While being able to purchase a new wardrobe in a smaller size may be exciting after weight loss, it can also be sad to part with some of those favorite clothes that no longer fit. Tessa J. had that exact predicament after an impressive weight loss this year. Fortunately, she stumbled upon my request for pattern testers and it was a win-win for both of us!

We all have those old T-shirts that we love, but no longer wear anymore. Sometimes we grow (or shrink) out of them😕, those icky armpit stains set in 🥴, or maybe we just have too many others to wear 🤷🏼‍♀️. Either way, they meant something, and we just can’t part with them. 

I had this problem and I just couldn’t ignore it. My wheels started turning. I had this tote in mind long before I began to actually make it. Now that it’s here, I just can’t stop…neither can Tessa!

Warning: You Will Become Addicted

There are worse addictions. Like me, Tessa found that she couldn’t make just one! Lucky for her, both her mother and mother-in-law raved about them and wanted her to make one for each of them. She has been able to channel her excitement for the pattern by making more for herself with her now-too-large-tees, and making totes for loved ones with their favorite T-shirt!

Prevent Textile Waste

T-shirts aren’t the only textiles to be upcycled in this tote. Tessa grabbed some of her husband’s old, worn out jeans and used them as the bag bottom & the handle straps! I have also used old jeans in my totes, as well as leftover pieces of canvas and cork, and thrifted tablecloths for the inside lining. Challenge yourself in the making of this bag to use whatever textiles you can to repurose into different parts of this tote.

It’s the Perfect In-Between Quilts Project

It really is! So you just finished a big quilt that took weeks or months to make, and you just want a quick project before starting your next quilt. Tessa exclaims her first tote she was able to finish in just one evening! For a confident sewist, it can be that fast! If you are more unsure of your skills, there are diagrams, photos, charts, and broken down instructions all throughout the pattern to guide you: A weekend would be a generous about of time for you.

There’s More to Come

Tessa has plans to make a bag for her mother-in-law, and maybe another one or two for herself! To see more of what Tessa does with this pattern and her other quilt endeavors, follow her on Instagram @tessajayquilts.

As for the T-Shirt Tote pattern

Learn more about the pattern here.

I also had the opportunity to talk with my friend Kristen Hubert from Upcycle My Stuff on her YouTube channel all about the bag. Click the video next door here, and watch us chat. She is going to make one and report back to us in a few weeks! In the meantime, find Kristen on her YouTube channel or on Instagram @upcyclemystuff.

Upcycled T-Shirt Tote Pattern

Ready to start your very own T-Shirt Tote? The pattern is full of charts, diagrams, photos, and step-by-step instructions all along the way. Never made a tote bag before? No worries. It’s all in the pattern!