Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote

I am excited to kickoff the 2015 Crafty Football Blog Hop!


For this year’s tutorial, I was inspired by my husband. Whenever we go on trips, he packs his briefcase to overflowing to have some “reading material”. Of course, he never looks at any of it. Recently  he has downsized the amount of reading material he brings and uses my library tote. That’s when I thought he needed a “guy” tote. Here, in Cleveland, we have no shortage of old Browns’ gear. We have an especially storied history of quarterback jerseys. (You have to see this photo or read this article for a more in-depth look at our QBs since 1999.) Who said Cleveland is no longer a manufacturing town? We have the “Factory of Sadness!” And we seem to always have a quarterback controversy….what do YOU think? Should Johnny Manziel be our starting QB? Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote bag Pushing all Cleveland woes aside, I grabbed an old Browns sweatshirt given to me by my sis-in-law and used it as the basis for my tote bag design. I added some brown(ish) cotton fabric for lining, some licensed Browns’ fabric for a pocket, brown webbing for straps and had a tote bag. Oh, and I added my new favorite interfacing: ByAnnie.com’s Soft and Stable. I love how this adds stability to the bag while not adding a lot of weight to it. Finished size: 14″ x 14″ x 6″ Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Supplies:

    • old sweatshirt


  • lining fabric



  • licensed fabric (optional)



  • webbing



  • foam interfacing: ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable, Pellon Flex Foam FF77 (note, Pellon FF77 is only 20″ wide, you can downsize this pattern)



Note: 1/2 seam allowance used throughout Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Cut the Sweatshirt First, cut off the waistband so that you can smooth out the fabric. Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane You now have straightened out the front and back sides of the sweatshirt. Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Draw a horizontal line just below the neckline ribbing. Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Determine the center point of the motif and mark. Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Mark the spot 10.5″ to the right and left of the center point so that you have a line 21″ across, centered on the motif. Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Draw lines on either side and across the bottom to create a 21″ W x 18.5″ H rectangle. You may need to modify these dimensions based on your motif and sweatshirt size. Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Cut out the sweatshirt so that you have a 21″ W x 18.5″ H rectangle. Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Cut Lining If you have enough fabric, fold your lining fabric along the bottom and cut to a size of 21″ W x 18″ H (you don’t need a seam allowance due to the fold.) Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote Tutorial #sewing #diy @maidenjane Or, you can be lazy and lay your cut sweatshirt on your fabric so that it extends 1/2″ below the fold and cut out the fabric. Sew Outer Bag With right sides facing, pin and sew the lower edge of the bag together. Press seam allowance open. 18-IMG_0172 Lay out the stabilizer foam and place the wrong side of the sweatshirt against it. Trim the foam to the same size as the sweatshirt. 20-IMG_0174 A few notes on the foam stabilizer:

    • If you are using the Pellon, it only is 20″ wide, so you will have to make a slightly smaller bag.




  • In this case, I did not use any fusible. I simply sewed it in. The foam compresses easily so that it is not difficult to sew. The seams can get a bit bulky. So if you want to minimize those, you would want to choose a fusible.



You could baste the sweatshirt to the foam, but I didn’t bother to do that. I simply folded the sweatshirt with the foam behind it, so that they were right sides together and pinned both sides, leaving the top open. 22-IMG_0177 23-IMG_0178 Sew the two sides seams. To create a boxed bottom, place the bag on my ironing board with the seam facing up. 24-IMG_0179 Grab the end so that the seam is centered in your hands. 25-IMG_0180 Measure 6″ across this triangle and mark. 26-IMG_0181 27-IMG_0182 Stitch across this line and repeat on the other side. Your bag should look like this. 28-IMG_0183 I typically trim the excess off, but you can leave it if you feel it gives your bag more stability. 32-IMG_0187 Turn the bag inside out. You can baste along the top edge if desired. 29-IMG_0184 Sew Pocket Cut two pieces of fabric 6.5″ x 12″ (or any size you wish.) You can interface the fabric for strength, if desired.   33-IMG_0188 With right sides facing, sew around the edges of the rectangle and leave a 4″ – 5″ opening along the bottom. 35-IMG_0191 Turn inside out and press. 36-IMG_0192 Place the pocket 5″ below the opening and centered, horizontally, on the lining fabric. Pin and stitch, closing the bottom opening. 39-IMG_0195 Add an additional line of stitching on the pocket to create compartments of various sizes. 40-IMG_0196 Sew Lining Repeat the steps for sewing the outer bag using the lining. However, on one of the side seams, leave a 6″ opening in the seam for turning the bag inside out. 43-IMG_0199 Sew the outer bag to the lining. Place the outer bag inside the lining, right sides facing. 42-IMG_0198 Pin the lining to the bag around the top. (Wonder clips work really well and I used them later!) 44-IMG_0200 45-IMG_0201 Sew around the top. 46-IMG_0202 Turn inside out using the open side seam. 47-IMG_0203 Stitch the opening closed. Push the lining inside and press around the top edge. 48-IMG_0204 Pin or clip the top edge and top stitch. 49-IMG_0205 Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Add Straps Cut two straps, each 28″ long. (If you don’t have webbing, use the extra sweatshirt fabric from the sleeves.) 53-IMG_0211 Cut two 1.5″ squares out of extra sweatshirt fabric. 51-IMG_0208 Place the webbing 5″ from the side seams and cover with one of the squares. I put the fuzzy side facing out for some interest. Pin. 52-IMG_0209 Stitch around the square and in an “X” shape to secure the webbing beneath. 56-IMG_0214 This is how your tote looks now. If you like this, stop here! Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane If you want to add a bit more structure or simply some design detailing, you can top stitch the four sides and front and back bottoms. Starting at the bottom, I fold the fabric and pin or clip. Topstitch. 58-IMG_0216 Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Do the same thing along the bottom. 60-IMG_0218 61-IMG_0219 You now have a finished tote that is “made for a man, but strong enough for a woman.” (For some reason, I have that old Secret slogan stuck in my head – well, reversed in my head.) Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Upcycled Sweatshirt Tote #diy #football @maidenjane Be sure to stop by the 2015 Crafty Football Blog Hop or stop back here to watch the Linky for new ideas. You can also check out all of my tutorials here. A few that are related to football include: