This purse, CONFIDENCE AND HEART GO HAND IN HAND, was made for a friend's high school graduation gift. She saw that I had made another purse out of a dress top for my sister -- On a whim -- and asked if she gave me a few t-shirts would I make one for her. Of course, I said Yes!
First and foremost, when I re-purpose clothing into purses, I use the existing form and shape of the article of clothing to determine the design for the purse.
The purse above was made from your traditional t-shirt! Much like the image to the right.
All I did was pin the back and front together, leaving 1/2" outside of pins for seam allowance, using the sewing machine to sew the seam. The curvature of the neck line became the top of the purse opening. Using the slip-stitch, I folded the collar over the edge of the lining to create the opening hem. The graduate had provided a few black t-shirts for the lining, that I just pieced together to ensure a strong interior to carry the weight of objects she would place within, again using the sewing machine I sewed double stitches for added reinforcement. Note: The yellow shirt bears no weight at all. I used the left over scraps (sleeves, strips from cutting the basic form out, and left overs from the black shirts) to make the handle. Cutting those scraps into strips, I made a thick braid. I fastened the handles to the lining, but placed the braid between the front and back of the interior of the bag. Using thread and needle, I sewed this by hand, reinforcing the handle to the interior over a length of 1". I also sewed the lining closed around the outline of the braid within the bag. To further a sturdy attachment, I also added a piece of elastic material to help support the pull of the handle, as seen between the yellow bag and braided handle. Then I slip-stitched the outside of the bag to the lining and elastic bracing. The curvature you see at the top of the bag, CONFIDENCE, was accomplished by using the slip-stitch to cinch the material to create that detail.
Not only was I happy with the results, but so was she! The purse turned out beautiful! And a favorite t-shirt is now a favorite bag to carry around day after day :)
I hope this inspires you to take another look at the article of clothing that you do not wear, but can't bring yourself to throw out. There is a way to make it into something that you can cherish!