Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children

Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children
Happy Mother's Day UK

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

T-Shirt Bag Tutorial - Make An Upcycled Accessory

Last Friday we had a fabulous workshop in Sunningdale - Upcycled T-Shirt Bags. The girls who came along for the morning were incredibly creative and walked away with some truly stunning creations that will look great on the beach, at a barbecue or shopping around town. Well done to everyone who attended - some of your beautiful bags are featured below.

For those of you who were unable to attend I thought I'd share this tutorial on how to make your own bag from an outgrown or pre-loved t-shirt. These bags are a great quick make and an inexpensive way to accessorise this Summer.

You will need:

1 t-shirt, thread, and something to decorate. For this bag I used funky wide ribbon that I had left over from another project but beads, buttons or pieces of fabric can be used to decorate. (For ideas take a look at the bags that were made in the workshop below)

Step one:

Make the openings for the bag by cutting off the sleeves but leaving the armhole seams in place as this will act to add strength to your handles. Cut a deep rounded "V" shape around the neck opening of the t-shirt. This should reach to just below the bottom edge of the armholes.

Step two:

Now you need to strengthen the edges of your bag. Fold the fabric edges inwards by 1/2cm and sew small neat stitches around the edge. You can use any stitch to reinforce the edges and prevent fraying. For this bag I used over stitch in a contrasting thread. Fold and sew around all of the three edges you have cut in step one.

Step three

Now you need to change your t-shirt shape into a bag. To do this line up the side seams of the t-shirt so that they are lying one directly on top of the other. The previous armholes have now become handles and these too should line up with each when laid flat.

Step four

Time to decorate. This is when you can be as creative as you like. I have added some wide ribbon and a bow across the front of this bag.

Step five

Trim your bag to size. If you leave the shape as it is you will have more of a rectangle shaped bag, or you can trim some of the fabric from the bottom as I did here to make more of a square shaped bag.

Step six

Turn your bag inside out and again make sure that the side seams are lined up in the middle lying one on top of the other. The handles at the top should also lie on top of each other. Pin and sew across the bottom of the bag. Backstitch is best for this as it will make the seam stronger.

Once this is done turn your bag the right way round and it is ready for use - a fabulous upcylced accessory!

Here are some of the bags that we made at the Hope & Gloria Sewing Workshop last week. Top tip: For these bags we used "vest" style t-shirts. The shape of the t-shirts means that it is not necessary to trim and sew the seams around the top so you don't have to do stage one and two above. Don't they look brilliant?


  1. Hey do you have a Twitter account? I want to tweet about this tutorial but I want to link to your Twitter account in it, if you have one.

  2. I too make bags from T-Shirts and singlets. Mine aren't as pretty as these ones but they are strong, reusable, not throwaway plastic.
    I hope you tutorial gets more people making these.


  3. Thanks for your comments - tute-bot unfortunately I don't have a twitter account at the moment, must get one!

    Barb, yes really hope this will get some more people upcycling, pleased you liked the tutorial. xx

  4. This is a lovely bag,just lovely!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.