Turn a Men’s Shirt into a Drawstring Bag

I hate that organized rides and runs always just have boxy unisex shirts. I don’t wear them so usually end up getting size large and passing them off to my dad to wear. There are some events that I keep them from but still never wear so I’ve been looking for ideas to repurpose them. Made one into a halter top and one into a loose workout tank, they worked in concept but the result was very meh on, so that was kind of a bust. Third times the charm because this result I’m happy with – a cute drawstring bag made from my Disneyland Half shirt from last year.

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I used some other drawstring bags I had from past events as a basic concept pattern. (And yes, the bag they gave me at Tinkerbell was printed upside down. Doh!).

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1. First cut the top off the shirt right across at the collar. I actually left some of the collar knowing it would be hidden so I could get the design lower on the bag. Cut bottom off shirt to get your desired bag height. I cut off about 3″ here. I also cut off the sleeves.

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2. Stitch up both sides, I went 3″ from the side of the shirt, but you can do whatever width you want your bag. Only stitch up to about 1-1/2 inches from the top of the shirt. That will fold down to make the pocket for the drawstring. Sew bottom seam. I did two lines of stitching side by side on every seam on this project to provide more stability since I tend to stuff bags. Cut excess fabric off the sides. It should kind of look like a pillowcase at this point.

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3. With the bag still inside out, fold down the flaps on the top of the shirt and stitch down. Do each side separately so there is a gap between the two sides.

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4. Stitch across the bottom corners of the bag to reinforce. I then used a grommet gun to add the grommets. You can get one at fabric stores, I’ve had this one forever. If you are doing grommets cut the hole in the fabric first and push the grommet piece thru before clamping with the gun. Forgot about that on my first attempt and the grommet popped off. If you don’t want to deal with the grommets you can just sew the string directly into the side seams, it just won’t be adjustable.

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5. Take 2 lengths of cord about 1-1/2 to 2 yards each. Weave the first around the top from the right side. Weave the second around from the left. I used the cord from an old thrashed bag I got at a ride years ago but you can also buy it at fabric store by the yard.

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6. Pull both ends of the cord thru the grommets and knot on the back of the bag. Pull the strings and viola, backpack!

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To blog or not to blog…

So, I’m not a writer and I’ve never really felt a need for a blog.  Two main factors played into my decision to dip my toes in the water with this.  The first is easy, I’m crafty (knit, sew, general craftiness) and I do a lot of DIY projects around my house.  People often ask me how I did stuff so I figured it’d be cool to have a place to explain projects with tutorials.

The second factor is a little more complicated.  I’m currently training to do the RunDisney Dopey Challenge in Jan 2015 and have the Tower of Terror 10 Miler and Wine & Dine half on deck first.  There are so many awesome blog reports of past events but most of the runners all seemed so dang fast.  I hate running and am slow (I’ll do another post later about how a run hater got roped into Dopey).  At this point I know I can cover the mileage and generally can beat any mental blocks, but being a slow runner and seeing the fast times in the blogs still occasionally messed with my head. I figured I couldn’t be the only one so think of this as info for the slow boaters like me.