Friday, February 4, 2011

What to do with a Clever T-shirt

Admit it, you've bought t-shirts because they were clever before, only to find out that they're not particularly flattering or comfortable once you put them on. Or you've thrilled at getting a free t-shirt only to get it home and realize that it's five sizes too big, and would work better as a chair cover than as something a person wears.

I've realized over the years that clever t-shirts just never fit me. I have a freakishly long torso, and these shirts are always too short. I've experimented with the tank top under t-shirt look, which works ok, but I'm still always tugging it down to cover my waist (no desire to be Gwen Stefani), and it's just uncomfortable. Now, instead of struggling to wear what should be the most comfortable shirt, I've re-purposed my clever t-shirts and now have a clever lunch bag that is the envy of many.

Exhibit A: My Hawthorne is a Hottie t-shirt. It was free, it's funny because it's true, but I have no occasion to
wear this shirt. Also, my friend took the last small size, so this is a unisex medium, which means men's medium. That means that it is both too wide and too long, but also too narrow in the hips so I won't even be able to wear it while working out. Plus, it's too clever to be a work-out shirt.

So while I was in the throes of indecision, I found this blog "Make a bag from a shirt". It's simple to do, even if you're not such a whiz with a sewing machine.

Sewing machine

Step One: Cut off the arms and cut out the neck of the t-shirt. The blog that I read, didn't really deal with the neck of the t-shirt, but I found that once the bag is sewn together, the smaller neck (i.e. the untrimmed neck) makes it really hard to put things into the bag. Cut down the neck so that you have what almost looks like two straps of t-shirt on either side.

Step Two: turn the t-shirt inside out and sew the bottom together. Since this is the bottom of a bag I intend to put things in, I did about three passes for reinforcement.

Step Three: Turn the bag right side out, and use it! Depending on what you're planning to carry in the bag, you may want to reinforce the straps with something. You could sew a length of ribbon along the side and straps, or use some of the pieces you cut off-- follow your heart.

So there you go--it's cute, still clever, and I don't have to actually wear it. It also rolls up to a very handy size, so I can keep one in my purse just in case. Plus, since it's a t-shirt, just throw it in the wash when it gets dirty.

I also found the free ebook from All Free Sewing: Nine Ways to Transform old t-shirts. Since my bags needs are pretty much met right now, I may try some of their ideas in the future too.

1 comment:

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