Recycling work: cute bags made of old shirt

One happy owner of a cute "new" purse!
Now for the step-by-step: 

1. Start with an old shirt and any other old clothes. I had a long sleeved girls' crew neck shirt and a pair of capris. 

2. Cut off the sleeves and part of the bottom the shirt until it's the size and shape you'd like. Put the sleeves and bottom aside for later. 

I ended up making the bottom a little more rounded after this pic.
3. Pin the right sides together and sew down the sides and across the bottom.

Pinned in place.

Edges sewn. I also zigzag stitched around the edges for extra durability.

4. Take your lining fabric and put the right sides together. Put your stitched purse on top as a pattern and cut out the lining. (NOTE: I have never lined something before and I didn't feel like looking up the proper way to do it so I just totally winged it. It ended up working well enough for me, but if you know a better way, by all means, use it!) 

5. Cut out a small semi-circle on the fold for the opening. You'll cut it to size later.

6. With the right sides still together, pin and then stitch along the sides and bottom of your lining.

7. Now you have your purse and lining ready. 

8. With your purse fabric right side out and your lining wrong side out, slip your lining into your purse.

9. Now trim the opening of the lining fabric so it's about 1 / 2 "larger than the opening of the purse. 

10. Flip the whole thing inside out. Now the lining is on the outside and the wrong sides of the purse and lining are together.

11. Fold the edge of the lining fabric down about 1/4-1/2 "and pin it around the neckline of the shirt. The edge of your lining should be just a bit lower than the edge of the neckline. 

12. Stitch the lining in place close to the edge all around the neckline. 

13. WooHoo! The purse is just about done. Now it's time to add the extras! 

14. Cut the bottom part of the shirt that you put aside before into several strips. 

15. Braid them together to cover the shirt's neckline and form your handle. 

16. Decide how long you need your handles to be and hot glue your braid over the neckline.

Looks cute now. You can stop here if you want.

17. If you want to add a little more fun to your purse. Cut a bunch of strips. (I used the slightly darker pink from those old knit capris.) 

18. Roll the strips to form fabric rosettes in a variety of sizes. There are a lot of rosette making tutorials out there. I basically just started rolling at one end, twisted the strip around now and then, and put a dab of hot glue to hold it in place after every few times around. 

19. Place your rosettes to cover the front of your purse and hot glue them in place.

That's it! You're done. I love the way mine turned out and totally want to make a few more. (Mommy even has a few stained shirts that could work for a "big girl" sized purse!)

One happy owner of a cute "new" purse!


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