DIY Workout Bag Made From a T-Shirt


T-shirts are a dime a dozen around our house. They seem to accumulate from camps and races, and just pile up waiting for laundry day when there’s nothing else to wear. They aren’t always the most flattering pieces to wear outdoors, but they’re so hard to get rid of since there’s so much meaning behind each of them – the half marathon I did two summers ago; the lacrosse team I used to coach in New Jersey; the camp in Golden Gate Park that Henry loved last summer; the swimming class he attended for two years. They’re hard to throw out, but it’s even harder to find room for all of those over-sized memories spilling out of the bottom drawer of our dresser.

Rather than continue to let them pile up, I thought it might be fun to try something new like refashioning one into a workout bag that I’d use on a regular basis. Sure, I could buy a new duffle at Dick’s, but re-using a fun, old shirt seems like a great way to spring clean my bottom drawer while also keeping those old memories alive. I especially love fun graphics and bright colors for a casual look that works at the gym or an exercise class. And nothing is better for wiping off sweat than jersey fabric.

It’s such a simple project – the easiest kind of sewing experiment. Since you’ll cut three lines and sew just one, it’s a great place to start if you’re just getting warmed up with a machine. Henry is even insisting I make one for him too using his old swim class t-shirt.

Keep reading to see how we made it after the jump…

Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers and Jordan Wise

this story is brought to you by vapor-distilled smartwater, who found unique inspiration for their water by looking up to the sky. we hope the change in perspective this piece offers will help inspire you.




1. Wash and iron an old t-shirt.

2. Cut a deep v-neck, including the crew neck.

3. Cut off the arms, leaving the serging.

4. Sew inside out around the bottom opening. That’s it! The neck and arms are left un-hemed, with the jersey just rolling naturally on its own.

Also, stay tuned for a post next week to see where I take my new DIY workout bag!


I have so many old tees too, and I agree- hard to get rid of them! Might have to try this out

I’m confused; why would you sew the arm holes closed? Aren’t they supposed to form the bag straps?

I was thinking exactly the same. it does not make any sense to sew the arm holes…

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