Make This: Create a quick produce bag from a shirt
Jun 22, 2013 | 6728 views |  0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Deirdre Long/The Anniston Star
Deirdre Long/The Anniston Star
When I went on my T-shirt bender a couple weeks ago and started my braided rug, three pieces were saved from becoming yarn. Those shirts were special — two were gifts from my sister in New York City, and the other was just a funny one I picked up at a yard sale, I think. The graphics were too funny to cut into pieces, so I kept them for a quick project later. And I mean quick — I transformed all three shirts in less than 10 minutes using my serger (a regular sewing machine will work just fine, too, and be almost as quick).

I found a tutorial for produce bags made from T-shirts on — you guessed it! — Pinterest several weeks ago and was immediately enthralled with the idea. I already take reusable shopping bags with me to most stores, but I had been trying to figure out a good way to make smaller bags for produce. Those flimsy little plastic bags aren’t good for anything once they are out of the grocery store — at least I can use a regular plastic bag to line a trashcan or pick up doggie messes. And with a quick alteration to the original tutorial, I could still show off my witty T-shirts without actually wearing them out in public, which is good, since two of the three didn’t even fit.

And witty they are. The yardsale score features Ralphie Wiggum from “The Simpsons,” finger knuckle-deep up his nose, and the words “PICK ME” underneath. You can even find a double meaning with “pick”-ing produce.

The first of the ones from my sister was one that I actually picked out, and she bought me as a gift. It shows a Rosie the Riveter-esque pregnant lady and the slogan, “I’m so crafty, I make people.”

But my favorite, a shirt I dearly wish to fit into again, but after two children have come to accept that I won’t, just says:

Haikus are easy

But sometimes they don’t make sense


I couldn’t turn gems like those into a rug. So following the tutorial I found on, I cut the shape of my bag from the shirts, sewed up the sides and bottom and cut small slits across the front and the back of the bag (a rotary cutter and ruler come in handy here). Then I cut a longer slit at the top for a handle and stretched the bag to open the slits up a little bit, and it was done.

These bags can take a good amount of weight — I loaded one down with eight large navel oranges and it held up fine. I did discover that I made some of my slits too big, as they stretched into holes the oranges could fall out of, so don’t make the slits more than 1.5-2 inches long.

The bags were a hit at the checkout line — the cashier even asked if I got the idea on Pinterest — and work equally well for hauling produce in from my garden. And since they are T-shirts, they are completely machine-washable, which is great for when the dirt falls off the turnips and makes a mess.

It was nice to see my Clothes to Be Repurposed box empty for a few days — until I went through my dresser for my semi-annual purging and seasonal changes of clothes (pack away sweaters, pull out shorts), and started filling it back up. Good thing I need a couple hundred more feet of braid on that rug.
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