art / D.I.Y. / handmade

Easy Up-Cycled Farmer’s Market Tote

Though spring is not officially here yet, the weather seems to be sending a different message.  The flowers blooming and the sun shining gives a feeling of  bliss and nostalgia. And one thing that is always enjoyable in the spring, is heading over the farmer’s market and filling bags with a bounty of vegetables, warm pastries, and fresh cut flowers.
So for this month, we will be making our own farmer’s market bags out of old t-shirts. More and more cities have banned plastic bags and those fancy canvas totes they sell in store can cost you a pretty penny. Making your own tote bags is simple and makes a tremendous difference for the environment. For this project you will need: a few old t-shirts, scissors, and a sewing machine.
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First, cut the sleeves off and then the neck out. It should look like a tank top when done. Then, turn the tops inside out.
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Using your sewing machine, run a basic stitch across the bottom of the shirt and then turn your dial to the zigzag stitch and run the zigzag stitch parallel with the first stitch to strengthen the bottom of the bag. This extra stitch will also ensure your fabric does not fringe and the bag does not fall apart. Then, use your scissors to cut the excess fabric off the bottom.
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Once you are done stitching and cutting, flip your bag right side out. Feel free to add embellishments to you bags. You could spray paint them with stencils or even embroider them. If you missed our embroidery tutorial you can read up on it here. You may also want to add some stitches to the handles to help reinforce them. Once you are fully satisfied with your project, you can hop on your bike and ride over to the market.
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Words and Photos: Sarah Elliott
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