Making bags: instructions/tutorials

Discuss your gear and stitching and shoe modification in here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jordan
Wu-Tang
Posts: 683
Joined: 22 May 2008 19:38
Location: Forked River, NJ
Contact:

Post by Jordan » 25 May 2008 11:44

does anyone know how to close up a 4 panel bag without stitching on the outside?

please help =]

User avatar
Wasabi
Amatera-Sewing
Posts: 4249
Joined: 26 Aug 2005 11:24
Location: Queens, NYC, NY, USA
Contact:

Post by Wasabi » 25 May 2008 19:30

I usually do a small, secure knot right where each of the four panels intersect, push my needle through the seams (in and out of the bag so that you get some thread inside), pull firmly then cut. All you need to do then is wiggle in some of the remaining exposed thread and you're set. You can use superglue to glue up the intersection firmly so that you don't expose the final knot, but most of the time - if you do it right- it's not necessary.
Waylon Lew - maker of Wasabi bags
NYFA represent.
"Footbag can be pretty frustrating when it's supposed to be fun. I was partly driven by this forum - practice, practice, practice... As that is true, I think someone can be too focused on progressing and training that they miss the fun aspect of it." - Bander87

Hobit
Hack Fiend
Posts: 33
Joined: 10 Jun 2008 20:06

Starting to stitch :

Post by Hobit » 10 Jun 2008 21:40

Im just getting into stitching and freestyle footbagging in general . I looked into purchasing an Abshire or Joshua Raye footbag . But then i found many great articles on how to make your own and purchasing my own was out of the question .

Since then ive read further on :
-materials
(facile / ultrasuede light & amaretta . Looking into Clarino .)
-patterns
(Im currently working on some of my own based on Robert Dawsons work in spherical tiling . One in perticular is a 64 tile patern . Witch i hope to start soon , http://cs.smu.ca/faculty/dawson/tritile4.jpg quite the task . )
-gathering
(Correct me if im wrong but this is the method of pulling on the thread .)
-stitching techniques 2 , 3 , & 4 stitch methods
(Still a little lost on this topic . These are variations of running stitches ?)
-blind stitching / sewing the final seam
(This apears to be mastered through practice .)
-Fill
(Ive done a little digging on fill and different fillers . Ive seen quite a few
different recomendations in this forum and a few other articles & forums .)

My focus for this post is to get help on three topics clearly in question :

Stitching techniques , purposes , prefferences , & differences ?

Fill , getting the desired weight and fill consistancy . Tips & Tricks ?

Filler choices ? How does one get the right blend of poly-substance fill ?

Thanks for any feedback . This site has been most helpfull already .
After days of reading on my own i decided to register here .
Great forums here with many talented members . Glad to see the life .

LEGOMAN
Egyptian Footgod
Posts: 1171
Joined: 20 Dec 2006 21:00

Post by LEGOMAN » 10 Jun 2008 21:46

ill let other people fill you in about the stitching, but ill tell you about something different.

you should really buy some kind of bag (mr.sand bag or a abshire doesnt matter) because most people dont make shredable bags right off the bat. it takes lots of practice to make a really good footbag.
People that like LEGOMAN - 10
People that hate LEGOMAN - 1000
LEGOMAN´s posts - Priceless

User avatar
calemccoy
Flower Child
Posts: 1715
Joined: 02 Aug 2007 22:55
Location: southern OR
Contact:

Post by calemccoy » 10 Jun 2008 23:33

agreed. i wasnt truly satisified with my bag until about the 40th or so. learning to stitch is great but meanwhile... buy a bag from one of many stitchers on here, including myself! we can make a bag to any size, color, and weight you want.

oh and btw, learn to stitch 32s.... a 64 is impractical for freestyle.
my footblog
bombbags for sale
-cale mccoy-
RVFA footbag

User avatar
Wasabi
Amatera-Sewing
Posts: 4249
Joined: 26 Aug 2005 11:24
Location: Queens, NYC, NY, USA
Contact:

Post by Wasabi » 11 Jun 2008 09:05

I'll take up the task on explaining everything you've listed and are concerned about in terms of stitching. It's far better than reading a pile of books (myself), and I tend to like talking about stitching more than actually doing the craft itself. :wink: :P

Okay... the best way in entering the realm of footbag stitching is to start on the simplest design possible, to assess your technique and learning curve. Four and thirty-two panels are the best choices. I personally started on 6-panels, but I think the best and most plausible thing to do, that everyone has done before, is to start on 32s, since they're the most desired design to work with. Anything above a 32-panel isn't desirable, and I'm sure you'll get lost midway through the product to understand why you were confused in your sewing (unless you already have a lot of experience in sewing in general). By any means, however, I'm not forcing you to do anything you don't want to do; these are just the basics. I've seen some amazing craftmanship from people who made bags other than 4s and 32s on their first try, so you don't have to take my word for this.

