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Transforming an old t-shirt into a net bag

 
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Today I transformed an old top into a bag using this tutorial



It's quite simple.  I cut the top off the t-shirt, then sewed the three sides with a french seam.  I don't have a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine, so I decided on an enclosed seam.  Then I used scissors to cut slits into the fabric.  

The tutorial wasn't clear about how big a slit and how far apart.  I took a guess and made the slits a little under an inch, staggers in rows of one inch apart.   I think it looks quite nice and I'm surprised how quick and easy it is.  It's fairly lightweight, weighing in at 64grams, so I could stash this in my handbag for a quick shopping solution.  I wouldn't want to put grapes or anything small or fragile in there in case it falls through the holes, but it would be good for larger items.  
 
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What is the purpose of the holes? I mean, why not just make a cloth bag from the t-shirt? Or does it stretch and become a bigger bag this way?
 
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Rebecca Norman wrote:Or does it stretch and become a bigger bag this way?



Bingo!
 
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Sort of like a net - the holes transform a small bag into a huge bag.  
 
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Won't the holes themselves unravel/"run"? When I get a hole in my t-shirts, it usually becomes a bigger hole pretty quickly by the knitting unraveling, kind of like a run in ones stockings.

You'll have to keep us updated for how long it lasts! I'm sure your shirt was already a goner by the time you turned it into a net bag, so there's no real loss if it falls apart really quickly. I'm curious to see how this performs over time!
 
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I like this idea!  I think I'll try a small one...maybe from a long sleeved t shirt.

From what I learned cutting and using t shirt strips for my twined rugs, the stretch is different depending on whether you cut following the knit or across it.  Following the knit stretches and has some 'recovery' while across the knit stretches and is 'dead'.  This varied with different t shirts a little.
Cutting with the knit also causes the edges to roll inward when stretched which might be to an advantage in this type of bag?

I think it could be done with smaller slits, running with the direction of the knit and closer together and still be strong but I guess I should test that

 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Won't the holes themselves unravel/"run"? When I get a hole in my t-shirts, it usually becomes a bigger hole pretty quickly by the knitting unraveling, kind of like a run in ones stockings.

You'll have to keep us updated for how long it lasts! I'm sure your shirt was already a goner by the time you turned it into a net bag, so there's no real loss if it falls apart really quickly. I'm curious to see how this performs over time!



I can speak to this one, lol. Though I cut longer cuts, and more of them, and I tend to overload my bags, they usually far outlast the bags one can purchase at the grocery store. In fact, the seams often fall apart more quickly than the actual fabric does, and the fabric will get stained and ugly, and still not fall apart. I usually stop carrying them to the store or market, at the point when they are embarrassing, and only use them for harvesting, garage sales, and general 'around the house' use. In a nutshell - they may last longer than you actually want them to, unless they get torn or badly snagged on something sharp - just like it would if you were wearing it. Of course, the initial thickness of the shirt plays into it, too.
 
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Carla Burke wrote:
I can speak to this one, lol. Though I cut longer cuts, and more of them, and I tend to overload my bags, they usually far outlast the bags one can purchase at the grocery store. In fact, the seams often fall apart more quickly than the actual fabric does, and the fabric will get stained and ugly, and still not fall apart. I usually stop carrying them to the store or market, at the point when they are embarrassing, and only use them for harvesting, garage sales, and general 'around the house' use. In a nutshell - they may last longer than you actually want them to, unless they get torn or badly snagged on something sharp - just like it would if you were wearing it. Of course, the initial thickness of the shirt plays into it, too.



I'll most definitely make that bag.

You can also throw them in the compost pile when they get to the EGAD! stage. I've also used old t-shirts/jeans/cotton unmentionables in sheet composting. I love t-shirts!
 
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Rebecca Norman wrote:What is the purpose of the holes? I mean, why not just make a cloth bag from the t-shirt? Or does it stretch and become a bigger bag this way?




I think you can now go to the store with your bags and because of the holes, the cashier will see what you have in there. I suspect the cashier will still want to pull everything out of the bag though and scan it, but then, you can just refuse the "paper or plastic?" dilemma. Folks around you in the store might nark on you if they saw you place items in an opaque bag?
Besides, it looks cool, I think.
I am no good at sewing at all but I should be able to manage that. A strong thread could be used with a slip stitch?
I wonder why not cut the holes with a razor blade? Hmmm. Food for thought.
 
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My wife, who actually  knows about sewing, confirms that the slits will allow the t-shirt to expand enough to become a much larger bag.  She's also a physics teacher so she gets it. I am a little lost on all the details. I thought it was so it would breathe when filled with produce.  I think this is a spectacular project. I have had so many great adventures and memories in some of these T shirts that I love the idea of finding a way of preserving them and helping the ecosystem.
John S
PDX OR
 
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Great idea! It can be a nice bag for fruits/veggies. Just make the holes smaller.
 
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Thank you for this post!  The bag is a great idea; my I am proud to say we now have a charge of .05 cents for plastic bags and many towns in Suffolk county NY have banned or are moving to ban them.  I never thought about the compost pile for ratty cotton t-shirts.  There's only so many rag rugs I can make and use.
 
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Great idea. I am imagining storing our onions in something like this as we normally use scrounged plastic onion bags.
 
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I think my old knickers will be big enough to make these. Sigh.... seriously - I will make these and as just said, use for storage rather than plastic netting. Also for harvesting produce, as at the moment, I just like everything into the front of the shirt I'm wearing and they end up dirty and out of shape.
 
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