March 16, 2010

Quick fix grocery bag :: a tutorial

We had grapes this weekend. So? They were really good. Seedless white grapes and they came in one of those plastic bags, with cuts all over to make it stretchy. Hours after we had the grapes, while in the kitchen, my eye fell upon the plastic bag again. It was just a glimpse, but enough for me to hear it scream: please, make me!
I didn't pay too much attention to it until yesterday morning. I was working on something else when all of a sudden I remembered the bag. It didn't take me too long to think it through. All that I needed was a shirt.

I found a shirt - an old favorite but hopelessly stained one (bleach* near the bottom hem). And after some cutting, sewing and some more cutting I ended up with this bag.
It's probably one of the fastest and easiest bags I ever made, but I do like it a lot!



In case you want to give this super fast and easy grocery bag a try as well, keep on reading as I wrote down some instructions for you.

What you need:

- an old T-shirt
- scissors
- matching thread
- a button
- a piece of ribbon
- sewing machine



Instructions:


1. Take an ironed adult size T-shirt, right side out. (You could use a kid's T-shirt for a smaller sized bag).

2. Fold it in half as shown in picture 2.

3. Cut off the sleeves as shown in picture 3 and put them aside as you'll need them later to make a little pouch.

4. Cut around the neck-line as shown in picture 4.

5. Sew the bottom of the shirt closed using a French seam. If you're not familiar with the French seam check out this post. (Basically, you sew the hem closed on the right side, turn the bag inside out and sew another seam, sandwiching the first seam inside). Next, sew boxed corners, as explained here, in step 1. You could iron everything flat now, if you like.

6. Place the bag in front of you on a flat surface. Starting from the bottom, fold over the bag as shown in picture 6, about 2 1/2 inch, that is.

7. Now, starting about 3 inches from the side, with your scissors make 1/2 an inch to 3/4 of an inch cuts through all layers, leaving about 1 1/8 inch between every cut. Continue like this all the way to the other side and stop about 3 inches from the side seam.

8. Next, fold it over some more (an additional 2 to 2 1/2 inch) and repeat the cutting, but now right in between two cuts from the previous line, as shown in picture 8.

9. Go on like this a couple more times, depending on the size of your bag - I did 5 rows in total.

10. Optional - Pouch:



Take one sleeve and cut to size, such that the folded bag fits inside the sleeve (make sure to add seam allowance). The hem of the sleeve will be the top of the pouch (if its a tunnel, i.e. tubular all the way around so you could pass a ribbon through)- if not, sew a tunnel). Sew the cut-off sleeve closed at the other end using a French seam again - you can box the corners if you like. At the top: make two small incisions (front only) at the center of the hem. With a safety pin slide the ribbon through the tunnel, and pull the ribbon ends through the button. Make knots in both ribbon ends. To close the pouch just pull the button all the way up and vice versa to open.


As with all of my tutorials, please note, this tutorial is intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form without permission. Thanks for understanding!


* the bleach stains ended up the in hem and one of the boxed corners!!

81 comments:

eloleo said...

You did it again! Beautiful!

britt said...

thanks. i love all the tutorials that you give and this one is great and highly useful.

virginia said...

brilliant!

sulu-design said...

Adorable! I love it - thanks for the tutorial.

said...

What a clever idea!

mon ami said...

this is a great bag - you are a genius!
xo

jane said...

yes... you are awesome:)

Ammie said...

Spectacular! It's beautiful, repurposed, and useful.

nicole/brussels said...

ik ben echt jaloers op hetgeen je gemaakt heb, vind het fantastisch, origineel, en dan nog mooi ook, wou dat het de mijne was! wanneer valt moederdag? ;-)

cindy said...

it is super! your tutorials would make such a great book. it's just a matter of time i'm sure!

cindy said...

so clever and adorable!

Lissy said...

this is fabulous :)

la.daridari said...

awesome idea and tutorial.thanks!
daria

Monika said...

Clever clever. Thanks for sharing while I have seen tee bags (lol) before, I haven't seen ones quite this cool. I really love it. Now can you explain why my stretch marks don't make my middle look this attractive?

ClassiclyAmber said...

You are a genius! I LOVE this idea!! Thanks so much for sharing! =-D

Corynne Escalante said...

i love this bag! so smart! i love your blog, images, style. <3

cucicucicoo said...

*LOVE* it! i know i have lots of old tshirts hanging around, one of them's getting this treatment! thanks so much :) lisa

JenMeister said...

I love the button idea for the pouch! How clever :)

april said...

