Tuesday, January 17, 2012

52 things to do with an old shirt - #1 Make a tshirt bag

Some of my favorite old tshirts have rips or paint stains.
But they still have memories, so they take up space in my
dresser drawer. I'll never wear this one again, because of
the green paint, and a thrift shop would just throw it out.

Start making your bag by cutting off the sleeves.
 All my life, we've had a "Goodwill" bag, or box, where you put old clothes that were still in wearable shape to donate to whatever thrift store was handy. It's wonderful that we live in a country where clothing is so abundant. But lately, I've been hearing this excess is causing serious harm in other countries, especially in Africa. I've researched it enough that I think it's not just an idle worry. If you google "used clothing Africa" you'll find this story and enough others to make you reconsider what you do with your old clothes.

Now, we still have two good local thrift stores, and I still donate my really nice stuff to them. And I've chosen to really limit my clothing purchases, following the old adage "Use it up or wear it out, make it do, or do without." but I still have lots of clothing that I don't wear anymore.

I'm going to start my own project right here. Once a week I'll post what I've figured out to do with re-purposing my old clothing under "52 things to do with an old shirt."

Leave me a comment here if you have any questions, my computer was not being terribly cooperative about loading photos this morning.

Cut off the shoulders and neckline as far above the
decoration as you can.

Cut the sleeves in a strip about 1-inch wide in a spiral, so
you have one long strip. Tshirt material will pull and coil. so
you don't have to finish the edges, unless you want to.

Turn the shirt inside out and stitch the bottom edge together.
For those of you who don't sew, I suppose these sewing
steps can be done with safety pins or staples.

Roll one top edge down about an inch and stitch to make a
tube. Repeat on the other side.

Cut each sleeve strip into three pieces and braid the strip.
Thread each of the two braided strips through the tubes that
you've sewn at the top of the bag.

Now you have a bag with two handles that opens wide
enough to hold lots of things.

You can hang it up to put your old t-shirts in. That green paint
still bothers me, I think this one will be rag bag in my
laundry room, maybe a reminder to get an old shirt out
of the bag when I go to paint something!

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