained shirt that they wonder "why do I still have that floating around"?  Now make it useful once more!  These bags fold down into a small package, and are STRONG.  I have filled one with cans, and it took the job with no issues.

So let's start!  Step 1:  Obtain old shirt.  This is an old work shirt that has somefunky looking oil stains that make it look like I'm just some sort of slob when I eat.  Not the best thing to wear on just about ANY occasion.

Step 1: Cut the Shirt

No, it has no feelings.  It won't care if you cut it.  It's not emo...

Cut off the sleeves at the seams, and the neck, making sure the neck hole cut is the same front and back.  Look at the pic, you'll see what I mean.  THe front of a shirt is lower than the back.  You'll want to cut it so the top hole is even, front and back.  The leftover pieces make the best rags that I know of, so don't just pitch them!

Step 2: Making It "pretty"

At this point, you can just sew the bottom closed, and that's that.  The nature of the jersey material that T-shirts are made of allow for almost no fraying.  However, I am not a fan of bare edges and lots of exposed seams, so we'll deal with those accordingly.  As I am a big dude, the sleeve holes that have been cut out are pretty large, and limit the effectiveness of the finished bag.  They will need to be narrowed a bit.  ( the next steps I have done with a serger, but a regular sewing machine and scissors will do the trick.  Also, if you are using a size S or M shirt, you probably won't need to do this).  Turn the shirt inside out, so all of the seams show.  Sew along the sides about 2" , so that the holes where the sleeves were are not so large.  Trim off excess fabric.  Sew the bottom closed.

Step 3: Gusseting the Bottom

Take the junction of the bottom (that you have sewn closed and side seam on one side of the shirt, and pull it into a point, so the seams are back to back, and the fabric makes a triangle.  You are going to sew through this so the bottom of the bag will "box" out.

Step 4:

Sew the point about 2" in, so that your scrap piece is a right triangle.  Look at the pic, you'll probably see what I mean.

Step 5: Done!

Turn the whole thing right side out, and you are done!  As I used a serger, all of my raw edges were serged, but that REALLY doesn't matter at all.  They won't unravel. The bottom seam is plenty strong, so no worries there!  Do your piece for the environment!