I love to upcycle! Yes I do. I think it comes from majoring in environmental science in college and just loving nature. I am the recycling nazi in our house and my heart aches when I think of the landfill and the ocean full of trash. I do not like to throw a lot of things away….I might need it someday! Haha!!
I have done a few upcycling projects for Pattern Revolution. I used an IKEA duvet to make a gorgeous flowy maxi dress, a striped curtain that I dyed became a cute dress, a men’s button down shirt was used for an apron, and a reverse knot dress was created from a women’s skirt. There are so many possibilities to reuse something that you can go wild with your creativity. A trip to the thrift store, or a garage sale, or even your closet can be so much fun!
When My Childhood Treasure’s Georgie Tote came up to be featured, it was suggested this “green” reusable bag would be perfect as an upcycle project! I agreed and happily volunteered. For this project I looked at my stash of tablecloths, women’s skirts, duvets, curtains and then found this Polo shirt. PERFECT! I love the soft stripes and colors and thought it would make a sweet bag. I used some soft blue fabric from my stash for the lining and together it is a bag that makes me smile.
The directions are easy to follow and the pattern comes with two tote sizes. I chose the smaller one since my shirt size was limited. But I think I prefer this size, it’s perfect. I added some stitching detail on the top of the pocket and also on the handles, where the seams join. This was the only area I didn’t love. You stick one side of the handle into the other one and topstitch together and it looked a bit lumpy for me. So I just did the decorative stitch over top and I think it looks much better! Other than that small thing, I loved everything else about the pattern. It’s a fast sew and very easy. I was excited to use one of the wooden buttons that I bought from this great etsy shop.
It’s fun to fold the bag up small and use the elastic to grab the button (there’s also an option to use snaps). Then you can throw it in your purse or car and use it when shopping. I could definitely see this tote being a wonderful and thoughtful gift for a teacher, or a friend/family, especially if you upcycle a meaningful item to make it. The possibilities are endless….