In the first of her regular guest posts, #Bthoughtful contributor Victoria of Found & Sewn recently shared with us a creative idea to enliven your tops, cardis and jackets with her handmade brooch tutorial.

This week Victoria shows us another brilliant make-it-yourself project with her upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial. Over to Victoria…

DIY upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial

Victoria’s stripe shirt tote bag tutorial

I love shopping at my local farmers market and produce store, so I thought my next sewing tutorial for Braintree Clothing would be a classic tote bag, perfect for filling up with seasonal goodies.

Braintree kindly sent me two lovely striped men’s shirts to upcycle into this tote bag. You could of course use any fabrics new or old.

DIY upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial

You Will Need

  • Fabric (I’ve used two different striped linen shirts)
  • Cotton webbing (navy 2 lengths 3 x 122cms)
  • Cotton thread (cream & navy)
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Tape measure

DIY upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial

How To

STEP 1 – Cut and hem your fabric.

To start with, cut out your pattern pieces. You will need two body pieces (pale stripes) 41 x 46cm , two lining pieces (dark stripes) 41x 46 cm and 2 pocket pieces, 21 .5 x 35 cm. I’ve cut my fabric out of two men’s shirts, using the front, back panels and sleeves. Hem the top of the body and lining pieces by folding down the top (short) edge by 2cm, iron and sew along the top, repeat this with the two pockets.

DIY upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial

STEP 2 – Sew on the pockets.

Centre your pockets by ironing the two body pieces in half lengthways, do the same with the two pockets. Open out a body piece and lay the pocket on top, matching up the creases and bottom raw edges. Pin and sew on the pocket, leaving the top open. Then repeat on the second body piece.

DIY upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial

STEP 3 – Sew on the handles.

Take one length of webbing (122 cm) and with the body piece facing up, align the webbing to the bottom raw edge, keep the webbing straight and cover the pocket seam until you reach the top, pin as you go. At the top make a loop for the handle (40cm appox) making sure you don’t twist the webbing, carry on down the other side to the bottom raw edge. With everything in place sew around all sides of the webbing attaching it to the fabric. Repeat on the second body piece.

DIY upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial

STEP 4 – Sew the bag together.

With the body pieces face to face, match up the handles and the edges, pin it all together and sew around the three raw edges. Turn inside out and with an iron press sides and corners.

DIY upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial

STEP 5 – Lining.

Put the two lining pieces face to face, neat hem at the top. Pin and sew around the raw edges. (Do not turn out)
Insert the lining in to the bag, matching up the side seams, to attach the lining pin along the top and sew around the opening.

STEP 6 – Iron.

Give your new tote a press and you’re ready to shop…

DIY upcycled shirt tote bag tutorial

Remember to share any of your makes with us by uploading your images to Instagram including the hashtag #BThoughtful_Makes

Victoria x

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