How to Make a Sports Bag

Written by eric jonas
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How to Make a Sports Bag
Use upholstery from an old couch to make a new gym bag. (old chair image by MAXFX from

Making a sport or gym bag at home allows you to customise the bag in the size and colour choices you prefer. The project is easy enough that even an individual with little previous sewing experience can assemble a customised bag in an hour's time.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 6 square feet upholstery fabric
  • Fabric pen
  • 8 feet thick cord

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  1. 1

    Lay a piece of upholstery fabric, or other thick and heavy fabric, on a flat working surface. Trace a rectangle on the fabric with a fabric pen that measures 12 inches by 16 inches for a medium size bag. For a large sport or gym bag, trace a 14-inch by 22-inch rectangle. Cut out the rectangle and use it as a template for another rectangle from the same fabric. Trace a 8-inch by 10-inch rectangle on the remaining piece of fabric and cut it out.

  2. 2

    Make a top hem on the short side of the 12-inch by 16-inch (or 14-inch by 22-inch) rectangle by folding over 1 inch of fabric and pressing it with an iron. Use a single stitch to sew the top edge of the hem onto the back side of the fabric. The space in between the pressed fold and the seam line should be large enough to fit a pencil through it.

  3. 3

    Center the small rectangular cut out on top of the right side of one of the large rectangles and pin it in place. Begin a single stitch from the underside of the fabric and stitch three sides of the small rectangle to the large rectangle. Do not stitch the top seam closest to the large rectangle's hem line.

  4. 4

    Place one large rectangle on the flat surface with the right-side up and align the other large rectangle on top of it with its ride side facing down. Use a zigzag stitch on a sewing machine, or a whip stitch by hand, to sew the two side seems together. Stop stitching 1 inch away from the bottom edge and 1 inch away from the top edge, where the fabric is pressed and seamed.

  5. 5

    Use a single stitch to sew the bottom seams together, but sew them 1 inch away from the bottom edge. Next, use a whip stitch to sew the very edges of the bottom seam together. There should be enough room between the two seams to insert a pencil. Turn the fabric bag right-side in.

  6. 6

    Cut two 4-foot lengths of thick cord. Run one of the pieces of cord through the top hemmed seam and the other cord through the bottom seams. Tie the cords together on the right side of the bag and then tie the cords together on the left side of the bag.

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