I do recommend buying a bag, but this isn't always necessary. It's just evidently natural to have an already good product at hand to judge and mimic it as best as possible for optimal use in freestyle footbag.

Now let's get into the bulk of footbag stitching terminology and theory:
  • Gathering: Yes, it's pulling the thread so that material folds into each other through the seams. Applying more gather on a bag adds more dimension to the bag in general. It also makes the bag more rolly, but depending on your template size and consistency, a good well-gathered bag can play and break-in far better than a loosely gathered bag.
  • 2, 3 & 4 stitch methods: Learn to master the basic running stitch, as this is used prominently in all of footbag sewing. This can be slightly confusing, as many people have different ways in approaching footbag stitching. It's easier to distinguish which side you mean - either the pentagon or the hexagon side. I usually distinguish the pentagon side first, as that is where I usually put more concentration on. Typically, to denote 2, 3 or even 4 stitches dictates the amount of exposed seams or stitches you have on either the pentagon or hexagon side.

    When sewing a 32-panel, the hexagon side will always have one stitch more than the pentagon side. For example, if I were to comment on the 3 stitch method on the pentagon side, there will be 3 exposed stitches on the pentagon, and 4 on the hexagon. The hexagon is very important in the creation of the 32-panel, as 20 panels are composed of hexagons while the remaining 12 are pentagons. Concerning the hexagon side, the end stitches {- - - -} are what connect one hexagon to another, and create the "bleedholes" of the bag used for filling/refilling the 32-panel.

    I've deliberated a bit too much on the 32-panel, but this formula is also very important for other bags as well. Of course, you can be more liberal in terms of 4 and 6 paneled bags, as the amount of stitches per side is not clearly as important as a 12, 14 and 32-panels but it is a good method to master (in terms of consistency).
  • "Blind stitch" / "Loose stitch" methods: You are correct that it takes practice to master the last step closing up a footbag, but I always feel that the imposed difficulty of this method is impractical in discussion. It's actually a very easy formula - the only "blind" concept in finishing up a footbag is that you are not exposed to the stitches you are "gathering" and knotting like you are with other panels of a bag. I stress that you learn and look into the "loose stitch" method, as that is far easier and far more practical than the blind stitch method (which, in a lot of ways, replaces the general conception of the "blind stitch" method.

    I won't deliberate on this, but I will show you a website that helps:
    http://www.footbag.ru/index.php?option= ... &Itemid=31.
    I think the website is being refurbished at the moment, or you may have to register in the website, so you might have to PM Sergey Kozlov for the photo tutorial on the loose stitch method.
  • Fill: This can be whatever your imagination desires. What is desirable, however, is to have a filler that plays exceptionally well. There's no argument that lead and tungsten are the two best filler types out there. Steel is okay, and it is the filler that I use in my bags, but it takes a lot of experimentation to make the filler just right (I put a lot of random stuff other than steel shot in my filler). Of course, you can always fill bags with simply just shot, and depending on how well you made your footbag, a simple shot filler would/could complement the bag very well regardless of additional/supplemental filler types.

    A general rule that helps in trying for the right fill combo is to find how much filler makes the bag play well. Around 45-60% of filler inside the footbag is a good thing to consider. However, this is where you get truly creative, or simplistic, and all you have to do is find what plays well for freestyle; meaning, you don't want the bag to be too rolly in play, and it should delay and set well through every session.

    What I recommend is what you can afford economically and locally. Steel is the cheapest; lead is moderately affordable or priced like steel (also more widely available); tungsten/hevi-shot are by far the most expensive and most difficult to find locally. Shop at Ballistic Products for all of your shot needs.

    Also, be wary not to have anything sharp or extremely eroded as part of your filler. Aquarium rocks and rusted steel shot are just a few examples. These types of filler can damage a footbag inside out during break-in.
To finalize this post, I'll leave you with this photo from Jay Boychuk, who is a very experienced stitcher himself:

Image

Just study from this, and you'll be a stitching machine. :wink: Good luck!

