Remember this?

studio waterstone tutorials

I happen to be a HUGE coffee addict fan. So when I saw this tee shirt I had to own it. Because I didn’t like the way it fit (and I didn’t want Mr. W to fuss because I bought something I wouldn’t wear), I snipped and stitched it into a cami.

But then I didn’t really wear it as a cami (and I didn’t want Mr. W to fuss because I bought something I wouldn’t wear). The next idea, I must admit, was brilliant. What do I love? COFFEE! What else do I love? HANDBAGS!


Turn a Top into a Handbag
(in 56 short steps. kidding)

*****

Here’s what you’ll need:

old cotton or tee shirt to recycle
recycled handbag straps with metal hardware attached
a little recycled leather or sturdy fabric
reinforcement scrap fabric
sewing machine

Here’s what you’ll do:

studio waterstone tutorials

This is what I mean when I say two handbag straps with the metal hardware attached.

studio waterstone tutorials

Off with the straps.

studio waterstone tutorials

I’m using a piece of scrap recycled leather.

studio waterstone tutorials

Cut about 9″ off the bottom of the tee, straight across.

studio waterstone tutorials

Now we’ve got a cropped (sexy? er, no) tee with no straps. Could be a recipe for disaster.

studio waterstone tutorials

Turn the tee inside out and pin straight across the bottom.

studio waterstone tutorials

Stitch, leaving about 1/4 – 1/2″ seam allowance.

studio waterstone tutorials

Carefully snip off the corners on the diagonal.

studio waterstone tutorials

Flip the top right side out.

studio waterstone tutorials

Tuck in about 2″ on each corner to form a pleat on the sides.

studio waterstone tutorials

studio waterstone tutorials

With the sides tucked in, pin again (right side out) across the bottom.

studio waterstone tutorials

Stitch twice across the bottom, leaving about a 1/4″ seam allowance.

studio waterstone tutorials

Remember the straps? Measure the opening of the hardware. Mine is about 3/4″

studio waterstone tutorials

Remember the scrap leather (or sturdy fabric)?
Cut four strips, about 4.5″ x 3/4″ (the width of the opening. your width will vary)

studio waterstone tutorials

Thread the leather through the hardware and line up at the bottom.

studio waterstone tutorials

Stitch just a bit to secure the leather to the hardware.

studio waterstone tutorials

I have recycled reinforcement from a deconstructed handbag. If you don’t have something like this you can use scraps of a sturdy fabric.

studio waterstone tutorials

Cut four small pieces. Mine are about 3/4″ square (the width of the hardware opening)

studio waterstone tutorials

Open the leather at the seam. Sandwich the top of the tee (where you snipped the strap) with the reinforcement piece between the leather.

studio waterstone tutorials

Clip to hold securely.

studio waterstone tutorials

Carefully remove your clip and stitch across several times. I created an “X” for extra strength.
Guess what?

studio waterstone tutorials

You have just created a recycled handbag/tote! No way? Way!!!

studio waterstone tutorials

Now you must pose nicely with a pet, preferably one with lots of personality.
One who compliments your new eco-friendly creation.

studio waterstone tutorials

If necessary, promise treats.

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