How to Make Jersey Purses

by Erin Griffith

Any sports jersey can be repurposed into a cute purse.

football fan image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com

A sports jersey purse is the ultimate way to show loyalty to your favorite sports team. They're available for only the most popular sports teams, so for most local teams, the only way to get one is to make it yourself. Besides, only a homemade jersey purse will be one of a kind. It's the perfect use for an extra, outgrown or-out-of season jersey. Even a child's jersey works for this, as most purse patterns do not require much material. Just be sure to wash those sweat stains out first.

Items you will need

  • Sports jersey
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Purse pattern
  • White sewing pencil
  • Thick lining fabric
  • Zipper (optional)
  • Purse straps (optional)
Step 1

Choose your purse pattern based on what shape of purse you'd like to make. The simplest type is a tote bag, which requires no zippers, buttons or straps. With a tote, you can make your own straps out of extra pieces of the jersey. Other types of purses, such as a holster bag, a handbag or a clutch, require more skill and extra pieces, such as zippers or straps. Either way, the best way to show off your jersey is to pick a small bag that has two sides (as opposed to a round, slouchy hobo bag). There are a number of free, printable purse patterns available online (see References).

Step 2

Prepare your jersey. If it is a baseball jersey, you need to sew the button-up area shut to prevent bunching. Button the shirt, iron out any wrinkles and make a straight stitch up the outside edge of the buttons using a matching thread.

Step 3

Trace your pattern pieces using the white pencil onto your jersey. The most important pieces, the front and back of the purse, should be the chest and back area of the jersey in order to show off the number and logo. If you're making a tote bag without a pattern, you can simply cut matching rectangles out of the front and back of the jersey. You can cut the front and back at the same time if you can line up the fabric and feel confident in your cutting abilities.

Step 4

Cut a corresponding piece for each piece of your purse out of the thick lining material. Most jerseys are not strong enough to hold the shape of a purse on their own and need lining in order to maintain their shape for use. Vinyl, heavy felt or fabric that's simply called "lining fabric" works for this.

Step 5

Pin your lining fabric pieces to their corresponding pieces of jersey and assemble the purse according to your pattern. If you're making a tote bag with no pattern, simply pin the two rectangles together, lining side facing out, jersey side facing in. Sew the sides and bottom shut leaving the top open. Flip the bag inside out, using scissors to fully extend the bottom corners. Pin and sew a hem across the top of your bag to hide the jagged edge. Cut two straps out of long rectangular strips to your preferred length. Sew each end of them to each side of your bag, along the hem.

Tips

  • If you'd like your tote to hold wider items, fold the bottom corners up, creating a flat flap, and sew them to the sides of your tote. This will make the bag's shape more like a bowl than a flat tote.

    Your tote can be closed if you install two buttons onto the top inside area.

Warnings

  • Ensure you are using your sewing machine on correct settings for sewing lining, especially if your lining is thick or vinyl.

    Sew with your lining material on the bottom when possible to avoid having the sewing machine's feet pull the jersey material ahead of the lining.

    Be sure your jersey is well pinned to the lining, as slippery polyester jersey material can bunch in the machine.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Erin Griffith has covered finance, private equity and mergers and acquisitions since 2005. She has served as a senior reporter for peHUB, a Reuters subsidiary, associate editor for "Buyouts" magazine and reporter for Mergermarket, dealReporter and Ft.com, a Financial Times Group subsidiary. Griffith has a Bachelor of Science in journalism and a certificate in women's studies from Ohio University.