Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Upcycled Tote

Here's a tote I made last night.  It started as a man's size L button down shirt (thank you to my husband Mark for his donation to this project) and some ancient quilting fabric handed down to me from my mom (only used about 3/4 yds of the 7 yds I have - more pink projects on the way I think!)

I basically just cut the shirt apart at the seams, cut the top yoke and collar off and then used the fabric to cut out the pieces of my tote like I would on regular fabric.  I just made sure that the front piece of the tote had the buttons and front shirt pocket on it.  I also used no-sew hem tape and ironed it in between the buttons on the front shirt placket so that it didn't gap and show the interfacing.

I ironed Pellon 978 fusible fleece to the gray shirt pieces to give it a bit of padding, and then on the pink lining pieces I just ironed on midweight fusible interfacing.  The inside has two pockets - one that is about 9x9 (finished size) that holds a couple of diapers and travel wipes really well and another that is about 6x9 that holds small stuff like gum, cell phone, ipod, etc.  The outside pocket of the bag is the pocket of the shirt, which I embellished with pink grosgrain ribbon (I ironed this one at the end with no-sew hem tape - next time I will sew it on before assembling the bag) and a faux bow.

The tote is modeled after the "Charm Party Tote" pattern from Quilts Illustrated, just for dimensions, basically. I think I'd honestly like the tote to be a bit taller and narrower so that more buttons show - I think I'll offset the buttons to the side of the tote if it's taller.

Not bad for a first attempt I think.  Right now I'm on a kick of converting men's dress shirts into other things - girls peasant dresses, totes, and I'm thinking maybe even a shirt for myself sometime soon.

I'm linking this up to the "Get Your Craft On" day at Today's Creative Blog, "Tip Me Tuesday" at Tip Junkie, and Do It Yourself Day at A Soft Place to Land


I Made It Blog Party

Here's what my girls did this morning - the box from our new bathroom vanity is now a house.  Kate ate her breakfast in the house.  Claire screamed that she couldn't also fit in the house at the same time.  Sigh.


  1. Great idea to give an old shirt new life!

  2. This is a great idea! My husband wears out the collar and elbows of his shirts first - the rest is still good for projects like this : ) Thanx for sharing!!!

  3. I love the bag! And we have a cardboard box house that I insisted we move to this house 5 1/2 yrs ago. My husband thought I was completely crazy moving a cardboard box. But my daughter, who's now almost 9, loves it & so does her 2 yr old brother. Enjoy! I cut a curved door and some fun windows and she decorates it with markers whenever she feels the urge.

    Just stopping by from Today's Creative! Signed up to follow you! Stop by my blog when you get a chance, I'm always looking for a few more crafty followers! http://juliechats.blogspot.com

  4. What a great idea and it turned out so cute! Great job!

  5. LOVE this bag! So cute. The bow is the perfect final touch! : )

  6. That is just too cute! I love the colors!

    Thanks for linking up your creative post!


  7. LOVE the bag....aren't men's shirts just the greatest material to use for projects. You so proved it to us with this cute project. Thank you for the inspiration.




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