I'm teaching a hand sewing class at our homeschooling co-op. The class is limited to 10 students, because my brain can only stretch so far. I thought it would be fun to post what we are doing here.
Session 1: A recycled t-shirt drawstring bag.
- 2 adult sized t shirts, used or thrifted, logo is OK, but will be upside down on the finished bag. One cannot have side seams, the one for the bag part can be with or without side seams.
- Scissors or Rotary Cutter with Cutting Mat
- Hand Needles
- Coats Dual Duty Thread
- Assorted Safety Pins (some t shirts have a smaller hem, so its a good idea to have a couple sizes, but each kid only needs one)
This tutorial starts out the same as the no-sew recycled T shirt I wrote here.
I lay the t shirt on the fold on the table or cutting board. If you are using scissors, chalk your line. If you are using a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat, cut it now.(I prefer the rotary cutter and mat because it cuts nice and straight. Someone once told me, buy the largest mat you can afford. Mine is almost 20 years old. Yikes!)
Nice and straight.
Here I am cutting 2 inch strips for the drawstring. You need 2 for each bag. This T needs to have NO side seams. I also discovered that the strips do not stretch correctly with printing on them, so don't use that part.
Cut each once.
I brought a pile of strips and had the kids each stretch theirs.
Cut an opening at each side. You do have to be a little more careful if there aren't side seams, to keep it even. Cut next to the side seam, not on it, if you have seams.
Ready to thread the casing.
Patiently, all the way through.
One side done.
Repeat. This time the ends come out on the other side.
Then we turned the bags inside out and used a needle and thread to do a running stitch all the way across. Of course you can do this by machine, but it isn't possible at this time to do these by machine at our co-op. So hand sewing it is!
I did reinforce the bags with a machine stitch at home, because they were going to be used for 14 weeks to carry projects back and forth. (the link is for a good little machine, similar to what we use at the Aud, mine isn't available retail anymore)
Another option is to cut the side seams, at the bottom of the bag, about 1 1/2 inch up and put the cording through it for the straps to make a backpack!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if you'd like to see it as a slideshow please visit my article here.