Most makers on the net are transforming tee shirt into bags by cutting the sleeves off. So here are some projects that turn T-shirts into bags in Instructables. I filter out some with more views and more favorites.
- Super Versatile T-shirt Bag (T-shirt Hacks Contest) by Gunk on Floor.
- FASTEST RECYCLED T-SHIRT TOTE BAG by sewmargaretsew.
- No-Sew 10 Minute T-Shirt Tote by wold630.
- How to Convert a Kid's T-Shirt into a Backpack by tidje.
I see a tee in different way. I think I can use the sleeves and this is it -- a drawstring sandbag with partitions.
It was long ago since I bought a backpack and I have minimal partitions in it. One partition for laptop. One large partition and one thin front partition. I have many to carry daily namely laptop,powerbank, pocket camera, cables, thumb drives, some electronic parts in a box, writing notebooks, novel, pens, stapler, paperclips, keys, wallet, er..umm.. I think there are some more ... multitools, etc. Kind of Doraemon's bag :D That's why I need more partitions in my bag to help me find my stuffs. This tee -- the neck and sleeves -- solves my problem.
I can use it as a bag-in-bag or as a shoulder bag or even a backpack with little modification. Let's take a look behind the scene ...
Step 1: What You Need
- A tee shirt for sure.
- A rope approximately 2 meters.
- Eyelets (here I use 8 sets with the ring washers, with appropriate size for your rope to go through).
- A carabiner.
- A "D" ring (or two -- for backpack style, not shown in the pictures above).
- Sewing machine (I use plastic one, portable. Well not bad for a first time user like me. Better than my hand sew :D ).
- Eyelet puncher.
I have no eyelet puncher, so I use tools I have around :D
- Metal ball.
- Ring spanner.
Optional, if you need to hold the fabric in certain position with hand sew :
- Pins and needle.
Step 2: The Folds
This is how we fold the tee.
- Put your tee upside down with the collar at the bottom. Fold the collar up until the pit position.
- Fold the sleeves down. Hold the position of the corner of the collar and also the pit. Then fold the sleeve openings up until it makes a line/curve with the collar.
- Align the side hems while you keep the sleeve openings in a curve to the collar. Now your pit might not be at the corner but don't you worry, that part will be the base of the bag.
Step 3: Layers and the Sew
Okay, so on the first picture I try to sync our perception about layers. This is important because we don't want to sew on the wrong layer.
On the second picture I have added notes about which layers should be sewn together. Sorry for the hard-to-read lime color, but I have added notes on the picture, click to read the notes.
I think everything is clear for you from the pictures above. If you still confuse leave a message on comment section. I always reply every comments on my instructables (if my mail reminder is not malfunctioning :D )
This is the first time I am using a sewing machine. Well, it is faster and better than my hand sew I should admit, and I had to take a peek on Machine Sewing Class :D
Step 4: The Rope/String
For instant, you can simply cut off both ends of the bottom hem and loop in the rope/string from inside of the hem.
Otherwise, we do it the hard way, but more stylish, with sets of eyelet. Eight sets to be precise on my bag.
- Meet both ends of the bottom hem from the inside, between top layer and bottom layer of the tee.
- Now we have 4 layers on the left and 4 layers on the right (click on picture #3 to see the notes).
- Mark the center of the left part and the center of the right part, a few millimeters below the hem, at all the layers. Those are where we are going to install the eyelets.
Step 5: Installing Eyelets
It is good if you have eyelet puncher. I am not going to buy one because I don't know when I will use it again after this project :D So I did it the hard way, with tools I have around.
- Fold four tee with the marks on the corner.
- Cut the corner to make a hole, no larger than quarter of the eyelet size.
- Do not worry about your small hole. Your tee is elastic.
- Put your eyelet into the hole (from the outside of your bag).
- Put the ring washer in (from the inside of the bag).
- Put your metal ball on the eyelet.
- Put your ring spanner on the metal ball.
- Start hammering slowly on the spanner with a mallet until the eyelet is clipping the ring washer.
Do it slowly. I didn't make a good installation on my first eyelet, but the last is good enough :D
Step 6: Alternative Eyelet Installation
This is a better way starting from my fourth eyelet.
- Put the eyelet on the hole.
- Put the ring washer on the eyelet.
- Bend the eyelet around with pliers.
- Put the metal ball on something (simply a cloth) to hold.
- Put the eyelet on top of the metal ball.
- Put something flat on the bended eyelet and start hammering the eyelet slowly with a mallet.
Step 7: Loop the Rope
- Loop the rope inside and out from one eyelet to the next starting from either end of the bag's opening, then bring both ends of the rope down to one corner at the bottom of the bag (or both corner if you want backpack style).
- Slide in a carabiner at one end of the rope and make a simple overhand knot. We can loosen the knot and move the carabiner later.
- Bind both ends of the rope together with the same simple overhand knot. Here I simply use a zip tie cable. Then I cut clean the inner paracord and leave both ends furry. Zip tie cable will stop the furry ends getting farther.
- Install your "D" ring(s) at the corner of the bag with hand sew.
- Hook the carabiner on the "D" ring and you are good to go ...
Step 8: Final Words
This is not a fancy bag as you seen in the market. What do you expect? This is turning trash (old tee) into treasure (a functional bag). I use it as bag in bag, as partitions in my backpack. When I need to go somewhere near, neighbor town, simply take it out, leaving my laptop in my backpack. I can work with tablet and phone. There are novels and stationary, keys, powerbank, charging cables, thumb drives, pocket camera, all inside this bag and I am ready to go.
Since this is alpha release, you can release a better version, better sewing, better eyelet installation, with similar folds or even better. Join the Remix Contest 2016 and share a link on my comment section with "I Made It!". I will sent you extra Pro Membership to your inbox ;)
Challenge in a challenge is interesting isn't it?