PS: Concerning unique stitching "techniques," you'll probably have to find a footbagger at your local footbag tournament, and have him/her teach you their unique form of stitching. So far, even with photographic evidence, explaining the more advanced methods of stitching a footbag (or a 32-panel in general) would be too difficult to explain online.
Waylon Lew - maker of Wasabi bags
NYFA represent.
"Footbag can be pretty frustrating when it's supposed to be fun. I was partly driven by this forum - practice, practice, practice... As that is true, I think someone can be too focused on progressing and training that they miss the fun aspect of it." - Bander87

User avatar
Eskimo Joe
Cold Blooded
Posts: 512
Joined: 17 Aug 2006 16:04
Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

Post by Eskimo Joe » 11 Jun 2008 12:13

Also, for reference, in the pic of the inside out bag by Jay, this is an example of the 3 stitch method.
Eskimo Joe

Muffinman
the gimp
Posts: 10258
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 15:34
Location: Canada
Contact:

Post by Muffinman » 11 Jun 2008 14:16

Topics merged. -Erik

Hobit
Hack Fiend
Posts: 33
Joined: 10 Jun 2008 20:06

Learning to Stitch :

Post by Hobit » 12 Jun 2008 05:34

Sorry Erik . I wasnt sure if i should post much further in this thread considering its a sticky thread . Thanks for the merger .

Thanks for all the feedback everyone !

Id like to respond to all of the responders :

@ Legoman , I have a hero bag for stitching and fill refference .
I cant bring myself to tear apart a stitchers work to learn from .
But i will purchase a bag from one of the stitchers here to shred .

@ calemccoy , I do know excellence comes with practice . So all
i can do , is to start stitching . I will deffinately buy a bag from
a stitcher on this site . Ive looked at a great deal of the pages in
the "Bags I've (any stitcher here) Made" thread . To many people
to name to say witch stitchers i like here . But you do have "bomb
bags" ;) .

How are 64 panel bags impractitcal for freestyle ? What are the problems ?

@ Wasabi , That was a perfect tutorial for me . I can deffinately put it
to good use . I understood all of it . Great explanation on the blind /
loose stitch methods . Ill contact Sergey Kozlov for further info .
As to the fill i get what your saying and that was a good start .
I was hoping to hear possibly the exact grams you or the average
stitcher uses for there fill . Also the mixture ratio 60% steel 40% plastic ?

Not to ask to be spoon fed but i just like to know from experience ,
from the true craftsmans hands and mind . Thank you very much
for all the info you gave me . Much appreciated .

@ Eskimo Joe , Thanks for the heads up on the image .

Hobit

HippieTom
Shredaholic
Posts: 174
Joined: 10 Apr 2008 11:42
Location: Bloomington, IN

Post by HippieTom » 12 Jun 2008 07:04

64 panels is just too much fabric and too many seams to really be stally in my opinion, 32 is the widely considered perfect number of panels
Tom Stouffer

CL: fairy, pixie, consistency, swirls, whirls, and bops(consistency)

User avatar
Wasabi
Amatera-Sewing
Posts: 4249
Joined: 26 Aug 2005 11:24
Location: Queens, NYC, NY, USA
Contact:

Post by Wasabi » 12 Jun 2008 08:57

I've seen and played with a Hero bag before. They're pretty big. Freestyle bags are usually the size of golfballs. I should have elaborated on that a bit more.

Considering that you want to stitch and play with freestyle bags, bags that are around the size of a golfball are perfect. I usually like to play with bags that are a little larger than a golfball, but I have played with some amazing bags that are smaller than golfball size (Eskimo Joe and Matt Cross, just to name a few :)). However, for a bag that is the size of a golfball, 64-panels, or bags that are higher than 32-panels in general, tend to be a bit too stiff and rolly for general freestyle, unless you fill at a really heavy weight (like 80 grams). Elemental footbags, owned by the reknown footbag supplier Lotus, supplies really good freestyle-able 64s, and he fills them in just that weight and approximately the size of golfballs.

