25 July 2010

t-shirt to handbag

This adorable pink bee used to be on my favorite t-shirt. I wore this shirt for so long, I'm embarrassed to say it was full of holes when I finally retired it.

But I just couldn't bear to get rid of it. I hung onto it, waiting for just the right project. Just the right motivation.

Last week, I found that motivation. Anna from Noodlehead made this adorable slouchy bag and I fell in love with the shape. Cheapskate that I am, I chose not to buy the pattern, but to wing it by studying the photos. It turned out exactly as I imagined!

My apologies--I don't have a complete, photo-filled tutorial for you. But I can tell you that:
  • I used my instructions for Rae's Buttercup Bag to ensure I put the pieces together correctly.
  • I made the gussets the same way I did in my stroller bag Instructable.
  • This is the fourth bag I've made, so I've had some practice, but I'm no expert.
  • It took me five hours from start to finish, including lots of kid interruptions.
On to the photos. Here's the original t-shirt. 
(Oops--I started cutting and then realized I needed to take a "before" photo.)
I had some leftover scraps of canvas that I used to reinforce the jersey and give it some strength.
I cut pieces of the t-shirt to match each of the canvas pieces. 
(I pieced together the scraps for the pocket first, then cut a swatch of t-shirt to cover it.)

I ended up with a layer of lightweight interfacing as well on the front, back, and strap pieces. I wanted this bag to be slouchy, but still stiff enough to feel substantial. When I made my Buttercup bag, I didn't know to use the interfacing, and was disappointed with the floppiness of the bag. It's harder to use a floppy bag than it is to use one that has some body to it.

So, all together, I pieced the purse with a sandwich of jersey, interfacing, canvas, and lightweight lining fabric.
Isn't the lining fabric adorable? I bought it back before H was born, determined to use it for nursery curtains, a dress for my baby girl...something. But it's been sitting in my stash unused ever since.
Here's a close-up of the gussets. This bag is really roomy. 
I've already used it to carry snacks on a little road trip to Portland.
I just realized that maybe I shouldn't include this close-up photo. My seams are far from perfect.

Hubs doesn't understand why I need another bag. I can't explain it. I'm a container addict. Jars, canisters, bags, baskets, chests of drawers...I like having things to put things in.

He's just glad I made this purse from scraps I already had 
and didn't spend $200 on the new purse I really wanted.


Kate Morgan Jackson said...

LOVE this! How creative! (and very cute pics too). :)

Genelle said...

SO cute! Love this bag! I've also been loosely following the buttercup bag instructions to make other bags. Addicting for sure! This bee t-shirt was too cute to waste; what a great idea!

Marisa said...

Thanks ladies!

J I L L A I R E said...

You can ALWAYS use another bag. Men don't get it.

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