Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Make Something Monday: T-shirt produce bags

. . . and other updates.

A while ago, my sister and I had decided to establish a weekly crafting routine on Monday nights (my last class ends by 5, and I have the evening free from dorm-parenting duties). This weekly crafting idea comes from my friend Nicole from ME, who has been holding "Too Cute Tuesdays" off and on over the past several years. She started after she moved off the island, so I never got to be a part of them. She and her crew have made a lot of cool things over the years that I keep meaning to try my hand at (the Fabric To Go boxes I made last spring came from a craft she had posted about). Winter being winter (and colds, and lack of planning) has kept us from actually starting up. Last night (yes, Tuesday), however, we decided to get the show on the road.
old t-shirts, mostly from G

Last week I'd stumbled across a t-shirt repurposing project: turn old t-shirts into produce (or other) bags with a seam or two and some snips through the fabric to give it some extra stretch. One take on the project is here, another take is here. We mostly followed the former example.

Materials needed:
old t-shirts
sewing machine
marking pen (we used a marker that disappears after time)

The first step was to figure out the basic shape of the bag. Since I was eyeing the shape, but still wanted it somewhat symmetrical, I folded the t-shirt in half lengthwise and drew the pattern on one side (like making a paper-heart, in grade school). I cut through all layers of the fabric; for two of the bags I kept the shoulders as pre-made handles.
approximating the bag shape
Once cut out, it looked a bit like a typical plastic grocery bag. I pinned it around the edges I planned on sewing; since the shoulder seams were still intact I didn't need to sew those. 
kind of like a grocery bag,
but NOT plastic!!
My sister had her old Singer Featherweight set up, and since it only goes forward and back I opted for a french seam for added security (not to mention my seams were REALLY close to the edge). I did this by first sewing a seam with right sides together, then turned the bag right side out and sewed along the outside edge again. It sort of traps the edges inside the bag and gives the seam more strength.
watch your fingers.
Once my bag had its shape it was ready for some '80s glam in the form of slashes through the fabric. At first I used a ruler (post card) to mark the slits I intended to cut. Then I went rogue since I figured I was cutting it all up anyway, and the cuts weren't likely to be all that straight with the scissors anyhow.
new bags!! mine are on the right
A bunch of snips later, and an air-conditioned bag was born! I ended up with two grocery bag-style, and one smaller one (the little bag has a handle cut into the fabric).
staged action shot.
clearly zoe doesn't want to take part.

Sky blanket update: January square

Since it's February now, I thought you all might want to see the first square from the Sky blanket:

And random cuteness

A little something else I recently cooked up (the vest, not the baby):

A hooded, giraffe-patterned vest, complete with ears and horns, for my island friend's baby. What stylish baby doesn't need a fashionable sweater vest? Especially a giraffe sweater vest.

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