Looking for a fast and simple summer project for the kids or teens? Well you can recycle your pillowcases by sewing them into simple totes. I found this project perfect for those kids that say (I’m bored, there is nothing to do). Most mothers have heard those same words summer after summer.
Step-by-step instructions to transform a pillowcase into a perfectly-sized tote.
Because this reuseable shopping tote is made from a pillowcase, it’s halfway finished before you even start it. Using a standard pillowcase allows you to skip some of the cutting and sewing steps you’d normally encounter— which means less time fussing and more time creating! The bag is surprisingly strong and takes up almost no space when folded, making it a great shopping bag or extra travel tote.
1) Iron the pillowcase to get out all the wrinkles. Fold the pillowcase in half lengthwise with the opening at the top and the fold on the right. One the folded side edge, mark a point approximately 15” (38cm) from the bottom. On the opposite side, mark a point approximately 16” (40.5cm) from the bottom. On the top edges mark points approximately 3 7/8” (10cm) in from each side. Draw the bag handles as shown, connecting each side point to the top of the pillowcase. Use a ruler to help draw straight lines and to keep the straps 2 1/4” (5.5cm) wide for the most part, until they begin to curve toward the side edges. Open the pillowcase up; it will look like a tank top.
2) Using a seam ripper, rip out the pillowcase hem at the top of all the straps and iron flat.
3) Fold the pillowcase in half again, as before, and trim straps so the whole piece measures approximately 29” (74cm) from the bottom of the pillowcase.
4) Open the pillowcase up again. Pin the two front straps to each other, right sides together, lining up the top raw edges (be sure to join the 2 front straps, not a front strap and back strap). Sew the straps together using a wide 1 1/4” (3cm) seam allowance. Iron the seam open, then turn under each raw edge 1/2” (13cm) and iron again. Attach the back straps to each other in the same manner.
5) Finish all raw edges with bias tape: beginning on the front, cut a piece of bias tape long enough to go completely around the inside “armhole,” cutting a few inches (5-8cm) more than you need. Open the folded bias tape so the smaller of the folded sides is open flat. Finish the first cut edge by folding over 1/2″ (13cm) toward the wrong side of the binding. Press. Then, with right sides together, line up the raw edge of the side you just opened with the raw edge if the armhole, starting the tape a few inches (5-8cm) down from the strap seam you just sewed. Pin in place. Baste the bias tape to the front of the bag by sewing along the creased line (approximately a 1/4″ [6mm] seam allowance.) Fold the bias tape back over the raw edge of the fabric and pin in place. Top stitch the bias tape on the front of the bag, close to the edge where the folded bias tape meets the pillowcase fabric. Apply bias tape to the remaining “armhole” and then to the top raw edges in the same manner.
6) Make the bottom: Turn the bag inside out. Flatten one bottom corner to create a triangular point. Draw a 4” (10 cm) line perpendicular to the side seam and 2” (5cm) from the corner point. Sew across this line, back stitching at each end. Then sew a second seam just below the first seam to reinforce the bottom of the bag. Turn the bag right side out.
Instructions from Simply Sublime Gifts by Jodi Kahn. Buy her book here!.
Found this project by Simply Sublime – Country Living