Having done a number of running races, I’ve accumulated a pile of race bibs, as well as medals on various kinds of ribbon. I’m not one to stockpile things I’m not using and wondered what they might be good for after a while.
After repurposing some food and beverage wrappers into bags and other items, I thought these would make a cool tote bag as well.
I’m sharing instructions and photos for other crafty people who have been saving these up. It’s a great way to put them to good use while creating a unique bag that brings back positive memories, and keeps materials that aren’t easily recycled out of landfills. (Race t-shirts are great material for bags you can make with one shirt easily and quickly)
1. Gather race bibs and ribbon from race medals, and an old tyvek envelope if you have one. Lay out race bibs in order to be sewn.
2. Sew together using a top-stitch zig zag (less likely to tear/perforate material than straight stitch on backsides in traditional sewing). I sewed mine into a continuous loop versus piecing together 4 sides, since I didn’t have the right number of rows to make 2 sets of even sides and maintain the zig zag stitch…and it’s easier and quicker.
3. Fold resulting loop where desired to make the bag size you’d like. Most race bibs are tyvek-type material so they hold the fold, no iron needed. If you can avoid putting the folds on the stitching lines, this will keep stress off the seams
4. Cut tyvek envelope, other scrap tyvek or more bibs to shape needed for bottom, allowing a little extra room for seam allowance and any adjustments needed.
5. Pin bottom on and baste using a long top stitch length.
6. Cut ribbons and sew together to make length needed to cover bottom seam you’ve basted. Pin on, folding over top and bottom evenly, and sew with a top-stitch zig zag.
7. Cut and sew ribbons for handles. Attach where you have zig zag stitches and sew over the zig zag for a cleaner look, and less additional holes in the material.