Chilly Willy

by Dilys Tong
Let’s face it! No matter how hard you tried to preserve your favourite t-shit, it ultimately will meet its fatal end – coffee stains, sweat stains, wine stains….the list goes on. Just take a look at my all time favourite Chilly Willy tee – it’s covered in crap that I can scrub till my fingers fall off yet it will never be completely clean. However, I am determined to save my Chilly Willy, so I am turning it into a handbag with the hope it will live on. And…you are also saving our planet by recycling, one t-shirt at a time!


  • 1 old t-shirt

  • Approximately ½ m of light weight cotton lining

  • One pair of approximately 6” circular bag handles

  • Matching thread

  • Pins

  • Hand sewing needles


  • Bag body – the dimensions of the bag are 11” by 16 ½”. Try to cut out the shape using the front of the t-shirt with the picture. .

  • Bag lining – cut lining of the same dimensions 11” by 16 ½”

  • The loops for the bag handle – cut close to the stitch edge of the neck line ribbing and sleeve ribbing.

  • (Diagram 1) If your t-shirt does not have the ribbing, you could substitute it with ribbons. Cut each loop to 4 ½”

Seam Allowance: 3/8”


Step 1: Sewing the loops to the top edge of the bag body.

You should have 3 loops on each side and make sure it is the edge where the bag opening is. The loops will be used to hold the handle in place.

  • On the right side of the fabric, line up the edge, pin the 3 loops to the edge of the fabric. Make sure they are equally spaced. To make it easier, pin one at the center of the edge and measure approximately 3” away and pin the other loops.

  • Repeat this step on the opposite side.

Step 2: Making the bag body

  • Fold the bag fabric in half with the right side facing together, stitch the sides together.

  • Turn the right side out

Step 3: Attach the bag handle to the bag

  • Wrap the loose end of the loop around the handle and secure it in place.

Step 4: Lining

  • With the right side facing together, stitch the sides together

Step 5: attaching the lining to the bag

  • Fold the top edge of the bag 3/8” toward the wrong side and press with iron

  • Fold the top edge of the lining 3/8” toward the wrong side and press with iron

  • Pin the folded edges together and hand sew it shut.

Ta Dah!! You are done. Big applause from Chilly Willy!

1 Comment

  1. rygvxrl
    March 15, 2011

    PCo22t njfnhepplilc, ejeimoxxkhnh, [link=]cxficvusrtyh[/link],

Post Comment