stripey sewn t shirt bag

T-shirt Bags: How to Make a Bag from a T-shirt – Sew Method

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T-shirt bags are a fabulous way to make your own shopping bags at no cost. You simply use old t-shirts that would have gone to waste. The sewing is really simple and anyone including beginners can make these in minutes!

If you are looking for a no-sew version of a t-shirt bag then checkout my no-sew t-shirt bag with tassels. You really can use any old t-shirt. If you want a large bag use a large adults t-shirt but if you want a small bag use a kids t-shirt.

You can use t-shirts with motifs and messages on them to create exciting bags. Any t-shirt you have is a possible bag so get creative!

You will need:

  • old t-shirt (short or long sleeved)
  • basic sewing supplies

Video Tutorial for a Sewn T-shirt Bag

This video is also available on my YouTube channel.

Create your Bag Handles

Fold your t-shirt in half vertically so that the sleeves lie on top of each other. Take a little bit of time to remove any wrinkles so that the t-shirt is lying flat. Cut off the sleeves. If you check the edges and you have not cut off the sleeves perfectly just trim them up now.

Then you need to cut off the neck of the t-shirt to make the opening to your t-shirt bag. I suggest that you cut it off along the neckline and check that you are happy with the size of your bag opening. If you are not then re-fold the t-shirt and cut it a little lower until you are happy with it. It all depends what you want to carry in it!

neck and sleeves cut off t-shirt

Form the T-shirt Bag Base

Turn your t-shirt / bag inside out and lie it flat on your workspace. Make sure that the upper and lower hems line up with each other. Pin and sew along the hem. I recommend using a small zig zag stitch on your sewing machine so that the stitches can stretch with the stretchy t-shirt material.

hem pinned and sewn on t-shirt bag

You can now turn your bag the right way out and use it as it is. But, I prefer to make a boxed bottom in the bag so that items sit more easily in it. If you want to do the same then simply keep reading!

Form a Boxed Bottom in your T-shirt Bag

Keeping your bag inside out, fold the bag such that the side seam lines up with the bottom seam and pin the two together an inch or two away from the corner. Repeat this with the other corner. Then sew along these seams. Again use a small zig zag stitch for your seams.

box corners pinned

How far from the corner you sew is up to you but the further away you sew the wider the boxed bottom will be so I would not go too far. I went about 1.5″ with mine.

box corner sewn

Turn your bag the right way out and you are all finished. You can cut the points off that you have just sewn but I leave them on to add a bit of support in the base of the bag.

Remember if you want to make t-shirt bags without sewing then take a look at this tutorial here.

stripey sewn t shirt bag

And next …

So if you fancy sewing a very pretty lined drawstring bag you can see how here. These are great for wedding bags, gift bags, etc.

Or if re-using old t-shirts is your thing then how about making some pretty flowers from your bright coloured t-shirts?

You could make yarn from your old t-shirts and then use that yarn in many creative projects including crocheting a round rug.

Remember to pin this tutorial on Pinterest for later so that you can turn all your old t-shirts into useful bags.

sewn t shirt bag Pinterest pin

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