Sweatshirt Do-over




Introduction: Sweatshirt Do-over

I took an old sweatshirt and turned it into a colorful and useful tote/shopping bag. I saw an article online that showed the newest "designer" shopping bags going for upwards of $400. This one is for sale on Etsy for only $30 or make your own and it saves the environment every time you use it. All you need is an old sweatshirt (any size), scissors, pins, scrap fabric, sewing machine, thread (either matching or contrasting) and your imagination.

Step 1: Deconstruction Pt. 1

Lie the sweatshirt on a flat surface and cut off the sleeves and the shoulder area. I did this by eye but if you need to, use a ruler and mark with pencil or chalk a straight line. For the sleeves I just cut right next to the seam.

Step 2: Pockets

Cut open one sleeve and lie flat. Cut in half across making 2 pockets, one larger than the other, the small one with the ribbing. Pin in place and sew onto the body of the sweatshirt. I placed the small one inside for security. Using scrap fabrics I made another pocket for the other side of the bag. Placement of the pocket should be according to how you will use the bag.

Step 3: Close Up Bottom

Turn inside out and pin the bottom of the bag (formerly the top of the sweatshirt) closed and sew shut. I sewed it twice for strength. I rounded the corners of the bag because I thought it looked better than square.

Step 4: Handles

Cut open the other sleeve and split down the middle for two straps. Use a ruler to mark an even strip and cut away the extra fabric so you have a rectangle. I added a strip of scrap fabric for color, topstitching it on before making the handles. This sweatshirt was very heavy so instead of seaming the handles inside out and turning, I topstitched the raw ends down from the right side. You can pick the best way for your design. Pin the handles on at equal distant points and sew to the seam at the ribbing. This is a stronger point and the ribbing then acts like a covering flap at the top of the bag.

Step 5: Finished

Here are pictures of the finished product. You can use any color shirt and let your imagination go wild with scrap fabric for embellishments.

Here it is on sale at Etsy.com


Be the First to Share


    • Lighting Challenge

      Lighting Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge

    2 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is very nice! Looks cool. Thank you for the clear instructable! i will try to make one as soon as I find some old sweatshirt.


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Hey there! this is a great idea. I love the recycling aspect...