Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Even Easier AND Faster: Tank Top Tote Bag

Tank Top Tote 26
When my daughter told me that the T-shirt Tote Bag looked like a tank top, the light went on in my brain! I had a mall trip planned the next day and just crossed my fingers that I would find a tank top. I was thrilled with this one because I loved it—I would have taken anything, but I actually liked this one! And, I must confess, it only cost. . . $1.50!

This is even easier to make than the T-shirt Tote Bag. I decided it didn’t have to be reversible which is what made it easier and much faster to sew. (Have you noticed how much I like reversible? I don’t know why, but there is something about getting more bang for the buck that really appeals to me!)

Tank Tote 1 Tutorial Button
one tank top
3 strips (18 inches each) of contrasting fabric
scrap of felt
2 safety pins
hot glue

(Please excuse the blurriness on some of the pictures. Everyone was trying to get out the door to go sledding and I had to get this done first because I couldn’t stand the thought of having to wait to make it any longer! I was trying to hurry and it shows.)

Use the T-shirt Tote Bag Tutorial found HERE as a reference for more details on cutting up the tank top. The instructions are similar to the way the T-shirt was cut up.

Lay the tank top out so that everything is lined up—armholes, hems, side seams.

Tank Top Tote 1

Cut the neck binding off of the neck opening.

Tank Top Tote 2

Cut out the back section of the neck so that it is even with the front section. The straps will be fairly skinny if using a child’s size tank top so cut carefully to make sure they aren’t cut too skinny.

Tank Top Tote 4

Cut off a few inches of the bottom of the tank top including the hem.

You will need 2 strips that are one inch wide so cut off the hem plus at least 2 more inches.

Tank Top Tote 3

Cut the bottom piece (with the hem) open on one side along a seam. Cut that seam off completely. Now your circle piece will be one, long piece.

Tank Top Tote 5

Cut 2 one inch strips lengthwise from this piece.
I used my rotary cutter for this and they still turned out a little crooked, but don’t worry because it won’t matter.

Tank Top Tote 6

Sew a gathering stitch down the center along the length of each strip. Set these aside.

Tank Top Tote 9

Turn the tank top inside out so that right sides are together and sew the bottom of the bag closed with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Start about 2 inches from the bottom and curve around the corner.

Sew again about halfway between the edge of the bag and the first stitching line.

Tank Top Tote 7

Trim the corner to eliminate the bulk. Turn bag right side out.

Tank Top Tote 8

Starting at one shoulder seam, lay the edge of the ruffle along the neckline edge and sew it around the neckline (regular stitch length) of the back section. You will use the second strip for the front section so adjust your ruffle to fit along the back only.

Be careful not to stretch out the neckline of the tank top as you sew. You can also sew around the neckline using a regular stitch length before attaching the ruffle. This will help prevent stretching the neckline as you attach the ruffle.

Tank Top Tote 11

Repeat using the second gathered strip to attach the ruffle along the front section. Overlap the end of the ruffle slightly over the end of the ruffle that is already sewn and then sew in the same manner as the back ruffle.

Tank Top Tote 10

Remember the sleeves that I cut off from the T-shirt Tote? One of those is about to become the rosettes for this tote! (You can actually use any scraps that are about 14-18 inches long and an inch wide.)

Cut along the seam line and open the sleeve out flat. (The line down the center is a fold line, not the seam line.)

Tank Top Tote 13

Cut strips the length of the sleeve. I didn’t measure mine exactly, but they are a little more than an inch wide.

Tank Top Tote 14

Tie a knot in the end of one strip.
 Tank Top Tote 15

Wrap and twist the rest of the strip around the knot into a rosette shape. Glue as you go using hot glue. I forgot to take a picture of the flowers as I did this, but there are lots of tutorials on this out there so I am guessing you have seen one before.

Cut 3 small circles out of felt. They should be a little smaller than the rosettes.

Tank Top Tote 19

Glue the circles to the bottom of each rosette. I was pretty generous with the glue.

Tank Top Tote 20

I thought I was going to place them on the bag like this, but…

Tank Top Tote 17

after looking at it for a while, I changed my mind.
So, I rearranged the rosettes (which, luckily, I had not attached to the bag yet) and glued them to a scrap of felt.

Tank Top Tote 21

Then, I trimmed the felt so that it would not show. The double layer of felt worried me, but it is actually perfect. It is a little more stiff this way, but it worked out just fine for this project.

Tank Top Tote 22

I didn’t want my rosettes glued to my bag because it is hard to sew them on—they are thick and I don’t like hand sewing—and I wanted to be able to wash the bag easily. So, I simply placed the rosettes where I wanted them and pinned them from the back.

Now I can easily remove them to wash the bag or try a different look!

Tank Top Tote 23Tank Top Tote 24

There are way more pictures and tutorial going on here than seems necessary for such a quick and easy project.

Tank Top Tote 25

So go ahead and make one—you will love it—and you might not be able to stop with one!

I love making this bag even more than the T-shirt Tote Bag!

Tank Top Tote 27 copy

I'm linking HERE this week!


Candi,  said... February 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM  

That is so cute!! I love it!!! Now I need to be on the lookout for a cute Tank Top!

Lina Thomlinson,  said... February 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM  

This is so clever and it turned out just great! Loving your blog so far. You've got a ton of great ideas I want to steal. :)

Tanyia,  said... February 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM  

OH HOLY leftover clothes here I come! Ty ty ty for this awesome and simple idea!

I am stopping by from Sugar Bee's Take a Look Tuesday! Would love to have you take a look at my project, too : )


Brittany,  said... February 1, 2011 at 3:05 PM  

Very cute! I love your idea of pinning the flowers on for easy removal. I'm all about pink roses right now.

Bobbie - Clumsy Crafter,  said... February 2, 2011 at 2:31 AM  

I just decided that if you lived in Houston, we would be best friends. you are 100% pure genius. I'll be linking to this and your play cake.

Christine @ sugarandtrash.com,  said... February 2, 2011 at 10:25 AM  

this is so cool! I have a bunch on tank tops that I don't use anymore. Perfect. I hope that you will link this to my Show and Share linky party, going on all week. http://craftygeordi.blogspot.com/2011/01/hi-everyone-i-had-busy-day-yesterday.html

Kelly @livingcraftilyeverafter,  said... February 2, 2011 at 10:22 PM  

This is the type of project that makes me want to figure out how to use the sewing machine thats sitting in my garage! :) Very cute! Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I am now your newest follower :)



everyday muses,  said... February 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM  

clever idea, and i love how it only cost $1.50! i love the pink and brown combination...

Anonymous,  said... February 3, 2011 at 6:39 PM  

I love the roses. And thank you for including the how to! I want to try one now.

The Treasurista,  said... February 5, 2011 at 10:08 AM  

So Cute! Would love for you to add to my Thursday Treasure Party @


The Treasurista
Finding and Creating FUN things...

Christine @ sugarandtrash.com,  said... February 5, 2011 at 2:25 PM  

Hi, I featured your project on my Show and Share Showoffs. Please go check it out and grab a button. http://craftygeordi.blogspot.com/2011/02/show-and-share-showoffs-4.html

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