I am excited to participate in the 2014 Crafty Football Blog Hop! I am the first stop on the hop, so be sure to check back for all kinds of football fun!
Last month, I was attending a college football game so I checked out their bag policy online. It wasn’t as restrictive as the NFL Stadium Bag Policy, but it got me thinking that there are a lot of ladies who attend NFL games and may need a clear bag. My niece loves the Cleveland Browns and she says that if ladies bring purses, they are turned away. Nearby, there are lockers for $10 that they can use.
The NFL guidelines state that the bag can be no larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″. They don’t specify much beyond that, but the diagrams show a logo on the center of the bag and fabric along the top edge. You could also use a large ziploc bag (cute!). Or, you can buy one of their bags.
I’ve got a simple tutorial to help you make your own! I even have an easy-peasy (Beverly Hillbilly) version, too! If you’ve never worked with vinyl, I have a few tips and tricks for you.
- Vinyl: You can use any vinyl you have on hand. Look in your closet for an old comforter bag or an old sheet bag! You can also buy it at Joanns. I had 20 Gauge on hand, but you do not have to use that thickness.
- Fabric: There is a lot of NFL available from various online shops and at Joanns. To make a two-handled tote, you need 1/2 yard. To make my easy-peasy version shown later, you only need 1/8 yard. I bought a yard. You can always use the extra to make a small, zippered bag.
- Interfacing: Use any interfacing you have on hand. I like to add interfacing to my handles for extra strength and body, but you can skip this step.
1. Cut vinyl. If you are going to use an old comforter bag, start by cutting off the side seams to get a large, rectangular piece.
(From this point I will be showing construction with the 20 Gauge vinyl).
NOTE: THANKS TO A READER, I FOUND A MISTAKE IN MY MEASUREMENTS AND HAVE MODIFIED THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW. THE PHOTOS MAY NOT MATCH UP UNTIL I CAN UPDATE THEM.
Cut a piece of vinyl that is 19″ wide by 30″ long.
2. Fold vinyl in half.
3. Cut a 3.5″ square out of each lower corner on the fold.
(Hint: Use the first square that you cut out as a pattern to cut out the other side.)
4. Stitch sides of bag. I use a walking foot, reduced pressure and a long stitch to sew vinyl. I gently pull and push the fabric as I sew. Another option is to use tissue paper on top and/or on the bottom of the vinyl. Simply tear it away after stitching. Don’t fret if you edges don’t line up perfectly. You can trim them.
5. Sew boxed bottom. It can be challenging to describe how to make a boxed bottom. It is even harder to show with vinyl! The square you cut out is now going to be sewn shut to create a boxed bottom to the bag. You pinch the bottom of the fold and bring it up to meet the side seam.
Clip in place. Do you have these Wonder Clips? I love them!
Stitch and repeat for the other side.
6. Turn inside out. I wasn’t sure how if I wanted to turn the bag inside out. I think it would be fine to keep the seams on the outside. You could probably also use seam binding to cover the seams. But I took the plunge and it took some strength to turn the 20 Gauge vinyl inside out.
I was surprised how nice the vinyl remained after turning!
7. Make Straps. Construct three straps. One strap is a band that will go around the top of the bag and that is cut to 4″ x 38″. Cut two strips 4″ x 28″ for the handles.
Cut 4″ wide strips.
Interface the strips used for handles.
Press strip in half.
For the bag band that goes around the top, open out one end of the strip and press under the raw edge.
Fold each side into the center and press.
Fold in half and stitch. (Recap: 4″wide strip, press in half. Press raw edges to center and fold in again. Strap should be 1″ in width.)
8. Sew band to top. Clip the band onto the top of the bag.
Work your way around the top of the bag, ending with the pressed-under edge.
Sew around the lower edge of the band, securing it to the bag.
9. Sew Straps Onto Bag: Clip the straps about 3″ from the side edge of the bag. Fold under the raw edge so that it will be captured within your stitching. I chose to sew mine to the inside of the band, but you can sew it on the outside.
I simply stitched the strap by sewing a square. It takes a little bit of maneuvering.
That’s it! You have a cute, and functional NFL bag!
It’s challenging to photograph a clear bag!
I have only attended one Cleveland Browns game in my life and it was a long time ago. I think if I were to attend one now, you might find this in my bag:
What would be in your bag?
