What can you refashion a man's shirt into? A skirt, a dress or a woman's shirt. But when it comes to a military shirt the first choice that pops up into your mind is a shoulder bag. The military fabric is stiffer than a regular shirt fabric and there are so many elements, like the big number of pockets, that you can creatively add to the bag.
I really tried to use each and every element: pockets, zipper, cuffs, velcro, even the size tag. The only one left out was the collar.
Here are the steps I took to refashion this military shirt into a shoulder bag:
1. I cut off the sleeves and then cut along the inner seams of the sleeves. I carefully removed some of the pockets on the sleeves with a seam ripper.
2. I cut off a part from the back of the shirt and stitched the pockets to it - this is the front of the shoulder bag.
3. I cut off the cuffs from both sleeves
4. and created the back of the shoulder bag from one of the sleeves
5. I cut off the zipper leaving about 1.5" of fabric on both sides of the zipper
6. I cut the bottom and the sides of the bag from the front of the shirt. The bottom is just a rectangular with the same length as the length of the front & back of the bag (the width is up to you).
The dimensions of the sides:
length: about 2" longer than the height of the front & back of the bag
width: at one side = the width of the bottom
at the other side = about 3" (to equal the width of the zipper)
7. I cut all the pieces from lining
8. I sewed all the pieces together: front to the bottom, then to the back and the sides
9. and attached the cuffs on one side
10. I sewed all the lining pieces together after having attached the rest of the pockets
11. I created the handles from remnants and as there wasn't much left from shirt, I also used lining
12. and stitched the handles to the sides of the bag
13. I sewed the zipper
14. and created a bias tape from lining to cover the stitch
This is a big roomy shoulder bag, that will fit a laptop, several books and anything else you may need for a full day at school or work.