Monday, April 16, 2018

N is for Net Bag

"N" was very nearly for "nothing," as in "I've got nothing for this post." I panic-scrolled through Pinterest and found this:

What a find! It's something useful. A cursory glance at the directions made it look pretty easy. And who doesn't have an old, plain t-shirt around the house that can be sacrificed for a project? (Anyone see a red flag or two here? Anyone? Anyone?)

I checked my closet and my husband's, and neither of us had a plain t-shirt. Or a plain t-shirt he was willing to sacrifice for The Cause (and in retrospect, having completed this project, it was a good thing, because the bag created would have been able to hold several watermelons at one time).

The Med Student's room is sadly bereft of his clothes.

The College Girl's room is a complete disaster of clothes that don't fit and clothes that DO fit but are out of season and they're on the floor, hanging in the closet, shoved in drawers, and in laundry baskets where they may or may not be dirty. I waded through all of them, and she had NOT ONE T-SHIRT that was plain, let alone one she would be willing to give up. I finally, FINALLY found one that was almost plain; it had a small logo on the upper left side that I thought wouldn't interfere with the project if I cut it just right (I thought wrong, by the way). I texted her a photo of the shirt, and she allowed that I could have it. Yay.

I laid out the shirt and cut the sleeves and neck off as directed. Easy so far!

As close to plain as I could get.

I forgot to take a picture that showed that
the logo was still in plain view.

Next, I sewed the front and back together along the newly cut edge and turned it upside down. The hem of the shirt was now the top of the net bag, so now it wouldn't be necessary to hem a raw edge and I think that is a brilliant step. It's also the reason a plain t-shirt is necessary for the project, since the shirt gets turned upside down to become a bag.

Thus far, the project had been a breeze. The breeze turned stagnant when I got to the part where the slits were marked and cut. The directions were a little convoluted, starting with the fact that the measurements were metric. I could have swung that, but my ruler happened to have only inches on it (it's a quirky enough ruler as it is, being 12 AND A HALF inches long). Plus, the conversion of centimeters to inches made the measurements annoying fractions like 3/8 and 5/8 and that's just too hard to do with a piece of chalk and a 12 and a half inch ruler, but I did my best. The different bags pictured each had different spacing and slit lengths and I had to take a stab at deciding which measurements to use.

The smudgy chalk lines I had to try to follow were certainly not the fault of the pinner; had I planned a little bit, I could have found a better type of chalk to use (and probably a ruler with metric AND standard measurements on it). The measuring, marking and snipping took me a good hour, especially after I finished and realized whatever measurement I tried to follow was not giving me the result in the picture; my slits were too short but too close together to do anything about it.

After I cut a handle and made all the slits, I was to pull the bag horizontally to make the slits open more and the edges roll under, like in the picture. I did and they didn't.

I see a bag, but I don't see a NET bag.

By no stretch of the imagination did I make anything that looked like the bag in the photo, but I took it to Aldi and put some bananas in it. The bag stretched and hung down as though I'd dropped a bowling ball in it, and that's when it occurred to me that a bag made from my husband's t-shirt would have held several watermelons but been un-carryable.

There are TWO bunches of bananas
in here. TWO. I could fit a dozen
in there, easily. Or one watermelon.

Would I make this again? Mayyyybe, but I would hit a thrift store and buy a child sized shirt for it. And I would mark it with something better than chalk (or just better chalk). And I would use a ruler that had metric units on it to make the measuring easier (and, hopefully, more accurate).

Kind of a win, if you aren't too particular about having exact directions.

You thought I was kidding, didn't you?


  1. I still have little tiny t-shirts that I used for skip when I didn't want to put him in the collar of Shame. Maybe you could use one of those they're about 2 toddler-sized. Zoe

  2. I have to admire your industrious effort and perseverance. I am much too lazy to go thru the work of cutting, sewing, cutting when I can pick up a net bag at the dollar store, but I do think it turned out pretty cute, and I would have liked to see one of your hubby's tshirts loaded up with watermelons! I have also seen a cute pattern for turning a t-shirt and coat hangers into a kitty cubby. I haven't tried it, maybe you can be the test dummy, I mean the tester, well, you know what I mean! ;-))

    1. Oh, I did the kitty cubby thing on the last A to Z Challenge! It was right before Ruby died, and she helped me make it and loved being in it!