Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What?!! Another purse?!

During the winter months, I live in long-sleeved t-shirts and sweaters.  I have lots of T's but noticed this fall that most of them were too short.  I wish I could say I got taller, but this is not the case.  I think it's a combination of laundry shrinkage and a change in t-shirt styles to a longer silhouette.  Anyway, many of my shirts were a little skimpy in the length.  And, not having the long lean figure of which I have always dreamed, any exposure (either perceived or actual) is definitely not the way I want to go.

So, I replaced a lot of shirts this past fall.  Gap, Target, Kohl's, etc.  And, I went through my drawer and pulled out the offending shirts and stacked them up to go to Goodwill.  That's when I noticed how nicely they all went together.  I had about 6 shirts -- chartreuse, grey, mauve, dusty blue, pale blue, and a soft brown.  What to do...

I did some research on line and on Etsy to see what other people were doing with old shirts.  There are lots of creative people out there making jewelry, clothing, and accessories out of old stuff.  Many are knitting with old shirts.  They cut the body of the shirt in a spiral, creating one long piece of "yarn."  So, I got out my scissors and started spiraling.  That's when I discovered that cutting up a shirt takes a LONG time.  I think it took about 20+  minutes per shirt to get it all done.  And I still have the sleeves and above the armhole pieces!  Still, I perservered and had a large pile of rolled t-shirt yarn.

I did a guage swatch on size 15 needles.  Two stitches to the inch!  Wow!  So, I sketched out a simple bag, cast on, and off I went.  I usually start with the bottom of the bag, knit back and forth.  Then I pick up all the way around and knit a tube for the rest of the purse.  I like shaped bags so I usually decrease a few times before getting to the top.  But, I always leave the top 2 inches straight so it's easier to line the bag.  The photos here show the bag before lining.  I purposely left all the knots and tails to the outside.  It actually looks quite cute!  I'm thinking about stringing some beads on there but the bag is already kind of heavy.  Cotton is not a lightweight fabric!

For the lining, I had the perfect Amy Butler fabric.  I found it in my embroidery/beading cupboard when I was cleaning it out.  I had bought it to go with a project from my sewing group but never did anything with it.  The color match is unbelievable!  So, free yarn from the t-shirts and free fabric from the supply cupboard.  Okay, I had to pay for the initially, but I love using things on hand rather than buying new.  Naturally I had interfacing down in my newly organized Purse Supplies bin.  I also had a cool leather belt purchased at a thrift store.  That would be my handles.

I lined the bag, added the handles and am all done.  Naturally, I have some odds and ends left.  I looked back through my t-shirts and found a couple more that are too short.  Now that I know what I'm doing, I'm going to make a second bag.  A little bigger this time and a little less garter stitch.  I'm thinking all grey and oatmeal on the top half and then all the colors at the bottom.  I'll post pictures when it's done.

1 comment:

  1. way Cute! What a great way to recycle those t-shirts. I know there is a faster way to cut the shirts into spirals -