Monday, June 30, 2008

Recycled Tshirt Purse

About a month or so ago, I entered Woof Nanny's June Purse Project... to make a purse out of old t-shirts. I had originally planned to make an overnight bag for Em, but changed my mind while leafing through this cool Ragwork book by Lizzie Reakes that my mom found at a used bookstore closeout. I took four shirts that were in good condition, but stained, and cut off the sleeves, collars and bottom bands. I cut the remaining fabric into 3/4 inch wide strips and formed gigantic balls of yarn. I cut fabric everywhere I went-- as a passenger while driving to breakfast, while watching the boys in the backyard, while waiting for pizza dough to rise... cutting t-shirts is an oddly meditative thing to do.

Anyway, since I wanted the front and back sides of the purse to match, I made two separate balls: one with the fronts of each of the shirts and one with the backs of the shirts. Then, I used a size P, 11.5mm crochet hook to make the outer bag pieces, each measuring 12 inches wide by 9 inches high.

I took another old t-shirt and cut the front off to make a pocket to hold my cell phone. Stitching the pocket onto the crocheted bag piece was not easy... lots of layers funnily spaced. But, this was going to be a fun, recycled crafty bag, so perfection was really never something I wanted to achieve anyway. I added a cute fabric button to the front of the pocket for whimsical accent and then cut the remaining fabric from this shirt into thinner 1/2 inch wide strips to crochet the bag together with a size N, 10mm hook. I added a nice wide strap and a gigantic snap to finish the bag off. Voila a washable t-shirt bag ready-to-use!!

Since Em and Ro are older now, I don't have much use for a diaper bag, and a purse this size holds all the essentials for a quick afternoon out without being too cumbersome. Whaddya think?