Sep 2, 2013

No-Sew T-Shirt Purse

I've seen lots of people making bags from T-shirts and wanted to try it, but I don't sew.  Then I remembered a few years ago, my daughter was a Girl Scout, and they made something using a similar no-sew technique.  Time to give it a try!

I started with a plain black T-shirt.  This was a size Adult Medium, and I wouldn't recommend using anything smaller than that.  FYI - I didn't have a shirt that I wanted to use, so I got this shirt at the dollar store.  Score!

I know it kind of looks navy in this pic, but I promise it's black.  Lay the shirt on a flat surface.

Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut off the neck, sleeves, and bottom hem.

Next cut slits along the bottom edge.  Mine were about 3 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide.  I used the ruler as a guide, but didn't make it exact.

Next, pull gently on each strip to keep them from fraying later.  Something magic happens when you do this, and they transform like this:
Then tie the strips to each other, lining up the front strip with the back.  Make tight knots so the purse will hold whatever you put inside it later.

Next you'll make the neckline deeper if needed (mine needed it), and you'll cut across the top shoulder seams on each side, and remove the part that's stitched as well.
Take the right front shoulder and tie it to the left front shoulder.  Repeat with the back.  Pull those knots tight!
That's all there is to making the purse itself, but I wanted to jazz mine up a little, so I made some felt flowers to embellish it.

There are tons of tutorials for this, but it's really easy.  Just cut a circle from felt.  It doesn't have to be perfect or even or anything.  Just make it circle-like.  Then spiral cut along the center like this:
Then starting with the center, roll up the sides and glue along the way.  Anybody know a secret to gluing felt?  I tried several different adhesives and wound up going with plain hot glue.  I did another one where I made more of a scallop shape and did the same process for a different kind of flower.
After I got the flowers I wanted, I just simply hot glued them to a corner of the bag.
Here is a BIG tip for making the bag hold its shape.  I just put an ordinary manilla file folder inside the bag.  No need to fasten it unless you want to.

That's it!  Enjoy!


  1. I love this idea! I'll definitely be trying it soon! :)

    1. Great! It's so easy. I'd love to hear what colors you're going with. There are so many options!

  2. good idea for my girl scout troop! I love pinterest!!!

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