At last, a few minutes to work on a project sitting behind my favorite machine (when she is working properly). From a book called 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt by Megan Nicolay, I made a little backpack to take to my friend Willem in the Netherlands this summer. I have tried to document the steps so you can see about making one yourself - they're pretty easy.
Instead of a T-shirt I used an old sweatshirt. Mine came from the Goodwill but you could find one at home or from a friend or perhaps the church rummage sale. :-)
Cut the shirt apart and throw away all the seam allowances. But save the bottom ribbing for your straps.
Fold the ribbing into thirds and stitch. Remember as the straps, it has to stretch, so pull them as your stitch them,
Cut two pieces of the main body of the shirt (T or sweat). Mine were cut at 13" by 18"
Join these, right sides together, on three sides. I chose to use my serger but you could easily just use an ordinary sewing machine. I would probably do some sort of a edge stitch and a second seam inside that - just to be sure.
Fold down approximately 1 inch to become the casing for your straps. I stitched mine twice, again just to be sure.
Make a hole in the outside layer of the casing and using a bodkin thread your straps through - one running left to right and one the reverse so that it will close up.
Cut a hole on each side of the body of the bag (through both layers), very near the bottom and thread your straps through and tie a big knot.
And viola (I wish I knew how to spell that word correctly!) you have just the cutest, easy backpack. You can add pockets, and/or decorate and embellish to your heart's content. I will bring some letters and sports balls for Willem to add as he wishes to this one.