Very nice~ I'm gonna try and make one for my mom... thanks for sharing ^_^

Stitching At Stone Cottage said...

this is sooo fabulous...clever you....thanks for sharing

Robyn - Coffee and Cotton said...

What an amazing idea. Thank you!

mayaluna said...

I'm cheering like everyone else here! Very clever... and I love how you shared your moment of inspiration!

Molly said...

i love this bag! i've made t-shirt bags similar in design, but i love the addition of the cuts. they do look like grape bags! absolutely perfect! i think i have a white shirt in my drawer that needs refashioning.

luvinthemommyhood said...

Ummmm, love it!!!! Great idea! I couldn't help adding you to our link luv roundup today, come by for a peek! http://www.luvinthemommyhood.com/2010/03/link-luv-roundup_24.html

I was also wondering if you wanted a copy of the "featured on luvinthemommyhood" button for your sidebar now that you are sporting buttons. I would love for you to have one! Send me an email if you're interested :)

Rūta said...

Thank you so much for this idea and tutorial.

tanepuri said...

very cool!
I just received my Alabama Stitch Book and was going through my husband's t-shirt drawer.
Thank you for the tutorial.
Naoko

Kansas_Kate said...

Neat idea.

If you start w/ a tank top instead of a tee shirt, you could eliminate the first few steps, no?

Pascale said...

Absolutely! Why didn't I think of that?!

craftydill said...

Saw your bag and tutorial featured on Design*Sponge...whoohoo!!

Brit @ Esbe Chic said...

I found you off of DesginSponge too...wow I'm digging this bag :)

Anonymous said...

Terrific! Got here from TipNut. SEW EASY!

syndi said...

Well, that was a really cute shirt you started from, but I am sure it is happy with it's new incarnation (fabricnation??)
I'm off to raid the closet and I AM taking prisoners!

Melanie said...

The final product is so elegant, I love it! And yay for recycling! Thanks for sharing your brilliant idea, I just recently got a sewing machine and this looks like a great first project :)

Kristen said...

What a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing. I, the non-crafter, may even have to break out my sewing machine to try this one!

Re:Design Technologies said...

absolutely genius! thank you.

Joy said...

Saw this on Tip nut and had to come over and see the tutorial. I always take my own bags to the grocery store, but I always end up with tons of those produce bags, I'm making it. I love this idea.
I'll probably try it with one of my husband's t-shirts he's ready to retire.
Thanks so much
♥ Joy

inhabiting_trees said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
inhabiting_trees said...

This is a really great tutorial! Thanks! I had alot of fun making it and your french seams link helped very much as well (I'm very new to sewing). You can see my results here:

KJ said...

Ingenious. I just discovered your blog looking for ways to repurpose mesh produce bags and * happily * came across your idea.

creativejewishmom.com said...

congrats on making it onto designsponge! I just love this project and I hope you won't mind my linking to it on my International Blog Linking party (you were there once, remember?) this week. Do stop by again some time, I just love your unique style! all the best, sara

food delivery philippines said...

This is a great idea thank you so much for the tutorial very informative blog. :)

vee

Kathrin said...

Sensational Idea, thanks a lot for the good and easy Tuto, lots of odd Shirts are waiting....
Have a lovely day, Hello from Switzerland, Kathrin

Mummatutu said...

I wish there was some way to foloow your blog... I added a link to this tutorial on my blog I hoe that is okay? Thanks I can't wait to make a couple of these! I have a few old ts that are stained and/or I no longer were and this is perfect for them! I'll leave a link to my blog post that links to you http://mummasaidso.blogspot.com/2010/05/oh-i-want-to-be-green-er.html

Patty

Elba said...

Muito legal essa idéia!!!!
Obrigada!

Buffy said...

This is amazing.
I wonder if you used a tank top and just stitched the bottom if it would look as good. I'm not great with sewing, which is why I thought of it.

christian louboutin said...

so interesting. i never think an old T-shirt can be done that things. thanks for sharing

Lakelandmom said...

I originally found your site on Urban Branches and I'm glad I did! I'll be stopping by now and then to see what's new. I love your site! :)

vintage rings said...

This is great. I liked your tutorial. This is best tutorial I ever read. I used it and tried to make my bag and i am able to make similar one only becoz of you. You are genius.

Texana said...

hmmm...wondering about cutting the sleeve pouch the same way with slits so it would hold even more!?!

Natalie said...

Simple.
Clever.
Inspiring.
Thank you!

Photo Booth Girl said...

