How to... make a Morsbags Shopping Bag out of a Shirt! - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

How to… make a Morsbags Shopping Bag out of a Shirt!

| January 7, 2011 | 29 Comments

Hello! Well.. I am not sure if today is a bit of a “cheat”. As I do bring you a “How To”, but essentially it is a How To that links to a pattern… but the reason I decided to go ahead anyway, is that I am hoping to tell you a little bit about a very lovely little charity called known for its “Sociable Guerilla Bagging”.

In the UK most shops and supermarkets heap plastic bags on shoppers. The idea behind Morsbags, is to make permanent bags out of old fabric, donate these to shoppers and reduce the plastic bag waste (even if some reuse or recycle them… there are still too many).

Plastic bags are a pet hate of mind. And I love “repurposing” old things. I am, however, what you would call “rubbish” at sewing. I usually try and get out of it with all my “No Sew” activities, but it is a skill that I really want to improve on, and I found that these bags are FABULOUS for a beginner to practice sewing – wonky lines don’t matter (too much) and you still have something productive at the end of your efforts.

So. I highly recommend giving these a go, if you would like to practice sewing! You will be doing something good in the process! AND, what is best of all, you can make one bag out of ONE shirt (with a little cutting of corners and sewing the front of the shirt shut).

Materials: A sewing machine, thread, a shirt (per bag) or pillow case, Morsbag labels.

How to: Here is the pattern. My only tip is to iron your fabric, it does help with cutting it out neatly.

I made these with a friend, which made for a lovely evening “together”. We made 4 in total:

1) One white shirt – one Morsbag (buttons on front , label on back, sleeves for handles)

2) 2 blue shirts, one checked, one stripy – reversing the patterns on the handles (my favourite of the bags)

3) 1 pillow case

4) One “bit of fabric” remains from a skirt

Here are our photos:

I hope that if you have some old shirts or fabric “lying” around you will give these a go and take your shopping bags with you on your daily trip!

Now.. I know this isn’t terribly exciting, but I am giving away ONE of the above shopping bags to one of you lovely readers anywhere in the world. Just leave me a comment below saying that you would like to win a bag and please subscribe to my blog (and let me know you have done so!). AND you must promise that you will try and use it for your shopping!!

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Category: How To's, Recycling, Sewing

Comments (29)

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  1. nicole says:

    NOW I know what to do with those gorgeous shirts i bought at the charity bin store and haven’t been able to decide what to do with them. Grocery bags–YEAH- thanks for the easy tutorial!

  2. fabmums says:

    I love your bags, well done! This sounds like a good project to get into sewing and it’s going on my list of things to make.
    I am in serious need of getting some sewing skills:)

  3. Rebecca says:

    Ooooo, lovely. Might have to have a go at these – we’ve got quite a few old shirts lying around… one of which I earmarked to make into an apron (what out for it on the blog!)

  4. Sue says:

    Love it! But where do you get the morsbag label from?

  5. Red Ted Art says:

    You register with Morsbags and you buy 10 for £1.60 (to cover their costs). I think label really makes a fab touching finish. You need to check if you are international.

  6. Lovey idea! I have a box full of old shirts etc of the children’s that I can’t bear to be parted with, I was going to make a quilt but this project looks much simpler and therefore far more likely to get done! Thanks! And many thanks for linking to Family Fun Friday, you are a star! C x

  7. Sorry Maggy, nothing about bags (tho they are great) but I wanted to let you know about this:
    It’s the newest book from the same person who did the heart book you like and I’ve just read a really really positive review about it.

  8. Red Ted Art says:

    Oh thanks Zoe, will check it out!!

  9. I have plenty of reusable bags for shopping. The problem is that no-one has invented a device to remind me to pick them up when I leave the house!

  10. Patty says:

    I found you while reading Skip to My Lou-Made by you Monday. Came by to see your shopping bags(they are really cute) and found out you are giving one away. YEA!!! I love cloth shoppung bags. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  11. Patty says:

    Forgot to tell you I subscribed to your blog, also.

  12. You just inspired me! I went through some of my shirts and have a pile that were still nice but didn’t know what to do with them. Thanks!

  13. Christine says:

    Great tutorial! I love how it turned out.

  14. Christine says:

    these are cute bags! I have a stash of bags in my trunk, I also forget to take them into the store. the looks I get from the store clerks when I tell them to just throw the stuff back into my cart (I bag at the car when I do this) is PRICELESS

  15. Great idea! I would have never thought to do that! 😀 Thanks for sharing and linking this up too!

  16. Anne K. says:

    Wow, I was so glad to see this post — I LOVE Morsbags and have made a ton of them myself! I gave them out to shoppers at my husband’s store before Christmas and everyone loved them! So glad to see these made out of shirts. I made many of mine out of old clothing, too. Here’s to Morsbags! I’m about ready to start my second batch to hand out on Earth Day in April.

  17. Anne K. says:

    (oh, and I should add, no need to add my name into the drawing – your generous offering should go to someone new to the wonderful world of Morsbags!!)

  18. Mak Teh says:

    I am 51 yr old,recently joined a sewing group,I will try this,it looks easy

  19. I absolutely LOVE this!!! Found you on the CSI Project and I’d love if you came and linked this up at Sew Woodsy!

  20. MAcy says:

    I am going to make a few of these tonight! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: I hope to see you soon!

  21. Michelle McGregor says:

    I love your bags, they’d be fab for shopping, I’m following your site too.x

  22. Isobel Burness says:

    Hello, thought you would like to know I have made quite a few bags and given away 19 so far as gifts. I also made one for myself and have three others newly made. Love them, Isobel

  23. Cindy southers says:

    Awesome bag . I make beach cover ups with men’s shirts and baby clothes too I love the feel of the soft cotton and colors are good for boys and girls alike

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