Looking for unique free craft ideas? Try transforming your old sweatshirts into Sweatshirt Totes with this step-by-step tutorial by Jane Skoch.
- Old sweatshirt
- Stretch Needle
- Cut off bottom band of sweatshirt.
- Cut off hood and sleeves as close to the seam as possible.
- Smooth out sweatshirt front and back. Determine center of motif and the desired width and length of tote.
- I wanted the tote to have a finished size of 14" x 16", so I cut the sweatshirt to 15" x 18".
- Cut and remove the sleeve band and cut sleeve open along seam.
- Using the sweatshirt sleeve, cut 1" strips. These will be used to create a strap.
- Place sweatshirt front and back right sides together, pin and stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance. I used a serger to sew along the sides and bottoms. You can use a regular sewing machine and use a "stretch" stitch if your machine has one. If not, use a small zig zag stitch.
- Press the seams. (Be careful not to use a hot iron near the motif.)
- Fold the top of the bag to the inside and press. I pressed approximately an inch. This was dictated by the location of the sweatshirt motif on the right side.
- Stitch the folded fabric near the raw edge. I used a three-step zig zag stitch, but a regular zig zag or even straight stitch would be fine.
- The strap will be created by braiding three long strips. Create the long strip by sewing together three 1" wide strips. Overlap the ends and use a zig zag stitch to secure. My strips were 52" long.
- Take three strips and lay the ends on top of one another. Stitch these together using a zig zag stitch.
- Secure the ends under your needle and braid the long straps. Use your creativity when you braid. I folded the material as I braided to create a solid look. You could use the reverse size of the sweatshirt for a fuzzier look. My finished strap measures 42" long. The straps stretch a bit, so adjust it to your desired length.
- Secure the other end of the braid with a zig zag stitch and trim the excess fabric. Sew the strap to the two seam sides of the tote. I stitched the strap near the very top of the tote and then, from the outside, stitched the strap over the other stitching.
- Enjoy the finished result!