This fun and functional little duffel bag is made from recycled t-shirts and is the perfect size for tossing in some sneakers and a change of clothes to take to the gym. Use up some of those rarely worn (but still treasured) t-shirts sitting in the bottom of your dresser. You will need to have some sewing experience and a sewing machine to sew this fully lined bag.
To make this project, you will need: three or four old t-shirts, a pen, a piece of paper, a tape measure, thread, fabric scissors, a 14-inch zipper, some pins, and a sewing machine.
Draw a circle with an 8.5-inch diameter onto a piece of paper. Use this as a pattern piece to cut four circles of fabric. You can probably cut all four circles out of just one t-shirt.
Cut four rectangles of fabric that are 15 inches by 13 inches. Use your tape measure to measure the rectangle and draw it onto the t-shirt with the marker before cutting. You will probably be able to cut two rectangles each out of two different t-shirts.
Sew the 15-inch side of two different rectangles together, right sides together, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Repeat with the remaining two 15-by-13-inch rectangles. You now have two large rectangles that are 15 inches by 25 inches.
Fold the short edges (15-inch edges) of each rectangle under by 1/2 inch and stitch the fold down.
Fold each circle of fabric in half and use a pin or a pen to mark two points that are half way around the circle from each other.
Pin the long edge of the rectangle to the circle, right sides together, matching the seam in the middle of the rectangle with one mark on the circle and the two finished edges of the rectangle with the other mark on the circle. The finished edges of the rectangle should just meet each other.
Add a number of other pins to thoroughly pin the circle to the rectangle, distributing the fabric evenly. Sew this seam with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Repeat these steps so that all four circles have been sewn onto both rectangles.
Turn one bag right side out and one bag wrong side out.
Place the wrong-side-out bag inside of the right-side-out bag.
Place one side of the unzipped zipper in between the inside and outside layers of the bag, leaving a little gap between the edge of the fabric and the zipper coils. Pin it in place, making sure that you are pinning through both the inside and outside layers.
Sew the zipper seam, making sure that you have sewn through the outside bag, zipper tape, and inside bag. Repeat the process for the other side of the zipper.
Cut four rectangles of fabric that are the width of a t-shirt and three inches tall. Sew two rectangles together along their long ends, right sides together. Turn them right side out. Repeat for the remaining two rectangles. These are your handles.
Sew the handles to the bag so each end of the handles starts about two inches in from the end of the bag. Sew them on with a rectangle of stitches so that they are reinforced.
Load up your bag with your go-to gym accessories and enjoy the compliments you'll receive on this handmade throwback.