Genius!m THank you thank you!

juliecache said...

got here from sew mama sew. L O V E this idea! you're a genius. must make.

Dickies crew said...

I'm a fan! You are really excellent and I can say no more..

Alisa said...

thanks. i love all the tutorials that you give and this one is great and highly useful.

Funny Teeshirts

PaperPhine said...

Most amazing idea and great tutorial! Will get out one of those old T-Shirts in a minute! Thanks a lot for sharing.

Anonymous said...

The t-shrit seems to be white. Which color was the stain?

mb said...

what a fantastic idea! I gotta make one...today!

Lynn @ Constitutionally Modern DIY said...

Best reuse of a t-shirt I've ever seen, Pascale! Thanks for letting me reblog.

Joey@ bean bags for kids said...

I definitely love the idea of the grocery bag :) you're so creative, it looks really good.

Echo M said...

2 questions:

1) Can I feature this tutorial on my blog?

2) Our local city government is placing a ban on plastic bags, and I am a huge supporter of the Make Local Habit movement. Would you mind if I sold these bags at our local farmers markets, or our college campus Green Festival?

http://gnomesatemyhomework.blogspot.com/

Shadedfears@gmail.com

Echo M.

Nay Nay said...

Thanks u just helped me make a bag for mothers day! :)

urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

This is the best t-shirt to bag ever. Period.

princessbetht said...

I made t-shirt bags for my daughter's preschool class to decorate on Earth Day years ago. They always come out so cute!

Carol Carneiro said...

Amei as dicas! Obrigada por compartilhar conosco coisas bacanas de reaproveitar! Estou com 1 camisa velha alí e vou tentar fazer agora! bjs: Carol Carneiro
www.blogcarolcarneiro.blogspot.com

Y si me parte un rayo.- said...

so cute!!!love this!!!!

Katherine Lins said...

Hey, I just did a post about your lovely bag project. I did not see the part about permissions....anyway, is it ok if I continue to link to your tutorial? By the way, I absolutely love how mine came out. This was a wonderful idea.

bmolavi said...

I really love this post and your creativity, and I still remember all the craziness with Good Housekeeping. . .
But I just saw this post:
http://deliacreates.blogspot.com/2011/05/greeneasy-knit-produce-bag.html
and I immediately remembered I saw this idea first on your blog, but the blogger is not giving you credit for it. . .
I already made a comment about it on the blog post, but I just wanted to let you know :\

Live Rich and Free said...

Adorable! I feel like these look very expensive and modern.

I've included your tutorial (and a link, of course) in my post on the 101 coolest reusable craft ideas. Nice job!

The full post is here, if you're interested: http://liverichandfree.blogspot.com/2011/10/101-coolest-reuseable-craft-projects.html

Anna said...

So far this the cutest version I've seen of this project. I love the holes. It's such a simple way to make it different.

cafe24 youtube extension said...

Hope to read more from you. Thank you for this post.

ellynveve said...

Very professional written review of t-shirts. Keep us updated with this sort of stuff always. I will be coming back to read more here.

Silvia said...

I love your projects! We've just posted this one on our magazine's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IspirAzioniMag

Thank you!
Silvia
IspirAzionI

Susan said...

Fabulous! Wouldn't these make just the best gifts? I have a friend who shops regularly at the farmer's market. She'd love one of these bags. So glad your grape bag called out to you!

Mark Bintuu said...

These bags are looking best to keep fruits. I would try the tutorial to make this bag. And lets hope for my success. (:

Patent Lawyer

Anonymous said...

Great Bag! I'd like to make a few to sell. Would you mind if I did? I would be happy to mention your blog if I did.

Kate said...

Just found your post on Craft Gossip - this bag is such a great idea! Thank you for sharing your idea and how-to.

Disco Dotty said...

I found you thru free crafts. this bag is so awesome, just love stuff to make from t shirts. which seem to reproduce in my bureau. blessings, judyb

Emily said...

Hi, just so you know, there's a facebook page called Eco Palace that's used the image of the white bag with fruits in it on their page without crediting you or linking to this blog. Just thought I'd pass that long. It was posted on 8 Sept.

I'd have emailed about it, but the Contact page wasn't opening for me.

Also, love your blog.

Cheers,
Emily

Linda Hughes said...

Great idea, could also do this with tank tops which most of us have!

Hope you don't mind I shared link to this on google +, plus my face book fan page.

Anonymous said...

Make it from an old sweatshirt ... it will be much stronger!

GRACE M said...

Very good suggestion ... nevertheless. Grace

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