Funny, I'm busier than ever this week, but I still managed to make 4 bags ahead of schedule. A teacher friend was looking for items to auction off so her inner-city students can take a trip to Europe. I offered the pants bags from Weeks 1 & 2. But they're a fair amount of work and she mentioned that she had school t-shirts that maybe I could use.
The idea of a t-shirt bag has been floating around in my head for years, but I generally give my shirts to Goodwill, so it never got out of the idea phase. I found this tutorial for a no-sew t-shirt bag, but I have a sewing machine, so why not sew it and eliminate the hole at the bottom?
Using a standard-issue plastic grocery bag as my model, I cut off the arms and neck to make handles. I added a dab of Fray Check to keep the shoulder seams from unraveling. I cut slits in the handles and added a loop tag to the top edge. (It's even easier if you cut another slit at the top edge instead of sewing in a loop.) Why? Because I hate the exasperated looks the grocery store baggers wear when they have to hold my reusable bag open with one hand and stuff it to the gills with the other. With the slits, it can be propped up on the metal racks they use for the plastic bags.
After a couple of trials, I figured out how to make the bottom seam most easily and in such a way that stuff wouldn't get lost in the pleats so easily. You turn the bag inside out and just fold over the edges and sew across the bottom. I hate a bag that drags on the ground, so I took a few inches off the bottom. It also allowed me to cut off the bulk of the bottom hem so my bag would sit nicely while I set it down to get my keys out to open the front door, with the added benefit of making the exasperated bagger's job a little easier by helping the cereal boxes stand upright.
So, in about 5 minutes, I can whip these puppies out for fundraisers of all types. As one teacher put it "You win the award for the best use of a ... field day shirt!" School pride, recycling, and not having to wear a dull, ill-fitting shirt. Win, win and win!