How to Make a Hippitee-Do-Dah Bag

You might be asking yourself ,“A Hippitee-Do-Dah what?!” I’m very excited to share with you the much-requested Hippitee-Do-Dah Bag tutorial. I taught this sassy T-shirt-upcycling project last April at the Craftcation Conference along with the Floppy Fedora Hat. I particularly love the comfort & versatility of this bag and I know you will too! Are you looking for a cross body bag for your trip to the zoo? This is it. Are you looking for a new hip bag to wear while vending at the local craft fair? This is it. It can even be worn as a ruffle bustle if you’d like!


This quick and easy bag can come together in less than 45 minutes. Wear it cross-body with a long strap or tie it around your waist for a secure and comfortably-fitting hip bag.


Step 1) Prepare your fabric.

Start by laying out your t-shirt on a flat cutting surface. Fold your t-shirt in half lengthwise, matching the sleeves and edge corners. Using the rotary cutter and straight edge, remove the bottom shirt hem by cutting 1″ above the stitching line, cutting through both the front and back of the t-shirt. When finished you will have a large tube of fabric. Set the hem piece aside; it will be used later as the strap for our Hippitee-Do-Dah Bag.

cut hem off tee

With your t-shirt still folded, measure 12” up from your cut line. Again using your straight edge and rotary, cut across the shirt, making sure you are cutting through all 4 layers. This 12″-wide tube of fabric will become the body of your Hippitee-Do-Dah Bag. Set it aside for now.

cut tee in pieces

Only the top portion of your shirt is now remaining. Remove the sleeves and neckband; the shirt material that is left will be used to create ruffles using the ruffler foot. Cut as many 3” strips from this fabric as you can. Don’t forget to use the sleeves for fabric too!

cut tee

Step 2) Construct the body of the bag.

Take the piece that is going to be the body of the bag and turn it inside out. (This will essentially only make a difference if you’re using a t-shirt with graphics or print.) Lay it flat on a flat surface with the folds at top and bottom and raw edges at right and left. Match the side edges and pin them together.


Using the left edge of your walking foot as a guide (or a 1/2″-wide seam allowance) sew the long edges together, leaving a 2.5″-long opening at the lower right side for turning.


Clip the corners, then turning right side out.

Tip: I like to clip my corners and then blend or taper it into the edge. It’s hard to get really crisp corners with knits; this helps make nice corners and also reduces bulk.

trim corners

Press the body of your Hippitee-Do-Dah Bag on an ironing board. (I do not recommend ironing on your cutting mat. My iron isn’t actually on the fabric.)


Step 3) Create the strap.

We’re going to attach the strap, close the open section of the side seam, and sew the bottom of the bag – all in one swoop.

First take the strap/hem loop and cut it once to make one long piece.

Lay the bag  flat and imagine it divided into thirds. Fold the bottom edge up 8″. Sandwich the strap in between the layers and pin it in place. Sew 1/4″ from the outer edge of the bag.

stitch sides


Variation: If you’d like, you could stop at this point and create a Hippitee-Do-Dah bag sans the ruffles. Add a patch, applique, embroidery, or fabric paint to embellish your bag and let your imagination run wild.

Step 4) Add the ruffles.

Using the ruffle, attach the 3″-wide t-shirt strips to the front flap of your bag. Start at the bottom of the flap and work your way up to the top. I set my ruffler to 1 stitch/tuck and pulled ever so slightly back on the knit as it fed through the ruffler; this helps to maximize the ruffling.

Ruffler Attachment 86

DIY Ruffled T-Shirt Bag

Tip: If your strips are not long enough (every shirt is different!) you may need to piece your strips together. If you find you are coming close to the end of a strip but still have inches left to cover on your bag, stop the machine and feed an additional t-shirt strip under the ruffler, overlapping the previous one, and continue sewing. 

Tip: If you do not have a ruffler you can make ruffles by hand or by gather the fabric using a long straight stitch.

Craftcation 2014 - Hippi-Tee Do-Dah Bag

I’d love to see your finished Hippitee-Do-Dah Bags! Please share with us on social media by using tag #BERNINAUSA and/or #TrashN2Tees. Want to find out more ways to repurpose or refashion old t-shirts? Visit me on the TrashN2Tees Blog.


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