Also, I think I've seen Erik Savage make a pretty sweet looking 64-panel. Or was it Jerab? :P

Since you're thinking of fillers at the moment, that's a little hard to explain, because a lot of it has to do with experimentation. If you want to use poly pellets, I recommend using them sparingly and apply them with lead or tungsten only. For some reason, poly pellets and steel shot feels like an inadequate combo, since steel isn't as dense as lead or tungsten and it has a rolly feel to it. It's up to you to experiment, though - I'm just offering my opinion. Personally, steel works well alone, with seed beads, or with some other special ingredient(s) out there. The world is your oyster with fillers. :wink:
Waylon Lew - maker of Wasabi bags
NYFA represent.
"Footbag can be pretty frustrating when it's supposed to be fun. I was partly driven by this forum - practice, practice, practice... As that is true, I think someone can be too focused on progressing and training that they miss the fun aspect of it." - Bander87

Hobit
Hack Fiend
Posts: 33
Joined: 10 Jun 2008 20:06

Panels and Fill :

Post by Hobit » 12 Jun 2008 17:18

Yeah , i knew that freestyle bags were the size of golfballs or then minis witch are a tad smaller ofcourse . Wow its nice to know that 64 panels is doable for freestyle , it gives me hope . I think with the right material (amaretta) , small seams , and the right fill it is possible to make it work . But i think i have already come up with the solution to acomplish the same patern im intending to do . Ive come up with the remedy to cut the amount of tiles in half and still get the end patern result . Im gonna do a shirt ball for testers , well see .
Ill definately post a pic in the other thread once im done with the prototypes .

Thanks for the further info on fillers . It seems to be the key ingredient to a good all around bag , stall rating , set rating , kick rating , etc. .

Let me get one thing straight . Steel shot & seed bead is an ok combo .
I'd imagine steel shot alone would add up to 50-60 grams real quick and
not reach your 60% fill rating . Thats just a guess . Im definitely an experimentor . So im sure ill find a good blend i like and one that is agreable by others as well .

Thanks for all the help .

Hobit

User avatar
capuchino man
Circle Kicker
Posts: 14
Joined: 17 Jun 2008 17:44
Location: kingston, WA

materials for beginner stitching

Post by capuchino man » 30 Jun 2008 17:38

i wanna know what would be some good stitching material for beginners. i have read through some websites and they dont explain how and what to use it so if some of you guys could help by listing materials and tutorials


Merged with this stickied thread. Please use the search function. This thread should answer all of your questions about materials. If you don't want to read the whole thing at least post your questions in this thread to keep everything together and unnecessarily cluttered -- Erik
Im a Footbagholic

User avatar
Jordan
Wu-Tang
Posts: 683
Joined: 22 May 2008 19:38
Location: Forked River, NJ
Contact:

Post by Jordan » 30 Jun 2008 17:42

start out with a 4 panel bag made out of an old t-shirt... and just search around the forum for a 4 panel tutorial, cause im sure their is one. :D

hope that helps :)

User avatar
capuchino man
Circle Kicker
Posts: 14
Joined: 17 Jun 2008 17:44
Location: kingston, WA

stitching for beginners

Post by capuchino man » 01 Jul 2008 14:53

i have gone through a lot of websites and topics about stitching footbags and i dont understand them very well. i dont know the materials ( doesnt explain well) and the tutorials aren't that good for me to understand. so if you good please give me a GOOD tutorial and materials that would be good, thanks.

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN THIS TOPIC BEFORE FROM ME, THEN MY BAD BECAUSE I WENT BACK TO CHECK FOR MESSAGES AND MY TOPIC ISNT HERE. EVEN IF YOU CHECK MY PROFILE IT SAYS I STARTED 3 TOPICS BUT ONLY 2 SHOW UP.


Topic merged again -Erik
Im a Footbagholic

Hobit
Hack Fiend
Posts: 33
Joined: 10 Jun 2008 20:06

Beginning Stitching :

Post by Hobit » 02 Jul 2008 03:16

Hey i had a hard time getting started in stitching as well . Luckily my mother taught me how to sew at a young age so i have a bit of an understanding of some of the terminology and concept that is required to stitch things up .

First thing i did was used Google . My favorite specific search was :

http://www.google.com/search?q=beginnin ... ng+footbag

The video at the top of that list is very helpfull .
I found that after reading this old tutorial by Daniel Botkin .

But the most helpfull has been Making bags: instructions/tutourials . I read this thread from page 1-15 .

Alot of people through all of my reading recomend starting with a four
panel bag to learn stitching . I refused these suggestions and jumped
into a 32 panel bag immediately . It just made sense to me , to start
on the type of bag i planed on ultimately stitching rather than work my
way up . I dont know how you are but this worked for me .

Brief crash course 32 panel tutorial :

- First you need a patern , many people like the soccer ball style .
Truncated Icosahedron (32-panel. 12 pentagons, 20 hexagons) .

