Tshirt Upcycling

I have a t-shirt problem.

I have an entire drawer devoted to t-shirts that I can’t bear to part with. It’s not that they are particularly comfortable, flattering or soft. It’s that each shirt is emblazoned with a memory or experience that I SWEAR will be lost in the black hole of my memory if I were to give it to Goodwill. 

Let’s examine the embarrassing evidence: 

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Not only do I have my own college and high school t-shirts, I also collect high school t-shirts as an adult. Also they don’t tell you about this in teaching school… but every year you will spend at least $100 dollars supporting your students by buying cookie dough, over-priced grocery bags and t-shirts that say that you adopted a JV basketball player.

The next four randomly selected t-shirts:

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Top left: In college we made t-shirts for our Navlympics. This is the one some of friends made for me complete with a Golden Gate Bridge to taunt my SoCal roots.
Top right: Every Silicon Valley Girl has to rep her favorite startup!
Bottom left: When I saw Jeremy Lin play at Madison Square Garden and saw this t-shirt for sale, I just HAD TO HAVE IT. (We share the same Chinese character for our last name)
Bottom right: Camp t-shirts GALORE. Please excuse the sorta creepy theme. It makes sense if you read Matthew chapter 4. I am not saying come follow me. JESUS is saying come follow me.

(Once I realized I’d have to refold every t-shirt I laid on the floor to photograph, I stopped at eight but trust me when I say that there are dozens more.)

I know that t-shirts are great for sleeping and working out but realized I don’t like sleeping with sleeves (I am the friend who is always complaining that it is TOO HOT). In terms of work out clothes, once discovered the glories of Lululemon, I have a hard time reaching for a tshirt when I can grab a tank/sportsbra/sweat-wicking/performance enhancing all-in-one top! Everyone has their favorite gear that they keep reaching for. Sorry clothes, it’s just the way it is. I have favorites.

I started trolling around Pinterest to see what useful thing I could do with my t-shirts that would excuse me from giving them away.

First I was tempted by this:

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But then I remembered two very important facts:

  1. I already have five “TV” throws/blankets.
  2. I struggle with sewing straight.

Then my eyes saw this:

Holy batman. Functional, cute AND free??

This is the tutorial I followed. Here’s my version:

1. Cut the t-shirt.

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2.  Sew the rounded end. I used a zig-zag stitch because I heard it’s stronger. Notice how forgiving this project is because you don’t need to sew straight.  

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3. You can flip it inside out or not.  Start cutting slits into your bag. This is when you thank yourself for spending the extra $2 bucks and buying a rotary cutter. 

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4. Stretch and pull the bag.

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It’s really hard to take selfies while pulling both ends of a bag.

5. Donezo! I brought these bags to NY and they were great for as a laundry bag, shoe bag or a back up shopping bag.Image

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