Thursday, May 29, 2008

Make your own potholder loops with old T-shirts***Tutorial

If you don't know how to crochet or knit, you can always make loops from t-shirts and weave the loops on a potholder loom!
How fun is this?
Tutorial included (just click on the photo to go to the flickr page).

I'm not sure if you need to be a member of to view this.
If you do, it's super easy to join--and it's free.

Somewhere I have a vintage booklet where all the little potholder squares were sewn together to make a purse.
I'll look around for it and post the pics when I find the booklet.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MighTee fine inspiration

This bag recently sold at Spiceyart's Etsy shop
Her blog, Keetsa.
Note she not only pieced shirts, she also stenciled and stamped upon them.
Aah, we're a long way from sewing up a rectangle, eh? Yep, that's what I'm talkin' about!

I love this one on Craft Juice too.

This one is currently still available for purchase at Heidi Monkey's Etsy shop.

Now this is a fun idea:
Cara Johnson of This Recycled Life, used tees to applique flowers and stems onto a bag.

So cute!
She is working on a pattern to sell in her Beautiful Garbage Etsy shop, so keep an eye out.

The great thing about t-shirts is that cut edges don't have to have finished edges--knit fabric doesn't ravel.
Of course you can turn under or use decorative stitches to finish if you want to.
I mean, you can do anything you want to do.
That's the beauty here.
But consider taking several shirts and using pieces here and there.
Consider embellishing with paint or ink or embroidery.
Let your imagination go for it!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just what is this blog anyway?

In case you're new to this blog, let me just explain what's going on here.
This blog is a reference for lots of tutorials and purse-related websites (the entire sidebar is filled with links), but it is also a challenge.
Every two months, I post a theme and ask readers to make a bag per the theme.
Participants send me a jpg image via email, and I post all the pics on, in hopes we are inspired and motivated by one another.
This challenge idea is based on the apron challenges introduced by Tie One On.

Tie One On does not offer a prize, but she garners lots of interest and participation.
I have had some difficulty inspiring people to play along here, so I have started offering prizes.

The theme for each challenge is posted at the top of the sidebar.
I aim to get people to try new ideas, to step outside the box creatively, and maybe learn something along the way.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Who said your tee had to be flat?

The current challenge is to make a purse or tote or bag (whatever shape or size) from one or more t-shirts.
Helloooo--this doesn't mean you're limited to sewing squares.

You can always cut tees into strips and make 'yarn' for crocheting or knitting.

Lettie of Polka Dot Pineapple was nice enough to allow me to post her tutorial.
Just please keep this for your own use, okay?

She says you can really move this along if you use a rotary cutter.

She crochets rugs and trivets, but I know this can make great bags too.

Jana posted a similar tutorial on eLoomanator.
The method of cutting yields one long spiral strip (versus tying small pieces together).
She says she can get 20 to 30 yards of 'yarn' from one tee!

Read both tutorials and see which you prefer.
I figure the more information, the better.
I am thankful for both posts.

Please see the tutorial links I have listed in the sidebar of this blog under 'crocheted' and 'knitted'.
I would think this idea (using tees for yarn) would work especially well with projects intended from plastic bag 'yarn'.
For example, The Round Bottom Plastic Bag Tote from Marlo's Crochet Corner would be adorable done in tees.

Cindy from My Recycled Bags is amazingly generous with
her patterns, a number of which could work with tee yarn.
How about this shoulder bag?

I certainly am.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Visual Inspiration!

I don't know about you, but I get ideas and inspiration from checking out what other people have made.
Then my ideas just domino from there.
I love the hand-stitched details on this bag.
Crispin Bixler, purse from an Urban Outfitters t-shirt

Lots of inspiration on (links will take you to their Flickr pages)
Tinkerbell bag from Purseonality Bags
She sells her bags in her etsy shop

Wired Ware bag from Puck-Man

Cannoli Backpack from Fisheye3

It's for sale in her etsy shop

Fun bag posted by Gutstrings (see design info on flickr page link)
Note the ruffling and the zipper--this is a perfect example of thinking outside the box.

I love this Cherry Bomb bag by Trendy Wendy Crafts.
Note the hardware on the handles

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Simple T-shirt Bag (video tutorial)


Originally uploaded by smallyellowfish
This cute bag, posted by SmallYellowFish, is made from a tee shirt .

What makes this design different is that the sides of the tank top are shifted to become the front of the bag, then the sleeves become the handles.

The post on has a link to a tutorial.
You can garner a lot of information just from the pictures, but the text is in Greek.
Just use Babelfish to translate the text into English.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finally, a new gallery and a new theme (with a great prize!)

Okay, I'm at a client's house so I have access to a computer.
Well, unfortunately the last challenge only brought forth three entries.
It was really difficult to choose a winner, but I did promise to offer a prize this time, and I can't afford (I wish I could) to send prizes to all three.

So I decided to give Kara the prize this time.
Kara (after)

I am sending items that I think can be useful in purse-making: bodkins for lacing ribbons or elastic through casings, a marking pen, a magnetic clasp, and a purse-shaped cookie cutter (everyone needs a little sugar for energy).

The gallery is up on Flickr.
I want to thank all three of these ladies for offering continual support to this blog.

Okay, now for a new theme.
Let's try this one more time, shall we?
Tell all your friends--let's get some response this time, okay?

Summer is coming and we could all use some little beach bags, gym bags, or quick and easy projects.
The new theme is Tee Shirts!
Yep, recycle a tee or several tees into a bag.
And I don't mean simple squares--please try to think outside the box.
Send me a jpg of your bag to my email at barbian7(at)yahoo(dot)com.
You have until the end of June.
I will post a new gallery July 1.

For example, Smashley Bug made this adorable bag from two shirts--the main bag portion is from a tee, and the handles are from a tank top.

It's a great way to memorialize a tee you have sentimental attachment to, but it no longer fits or it's worn in places.
I'll try to find more examples to inspire you.

Pfeffermint_ish has a great tutorial for her yellow bag on Craftster that you might want to try.

And yes, I'll offer a prize to someone too--a tee from Threadless!

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