Saturday, August 24, 2019

T-Shirt Tote Recycle

One of the things that struck me most about our time in California was their response to the environment, namely their use of plastic bags.

California still has plastic bags in their stores.

They charge around 10 cents for each bag if you don't bring your own.

But don't cringe in horror...

They're not like our bags here.

Those bags are super, and I mean super thick.

They are truly reusable bag!

But, eventually, plastic is not an eco-friendly option and being mindful of using reusable bags is the better option overall.

I decided to create my own reusable bag with a T-Shirt that's special to me.

The Inspiring Project is a global initiative started by one of my favorite students, Chase.  

Click the link to see all the amazing things he's done and continues to do to make this world a better place.

I'm not much of a T-Shirt kinda gal, so I decided to refashion this into something I can use more often.

A shopping tote!

After I laid the shirt out as flat as possible on my work surface, lining up the seams and sides, I found the center of the front and marked the length I wanted it to be from the top.

Using my quilting ruler, I drew a pencil line from side to side.

This is the bottom unfinished edge of the bag.

I used sharp scissors to cut across that line.

Next, I folded the shirt in half, again, carefully lining up the sleeve seams and the shoulder seams and the bottom.

This allowed me to make a straight line from shoulder to end.

This is where the bag will be stitched with new sides.

I carefully cut through all the layers so the bag was symmetrical from the center point out.

I kept the bag folded and used the collar trim to guide my scissors.

After cutting just outside of the collar, I had equal sides here as well.

I opened the shirt, now only attached at the short should seams.

Can you see the bag yet?

I could sew up the sides now, but you know, I like things to be just a bit...


I took the portion I had cut off from the bottom and trimmed off one of the side seams.

I now had a long strip of fabric, seamed in the middle from the other side seam.

Measuring up about 2.5 inches from the finished bottom edge, I cut off a strip.

I attached the finished edge to the outside portion of the "neck opening."

I folded it over and folded it under so that it sandwiched the raw edge.

You can leave T-Shirt material unfinished as it won't unravel...but I'm being EXTRA!

I took that to my machine and began to sew around the neck opening.

This gave it a great and sturdy finish to that part, plus it reused the bottom of the shirt.

I laid the shirt out again and measured down from the shoulder seams on each side.

I marked off 7 inches.

This gave me an opening where the sleeves used to be.

This creates the handles.

I sewed a straight seam down each side.

In doing this, I created about a quarter-inch of material to fold twice and sew on the former arm openings.

I just "rolled" them a bit as I sewed both sides up with a straight stitch.

This finished the form sleeve areas.

Remember the leftover bit of length where I cut the finished hem from?

I folded it over and used a wide stitch to gather it into a cute ruffle.

I flipped the almost-completed bag inside out...

And began to clip the ruffle onto the right side of the bag.

I made sure to keep the ruffle straight using my sewing clips.

Here's what I had to take to my sewing machine.

I ran a straight stitch across the bottom and the ruffle, finishing it with a zig-zag stitch on the edge.

I didn't want a super raw edge inside the bag.


My refashioned T-Shirt is now an eco-friendly, washable, squishable bag that I can use whenever I'm out and about shopping.


 About an hour after I finished the bag, I needed to go to the pharmacy to grab a few items.

I took the bag with me.

When I used it to check out, the cashier complimented my bag.

When I told her I made it, she couldn't get over it and just went on and on about it.

I love when other Rule-breakers get me...

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Vintage Jewelry Refashion

If you've been following my blog for awhile now, you know that my sweet mother-in-law passed away in June.

She was an avid lover of jewelry, always making sure her earrings matched her clothing.  

After her passing, her two daughters along with myself, went through her collection, gathering things that we'd like to have to remember her.  (After her funeral, we gathered as a family at our house, where we had laid the remaining jewelry out for everyone to peruse and take at their was a great way to "share" bits of her without having to give the bulk of it to charity.)

I selected several pieces, some of which I wear currently.

However, I was drawn to this pin for some reason.

It's high-fashion costume jewelry, but I loved the delicate leaves and pearl with "emerald" centered flowers.  It just spoke to me.

However, I rarely wear a pin, and I knew it was going to be hidden away... which would be such a shame.

Then I had a brilliant idea...

So I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased this.

I the jewelry section, I found this brown leather double strapped bracelet with a peg closure.  It was less than $10 after using my 40% off weekly coupon code.

I strapped the bracelet on to see where I wanted to position the pin.  

I KNEW that the pin would not be centered on the wide part of the leather as wrist size greatly affects how a bracelet sits on your wrist.

I then used a silver Signo pen to make dots where the ends of the pin backing touched the leather.

Next, I used my Crop-o-Dile to punch two small holes over the silver markings.

You can use an awl to do the same thing, I just have this crafty tool as a card-crafter.

You can see the silver mark through the hole of punch.  One squeeze over each mark and it was done.

I needed the holes to be precise so that I could thread the pin through one hole to the other hole.

Once I had them through, I clasped the pin back and it was secured neatly to the bracelet.

Next, I took the second thinner strap and threaded it under the pin, over the larger base of the bracelet.

This is exactly how it was to work in the first place.

It fit perfectly, and I was thrilled with my new "vintage" bracelet.

Because the pin is not glued to the leather, I can remove it if I want to wear it as a pin.

The backing doesn't bother my arm in any way when I wear this bracelet either.

I LOVE the delicate pin with the rugged leather and I know that I will wear it more as a bracelet than as a pin.

Think of ways you can take cherished pieces and wear them in different ways to make them current and fashionable.

It's the best part of breaking all the rules.

© No Rules after 50. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.