Introduction: How to Recycle Old Shirt Sleeves Into Small Bags.

About: I like to do arts and crafts, spend a lot of time reading and just general playing around...! :P

This is a short Instructable of how I made a couple of small bags out of some old velvet shirt sleeves that I had left over from making a shirt into a vest. Now, I know that not everyone has remnant shirt sleeves laying about their homes, but on the random chance there is one person out there that happens to come upon that stellar shirt at Goodwill (Thrift store), here is a way to make use of that perfect find.
I am putting this in the mother's day sewing contest. This little bag would make a nice gift wrap for a piece of jewelry, or perhaps a small box of candy, etc. for Mothers day. I might not make it in black, though. :) One of my friends suggested that you could also make sachets out of them. If you make it a little longer, then sew shut the cuff, hem, and put the drawstring at the top, I think it would make a nice bottle cover/ wine bag for gift giving.

Step 1: Shirt Reducing

(I am again assuming that most people reading this have basic sewing skills.)
Remove the sleeves of the shirt you want to use. Cut the sleeve off at the length that you want your bag to be, plus your seam allowance, and sew the bottom shut. If you want to use a sleeve with a cuff, you could, I would just sew the cuff shut first, before making it into a bag. (Sorry some of these pictures aren't the best, I was consumed with craft mania, and got in a hurry to finish. Also it is kind of hard to take pictures of black velvet. ) :)

Step 2: Cord Re-using

Make a lace channel for your drawstring cord. take a 2 inch wide piece of lace. Cut it to the size you want for your bag, plus seam allowance. Fold lace under on ends, sew. Fold lace in half lengthwise. Sew. Pin lace to your bag, so that the straight folded part is against the fabric. Sew again. You will end up with a lacy see through drawstring top! I used an old cord that I had laying around (That I had meant to use for another purse I was going to make, but never got around to, :P ) , and put a safety pin on the end and threaded it through the lace channel I just made. Take out the safety pin, knot the ends of your cord together, and you're done!

Step 3: Extra Recycling.

So, after you are done making your bag, you can velvet emboss it (If your sleeve is made out of the right kind of velvet) by using these instructions:

They didn't do any embossing with wire ( I don't think), so I did mine with a little piece of twisted wire I had laying around for an experiment to see if it would work. I stuck my wire twist onto a book with a little scrapbooking tape square because I was in a hurry (and wanted to do it "Right Now", instead of finding a board,- and gluing the wire on with epoxy,- and waiting for it to dry....- ) And I put the book inside of the bag, and ironed it on. Mine turned out kind of subtle, but I liked it. Honestly, I can't remember if I dampened my velvet or not, so that might have been the problem.

So there you have it! Now you can have a nice little bag for your mother's gift for mother's day!

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