Thursday, August 11, 2011

{Tutorial from ME!} T-Shirt to Boho Bag

Tomorrow is the last day to link up!! The linky party closes at Noon EST. And we'll be announcing the winners tomorrow evening!

A couple of months ago, Old Navy had an additional 60% off all of their clearance items. I found a tee is a color that I loved, but it wasn't my fit or size. I bought it anyway for $1.47.


And what I ended up making has been in my head for a long time! I saw a bag at TJ Maxx and loved the details. I've been thinking up how to make it ever since!


Wanna see how?

{You need}
Fabric for outside {of course, I'd suggest upcycling an old tee!}
Fabric for the inside {from my stash}
Wooden Beads {$3 for 300 beads @ Walmart}
Needle & Thread
Sewing Machine
Felt {optional for flowers}

Start out by cutting 10" x 18" rectangles out of the outside fabric & lining. Of course, you can go bigger or smaller to make a different size bag.

With the right sides together sew up three of the sides {two shorter sides and one longer side}.

To get the bottom of the bag to have a bottom, you need to take the bottom corners & flatten them {lining up the side seam and the bottom seam. Stitch across the corner when you have a width that seems right for the bottom of a bag. {I also use this technique on my zipper pouches}  Now turn them right side out to test to see if you've got it right!


I wanted a few pockets in my purse. I didn't want to deal with zippers for this one {because I didn't want to go buy any!}, but...I didn't want my stuff falling out. I created elastic topped pockets to keep my goods in!


First, cut a piece of fabric the length you want the pocket, but make it twice as wide as you want it. Iron a casing at the top of the pocket. You do this by ironing over once, folding again, and ironing again. Then iron the bottom up to have a clean edge. {step 1}

Next, do the same for the sides {step 2}

Sew along the lower edge of the fold to create your upper casing {step 3}

Now, there's no pictures of this step, but you need to cut a piece of elastic to the width of the finished pocket and fish it through the casing. Pin it to both edges to create your stretch.

Your top will be narrower than the bottom, so just pleat the bottom & pin to the lining. Stitch all the way around the sides and bottom and you've got a pocket {step 4}

Onto the rest... measure how long you wanted your straps and cut two strips of fabric around 3-5 inches wide to the length you want.

Iron the strap in half width wise. Turn it right side down. Turn the edges in to the crease and iron them. Sew along the open edge to create a finished strap. {I stopped stitching about 2 inches from both ends. This creates an edge that is easier to pin and sew to the purse.


{Here's where it gets a little hairy! I pinned and repinned about three times before I had it right!}


Turn your lining with the right side on the inside. You will need to pin on your straps {make sure the strap is inside the purse with the bottoms of the straps on the upper edge. Next pin on the outside with the right side on the inside.


Sew all the way around leaving a 2-3 inch hole to turn the purse right side out.

Turn it out. Top stitch along the upper edge to close your hole and create a more finished look.


Now, it's just a sloppy bag...nothing special. To really add the style and flair, the next part is crucial...and soooo easy!

Using a thick thread, sew your beads on the upper edge while creating pleats in between each one.


When you pull it tight, it will look like this.  I would recommend stitching back through a few times to make sure it will hold and making sure your knots are big!  Mine is already coming apart. {see that stray brown thread down there....that was inside the bag}


This is adorable as is, but I added some felt flowers and covered buttons to glam it up! And I love these colors for late summer/early fall!


Now it's YOUR TURN!
Link up YOUR original upcycled creations for a chance to WIN PRIZES!
1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be announced August 12th.
1. Link a CLOTHING project you upcycled or recycled.
2. Add this button to your blog or post so more people can join the fun!

{Must follow to be considered for the contest :)}

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Go ahead, show us what ya got!

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Check back tomorrow for more upcycled projects!


  1. Holy cow, you are talented! WOW! That turned out sooo cute! If I ever get up the courage to use a sewing machine again, I'm totally making one! :) Love the interior fabric, too! That's what I used for my throw pillows and basket liner in my living room!

  2. Super cute bag and the beads really punch up the style factor! I'm so glad we did this event!

  3. Thank you for hosting this party and I love your bag refashion!

  4. This is great! What a clever way to use a shirt. I have a bad habit of picking up things cause they're on sale, even when I don't need them or they don't this is a great way to use some of those things up!

  5. That bag really came out cute, I love the bright yellow!
    I had come back to add one more project to the linky, but I guess I missed it... :( I just finished writing up a tutorial for a tooth fairy pillow using recycled knits!

  6. You have been crowned a La-Dee-Da Diva!!! I love this project.
    Come by to grab a button.


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