-Heres another helpfull tool for making paterns for the "soccer style" :

http://patterns.phasing.org/

Some suggestive dimensions :

Pentagon Side Length = .80 , Hexagon Long Side Length = .80 ,
Hexagon Short Side Length = 30%

Pentagon Side Length = .55 , Hexagon Long Side Length = .68 ,
Hexagon Short Side Length = 37%

Pentagon Side Length = .53 , Hexagon Long Side Length = .62 ,
Hexagon Short Side Length = 30%

All the dimensions i found in the thread for the patern maker .
http://modified.in/footbag/viewtopic.ph ... c&start=60

Ok so now you should have a patern and hopefully have it all cut out .
Again 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons is what you should have so far .
Once i made my first hexagon and first pentagon i traced them onto a piece of thick plastic and cut them out so that i would have a nice
template instead of having to use a ruler or the patern makers to get
my measurements . I found this to be highly productive for me . You can
use anything as your template a piece of wood or what ever you prefer .

Now that you have all your pieces cut out start stitching . Start with a
pentagon with five hexagons around it like a flower . Image below :

Image

Of course you are going to start with one pent and one hex initialy .
You match the two edges that are going to be sown side by side .
The same way you would hold two pennys when you rub them together .
Keep your sewing line in 1/8" and your stitches 1/8" apart .
Remember gather , when you do each seam or each two edges sown together you want to pull on your thread while holding your two pieces
so that you create ruffles in the seam . Not to many i like to create an M
shape in my gather . Make a nice thick knot as close to the material as
possible cut the excess thread and pulll on the two pieces to stretch out
the gather a little . Once you get the first flower created rest your next pent in the crotch of two hexes and continue , do this all the way around the flower . You should end up with 5 pents sown to the outside of the flower . Continue by sewing 3 hexes to each of the five pents . Well
i think you can handle it from here . Remember stay an 1/8" in from
the edge of your material this will make sure you get the right look
and also make sure your material dont come popping out during break in
creating holes for leakage .

Well i hope this helps . Keep reading , start sewing , and dont be afraid to
ask questions for help . But do your home work and practice .
Its easy once you get started . But hard to perfect and make look great .

Hobit

User avatar
Wasabi
Amatera-Sewing
Posts: 4249
Joined: 26 Aug 2005 11:24
Location: Queens, NYC, NY, USA
Contact:

Post by Wasabi » 02 Jul 2008 07:38

Topics about stitching tutorials and such oftentimes get fused with the stickied topics within this part of the forum. That's why you couldn't find your topic; IT HAS ALREADY BEEN MENTIONED COUNTLESS TIMES AND THERE IS NO NEED FOR PEOPLE THAT ARE EXPERIENCED IN STITCHING TO RELAY INFO OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Just look up under the bolded "sticky" topics and search to your heart's content. Be an avid reader, and absorb all of the information that has already been posted.

Yes, I know I sound like a dick, but that's how it is.
Waylon Lew - maker of Wasabi bags
NYFA represent.
"Footbag can be pretty frustrating when it's supposed to be fun. I was partly driven by this forum - practice, practice, practice... As that is true, I think someone can be too focused on progressing and training that they miss the fun aspect of it." - Bander87

User avatar
capuchino man
Circle Kicker
Posts: 14
Joined: 17 Jun 2008 17:44
Location: kingston, WA

Post by capuchino man » 02 Jul 2008 08:48

thanks. for every footbag i make should it have holes? and what are those for cuz i know there is going to be more stitching than that
Im a Footbagholic

Muffinman
the gimp
Posts: 10258
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 15:34
Location: Canada
Contact:

Post by Muffinman » 02 Jul 2008 11:04

It doesn't have to have holes, but the standard method of stitching a 32-panel bag is stitching only the long sides of the hexes to the pents, which leaves every connection of short-side-hex-to-short-side-hex unstitched. The gap is tight enough that filler doesn't spill out, but also loose enough that you can use those holes to alter the filler if you (or someone else) so chooses. These gaps are called "bleed holes" (because you can bleed filler out of them.)

For more info on bleed holes, as with everything else on stitching, you can read the rest of this gigantic thread :P But like someone else said, it is VERY informative and covers a LOT.

User avatar
Jordan
Wu-Tang
Posts: 683
Joined: 22 May 2008 19:38
Location: Forked River, NJ
Contact:

Post by Jordan » 14 Jul 2008 02:14

loose stitching has been a pain for me!

can anyone help?

Post Reply