Are you ready for the Easy Peasy Beverly Hillbilly Version?
1. Grab a sheet bag. I have these bags in my closet and in my attic. I save them thinking I’m going to use them again and rarely do. Sometimes I’ll store extra towels or blankets in the large ones. But when I found a sheet bag laying around, I thought it would be perfect for an NFL bag. And it has a zipper! Mine is about 12″ wide by about 10″ high and 2″ deep.
2. Make a strap as demonstrated above. Cut a piece of fabric 4″ x 57″. The NFL fabric from Joanns is 58″ wide. I cut a 4″ wide strip and cut off the selvages.This made a good length for a cross-body strap. Feel free to adjust the length as you prefer. Before top-stitching the strap, be sure that all the raw ends are encased.
3. Pin and Sew Strap to Bag: Pin one end of the strap to the side of the bag. Stitch in a rectangular shape, working below the zipper band.
Repeat for the other side. Enjoy!
The NFL permits small, zippered pouches. Use your extra fabric to make one and insert it into the bag. Add a pocket! Simply cut out a rectangle and stitch it on the vinyl before you start making the bag.
See all of my tutorials here.
Check out all of the 2014 Crafty Football Blog Hop tutorials in the links below!
HOW ‘BOUT THOSE BROWNS??! Great win over the Steelers today!
This is an awesome project – great way to use those old mattress bags, and super handy for the new (ahemdraconianahem) stadium rules. Your tutorial is so thorough. And everyone should be required to carry a copy of Jane Eyre to every football game. 🙂 Thanks so much for kicking off the hop in style!
Thanks Diane! I’m excited about being a part of this hop – and that the Cleveland Browns could help my kick it off with a WIN!
Great Tutorial!! One of my ladies commented on my Facebook it is a great bag for those concerts as well–we have venue with lawn seating and this would be perfect!
It could go to baseball games as well. I love that we have to bring handbag stuff in these bags, but I can bring in a sheet cake. Truly cheaty make would be to use logo printed duct tape instead of the fabric. Would not last as long; I’d use pop rivets instead of sewing the handles to the sides.
How cute and PERFECT for all those clear plastic comforter bags that I compulsively hoard for no reason until now. Love it!!
LOVE LOVE LOVE this project! I can see this being the perfect tote for the park, etc. even after football season is over!
Thank you for the tutorial! Having all the measurements already figured out made this a super quick project! Thank you!
What kind of needle did you use?
I used a universal needles which worked fine. You might try a sharp, too.
I remembered reading this post a few years ago and just last week attended my first college football game. I remembered this tutorial and adapted your ‘hillbilly’ version. It was so quick to make – I made it the morning of the game!
Fantastic! Do you have a photo? And I love that you made the hillbilly version!
Thanks for the tutorial! I used it on Saturday to make a bag to carry to a Seattle Sounders game on Sunday. I think it looked a lot nicer than the ones they sell outside of the stadium!
Oh that’s great Margo! I’d love to see a photo of it!
I use my hair dryer to get any wrinkles out of the vinyl. I saw that tip on Pinterest and it worked like a charm.
Awesome project! Thanks for the tutorial! However, mine came out at 16″ x 6″ x 16″. Did I miss a step somewhere to make it 12″ x 6″ x 12″?
Hi Laura. I’m so glad you liked the tutorial! I think that the sizing may come down to semantics. The bag will be 16″ across the top (since the original fabric is 17″ wide.) However, if you think of your bag with boxed edges, then it will actually be 12″ x 12″ x 6″.
If you look at the image on the NFL website it might be more “clear” (couldn’t help myself):
I hope this clears it up. If not, let me know and I will get to the bottom of it!
I finally revisited this and, Laura, you are correct! My original bag was only 4″ deep when it should be 6″ deep. The new cutting dimension for the vinyl should be: 19″ x 30″. I’ve made the correction in the tutorial and will update photos.
You mentioned using a Walking foot. Were the feed Dogs Up or down? Also if you use Tissue paper, did you still use your Walking Foot?
I use the feed dogs up. That would be something to try, however. And I didn’t use both the tissue and the walking foot. Lately I have had success with reducing the foot pressure to its lowest and making the stitch length the longest and then guiding it through.
Can you embroidery or monogram on this?
I have never tried to embroider on vinyl. I don’t think my machine could handle it.