CraftSanity On TV: Recycled Fabric Totes

by jennifer

Today’s “Take Five & Company” segment was once again about recycling, one of my favorite ways to craft. The segment features a few bags I made in wee hours Thursday night with thrift store finds and one of my husband’s old T-shirts that I retrieved from the trash. (When it comes to reusable fabrics, I have no shame.)

The projects on this segment are very basic and can be easily embellished and enhanced by sewing enthusiasts. The key is to look at thrift store finds and cast-offs from your own closet with fresh eyes. If the fabric is interesting or can be used for something else, it doesn’t matter if the pants don’t fit or they’re ripped to shreds. Now you’ve got inexpensive fabric to make something “new.”

I made the camouflage bag out of a ripped pair of pants I spotted at Goodwill. The pants were ripped around the waistband, but four cargo pockets sufficed as redeeming qualities for this sad pair of pants. I cut a tube section of fabric out around the pocket, turned the fabric inside out and stitched the bottom closed.

I made a liner out of an old green T-shirt and stuffed it (wrong sides together) into the camo pouch. The shoulder strap is fashioned from pieced together fabric from the remainder of the pant leg.

Next, I folded in the raw edges and stitched around the top of the bag securing the strap in place along the way. I cut the bottom hem off the bottom of one of the pant legs and made a loop to serve as a place to clip keys. To add a little spunk, I made a “Make Aprons Not War” button.

The T-shirt bag is the easiest to make and a great beginner project for those looking for instant gratification.

Grab an old T-shirt and a Sharpie marker. Turn the shirt inside out and draw the shape of your bag with the straps starting up on the fold. (See video below.)

Trace the lower part of the bag shape by sewing a seam to connect the front and back of the bag. Cut out the the shape about a 1/2 inch from the sewn seam and continue cutting on the line you drew for the handles. Snip the seam with little cuts around the lower part of the bag. Turn it right side out and you’re ready for you next trip to the market.

Check out the video clip of the segment below if you want to know more about making these simple bags including how to create a flat bottom in the pillowcase market tote at the top of this post.

Have fun and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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