This is an excellent way to get rid of your old t-shirts that you'll never wear again and turn them into something useful. You can do this in about 20 minutes or less. No sewing skill needed - as long as you can thread the machine (or have someone else do it) and press the pedal, you're good. No pattern needed.
You will need:
- old t-shirt
- a good pair of scissors
- a sewing machine and thread
A youth size or adult small will make a reasonably sized shopping bag. An adult medium or larger will make an awkwardly sized shopping bag, but I use it as a laundry bag.
Step 1: Cut It Out
Cut off the sleeves. I marked where I'm going to cut with a chalk thingie so you can see; it may be easier for you if you mark it as well. Cut a little inside the seam. Don't cut too far down or your bag will have holes in the sides and it won't hold anything.
Next you'll want to cut off the collar area. You want the shoulder area to be about 2-3 inches wide on each side. Don't cut too low or your bag will be small (unless that's what you're going for, in which case you may want to make the sleeve cuts deeper). If there's a logo, you can try to adjust your cut, but make it as symmetrical as you can. Remember, it's really easy to cut more off, but not so easy to add more on.
Once you've made your three cuts, proceed.
Step 2: Pin It
Turn the shirt inside out. Flatten out the fabric and line up the hem at the bottom (it's two layers - make them line up).
Fold two inches of double-layer fabric from each edge (one at a time) and pin it down. Make sure the edges are as even as you can get them. I used two pins.
Also pin the rest of the hem together.
Step 3: Sew
Thread your sewing machine with whatever color thread you want. The thread will not be visible from the outside, so it doesn't matter what color you use.
Sew along the bottom of the t-shirt, right outside the hem. You may want to go back over it a second time for extra strength. Up to you.
Step 4: Finish
Turn the bag right side out.
That's all you have to do. Decorate if you want. Otherwise, enjoy using a reusable, recycled, eco-friendly bag rather than a paper or plastic one.
Also see my other instructable on making bleached designs. It's easily done with a t-shirt bag too.