Saturday, February 13, 2010

Market Tote Bag Using Recycled Clothing...........Near and Dear to the heart

This is a very special bag with an interesting family history to it. The outer bag is made from a pair of my youngest daughter's favorite and I do mean most favorite pair of corduroy pants that she wore so much that the fabric in "certain" places was worn to the "see through" stage if you know what I mean. I used the legs and pockets to make the outer bag and the handles. (Handles were lined with batting for extra strength)

The butterfly is the pocket from another favorite pair of blue jeans of hers that the zipper finally gave out on....not sure of the details on that story, but I do know that I was not able to repair it...........let's just say that some things are better left unsaid. :) You're welcome Rach. Luckily there were two butterflies; so I put one on the front and the back to be used for cell phone, keys, etc. Note the original brand tag of the jeans; so cute!

Now for the lining the story gets even better. This red fabric was actually one of MY favorite button down shirts that I wore in my late teens and early 20's. Interestingly enough, same said youngest daughter also fell in LOVE with this shirt when it no longer was in style for the mamma, she quickly confiscated it.....ok, ok, truth be told; it no longer fit me. There I fessed up, now let's just move on shall we? Here you can see that several fun pockets were added to the inside lining. I even put the actual shirt pocket as a "secret" pocket on the botton of the inside of the bag. I couldn't get a good picture of it. But Rach got a real kick out of it as she adores nooks and crannies so to speak. :) I lined the pocket with a tan canvas type fabric for stability. The short flap at the top is the fastener where I added a couple of strips of tan velcro.

Below you can see the tab that is used to close the bag is the botton down side of the front of the shirt with the actual buttons. I lined it with tan velcro as a fastener. The gathered look is from elastic that I inserted to give it a "ruffled" look. A solid piece of stiff cardboard was inserted into the bottom of the bag for extra stability sandwiched in between the two layers of fabric.

Below the side tabs are the actual ties that held up the sleeves after they were rolled up. Remember that style of shirt? I tried to find the picture that I have of Rachel wearing this shirt but I couldn't locate it in the archives. Bummer. These tabs can be used to hang keys or sunglasses, etc. Darling! (yes, the buttons actually work....sometimes I even amaze myself)

So there you have it. This gives a whole new meaning to heirlooms wouldn't you say? Needless to say I was tickled pink that she squealed with delight when she opened it with tears; you know it was awesome when you get tears. It was a true moment. Ahhh, I just love to recycle....oh and the best part; my shirt lives on!!!

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you about any special projects that you made and the story behind it.


  1. This is really neat!! I love making bags and this is a good idea that I will try doing!!

  2. what a neat gift!! I think all of the little personal touches and special pieces of fabric really make it even more amazing!!!
    love it.
    love you!!!


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