Vintage T-Shirt Bag

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T-Shirt Tote


  • T-Shirt
  • Bias Tape
  • Sewing Machine
  • Marking Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Pins

Step 1: Designing And Marking The Bag

Fold the shirt in half lengthwise. Draw two scoops with chalk around the neck and sleeves removing the neckline and armholes. To do this, measure 2” down from the center neck. Then make a short, 1” line perpendicular with the center of the shirt to square off the scoop. Mark the top of the shirt on the shoulder seam past the neckband. Draw a scooped line connecting the top mark and 1” squared line.

If you have pattern making tools such as a French curve or hip curve, they can help in drawing curved lines. If not, no worries, sketching it works just as well.

Measure over two or more inches from your new line on the shoulder seam and make a mark. Then draw a 1” line perpendicular to the side seam just below the bottom of the armhole. Now, draw a scooped line connecting the shoulder seam mark and 1” squared mark.

To mark the bottom, you can leave it straight or curve it to give it a bit more style. We decided to curve ours.

Draw a 1” line at the center front bottom as you did with the neck line. Measure up 2 or more inches on the side seam and make a mark. Draw a gradual curved line connecting the new mark and 1” straight line.

Step 2: Cutting Out The Bag

Leave the shirt folded and cut on your new marked lines all the way through each layer.

Step 3: Sewing The Bag Closed

With right sides together, pin the bottom closed.

Select a zigzag stitch and sew with a 5/8” seam allowance across the entire bottom of the shirt. Lock the stitches at the beginning and end of the seam.

This next step is optional, but recommended if you plan to carry heavier items in your fun new bag!

To reinforce our bag, we chose to add a second stitch line at ¼” seam allowances. You can also use a serger here if you would like.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Finish the edges of the bag. There are many options for this, but we decided to use bias tape to give our bag a bit more stability and pizzazz!You can purchase premade bias tape or make your own! We made our own with some fun polka dot prints.

Voila! You are all done and have created yourself a great new bag! Great for all your sewing, shopping and traveling needs!

** Measurements do not need to be exact they can be adjusted to your preferences.