How To Sew A Hobo Bag From A T-Shirt (Video)

Cityline

I did this segment on Cityline when T-shirt upcycling was the big thing. Do you remember? There were probably about 7000 new-release books at the time all titled something like “101 projects to make from a T-shirt.”

The lovely Tracy Moore isn’t a sewer, but this project is so simple, anyone can do it! I swear!

Watch here…

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Tracy Moore:
Let’s go over to Denise Wild now. Give her a hand, guys, because we’re going to be sewing. We’re going to be sewing right, Denise?

Denise Wild:
Yes.

Tracy:
Oh, this is a big deal for me. Um, sewing, you know – a lot of people think of sewing and they think, ‘Ah, you know, not so much for young people.’ But I like the fact that you’re young and you’re doing this. And we’re making this funky T-shirt, right here that you can see, and it’s going to actually end up being this. With any luck.

Denise:
Yeah.

Tracy:
A bag.

Denise:
There’s so much you can do–

Tracy:
It’s gorgeous.

Denise:
—with old T-shirts. You’ve got them kicking around–

Tracy:
Yeah, why not.

Denise:
—you’ve got concert T-shirts, race T-shirts; instead of throwing them away, you want to turn them into something different.

Tracy:
Yes.

Denise:
So, we want to get you to–

Tracy:
To do it.

Denise:
—turn them into a bag.

Tracy:
Okay. Show me how. How do I start?

Denise:
Alright, so the first thing we’ve done is we’ve traced out our outline here. This is going to be our handle.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
And this is what you’ll cut across. So I’ve done this one. You’ll do the black one and we’ll cut them out together.

Tracy:
And I’m cutting both sides?

Denise:
Yes. You’ll cut all the way through both thicknesses.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
This is a really easy project that anyone can do. You can even get kids and teens doing it too. They love being creative and doing different projects.

Tracy:
As long as they’re old enough to handle scissors, they can do this project, right?

Denise:
Right. Yeah, definitely.

Tracy:
Now, much to my chagrin, I’m not going to be hand-sewing this. I’m actually going to be using this machine, which to me is much scarier.

Denise:
We’re going to get you on the machine, but this machine is great because it has a speed control.

Tracy:
Okay. Thank goodness for that.

Denise:
So if you feel really nervous, you can keep it on the slow speed.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
So what we’re cutting out right now are the handles, and then we’re going to sew across the bottom for the base of the bag. And it’s that easy.

Tracy:
So do I need to cut this out as well?

Denise:
Yes. The centre too.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
We’ll cut out this top part.

Tracy:
Do we have an example that’s already cut?

Denise:
Um, no. We can do that part after, if you want to just sew the bottom together.

Tracy:
Um, no. Hold on. Maybe I can actually do this quickly.

Denise:
Let’s do it together.

Tracy:
Do you find that there’s a lot of young people that are taking up sewing?

Denise:
Absolutely. Yeah, with Project Runway, everyone, you know–

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
—sees how much sewing is a part of fashion. So they’re really interested in, you know, becoming fashion designers, being creative. You know, making clothes that you can’t find at the stores, so.

Tracy:
Absolutely. And you know what, we’re going to be talking a little bit later about budgeting for the holidays, but part of that is being really creative with your stuff at home.

Denise:
Definitely.

Tracy:
And making your own stuff.

Denise:
Definitely.

Tracy:
I have a girlfriend who actually makes like– she makes shirts for her husband.

Denise:
Oh, no way?

Tracy:
Oh, yeah. And I’m so impressed. They’re beautiful shirts.

Denise:
Okay, so what I’ve done here for you already – I’ve pinned the two bottoms of the shirt together.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
So we’re just–

Tracy:
So we’ll show you that.

Denise:
Yeah. And we’re just going to sew right along that line.

Tracy:
Yeah, I mean, it’s so easy. Okay. Go ahead. How do I start?

Denise:
The bottom of the bag here is gathered.

Tracy:
Yes.

Denise:
So we’re actually going to do what’s called a baste stitch and we’re going to then gather it on its own.

Tracy:
Alright.

Denise:
So, what you– the stitch that you’re doing is really easy. There’s no backstitch whatsoever; we’re just laying down the presser foot. You’re going to press the pedal and just go straight forward.

Tracy:
Oh, there’s a pedal. Ha, ha. Okay, so. Um, all of these settings are right?

Denise:
They are totally fine.

Tracy:
And now I’m just going to press the pedal?

Denise:
And you’re just going to press away and that’s it.

Tracy:
This is so easy.

Tracy:
Oh my God, am I going too fast?

Denise:
Now, what we’re going to do is take out your pins before you get to them.

Tracy:
Alright.

Denise:
And that way we don’t run over them.

Tracy:
So I’ll go a little slower.

Denise:
Yeah.

Tracy:
I’m gritting my teeth, because I’m concentrating so hard.

Denise:
No. You’re doing great job.

Tracy:
Yeah? So am I going too fast?

Denise:
So the fabric pulls through–

Tracy:
I have no hand-eye coordination.

Denise:
The fabric pulls through on its own anyways, so–

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
—all you have to do is concentrate on keeping a straight line. You’re doing a great job. So let’s pull it again–

Tracy:
Oh, you didn’t tell me about the straight line part. Okay, here’s more pins.

Denise:
Perfect.

Tracy:
This is, actually, kind of fun.

Denise:
It’s not bad, right.

Tracy:
So part of using the machine, I guess, is just getting the settings right to begin with, right?

Denise:
Exactly, yeah.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
Having the settings right, you know, threading it properly. All that kind of stuff.

Tracy:
Now I asked the audience before the show if we have sewers out there, and there are quite a few.

Denise:
Great.

Tracy:
But young and, you know, older. Both.

Denise:
Yeah, lots of people have machines in their basement and they’re finally pulling them out. You know–

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
—they’re getting tired of being in front of a computer and they want to do something different.

Tracy:
How do I end it?

Denise:
So, now we’re completely done. We’re doing to lift this off.

Tracy:
Yeah.

Denise:
Pull this out. And this is our baste stitch here. So we’ve stitched all across the bottom.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
Now what you want to do is gather it. You’re just going to hold one thread here. Hold that one.

Tracy:
Yeah?

Denise:
And then you’re going to push the fabric across that. Just do it gently so your fabric doesn’t break.

Tracy:
Yeah. Okay.

Denise:
So hold just one thread, scooch across the bottom–

Tracy:
Oops!

Denise:
It’s okay.

Tracy:
What was that about breaking the thread?

Denise:
Take this one.

Tracy:
Yeah, okay.

Denise:
We’ll just do it gently. Kind of slide it across.

Tracy:
You just gently, yeah. Ruche it.

Denise:
So what that’s going to do, it’s going to gather– exactly. It’s doing a ruche across the bottom of your bag.

Tracy:
Okay.

Denise:
And we can do that together. And then once we’ve got that ruched, then we’re just going to trim off that hem.

Tracy:
Oh!

Denise:
It’s okay.

Tracy:
I broke the other side too. Yeah.

Denise:
Well, you get the idea.

Tracy:
That’s okay, because in the end, it’s going to look like that.

Denise:
Exactly.

Tracy:
Take a look at the after again. And, you know, I love the material you used for this as well, but would that not be cool with a rock T-shirt.

Denise:
Definitely.

Tracy:
You know.

Denise:
Exactly. A concert tee that you’ve got kicking around that you just don’t know what to do with. It’s sentimental; you just don’t want to throw it out.

Tracy:
Good stuff and anyone can do it. Let’s go to break. Much more coming up. Stay with us. Thanks, Denise.

Denise:
Thanks.

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