Friday, November 13, 2015

DIY Stuff Sack

DIY, outdoor, clothing, gear, stuff sack, ripstop, green mountain, patterns, sewing
DIY Stuff Sack
Made of Nylon Ripstop
Finished Dimensions: 11.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches

It took me faster to sew up this easy stuff sack than it did to organize and gather the information to write this post! Easy and fun to put together. Make several stuff sacks from just one yard of fabric. Make it in different colors as well!

Supplies used:
¼ yd Orange 1.9oz Nylon Ripstop Fabric
1 Mini Oval Cylinder Cord Lock 1/8
30” 1.8mm Reflective Accessory Cord
Green Pepper #544 Pattern
¼ yd of Tracing Material - I used Sew-In Interfacing
Ball point pen or marker
Chalk Pencil for marking fabric
Scissors or rotary cutter
Cutting mat (for rotary cutter)
Bodkin (optional)
Ruler or Tape measure
Suggested Machine Needle: Universal 110/18
Suggested Thread: 1 spool Coats Outdoor Thread
Household Sewing Machine

**This DIY project assumes you already know how to use your sewing machine and have basic sewing skills. If you don't, contact a sewing store for basic sewing lessons.

My Sewing Notes:

1.   I used the Green Pepper pattern #544. It’s really easy to follow the instructions for this pattern.  JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores carries a limited supply of Green Pepper patterns. I called all the stores listed in MA & NH and not one store had the pattern in stock so I ordered online (see References below).  Please read instructions carefully.

2.    Tracing pattern pieces is optional. I trace pattern pieces because the patterns include different sizes. If I cut out just one pattern size, then I won’t be able to use the pattern pieces in the other sizes. I plan to create more stuff sacks in different sizes, so I trace my pattern pieces. I used a ball-point pen and a marker to trace my pattern onto Sew-In Interfacing. While some seamsters prefer to trace their pattern pieces directly onto the fabric using a tracing wheel and tracing transfer paper, I personally prefer to trace the pattern pieces onto Sew-In Interfacing. I use Sew-In Interfacing for tracing because it’s inexpensive and very easy to see through.  Also, tracing patterns using a tracing wheel, over time the pattern will tear along the traced lines.

   3. For this project, I used the size "Medium Short" pattern piece. I wanted a stuff sack with the 6.5 by 6.5 inch width but without the 16 inches in height . So I folded (not cut) the pattern piece to shorten it. When pinning pattern pieces to the Nylone Ripstop fabric be sure to keep pin holes within seam allowances to avoid pinholes in completed project.

      4.  The Ripstop fabric I’m using is treated, so the shiny surface goes on the inside. Seams are not tape-sealed, therefore this product is water-resistant and not waterproof.

    5. For this project I used Coats Outdoor 100% Polyester thread. It comes in 8 colorfast colors, 200 yards length and is UV and moisture-resistant as well. This is a thick thread so I used Schmitz Universal 110/18 needles. Also used a longer stitch length, 6-8 stitches per inch as a thick thread needs more space to form a stitch. 

Tip 1: Use a test piece of fabric to test your tension and stitches. 
Tip 2: Increase the top tension a bit and sew slowly for better stitch quality.

    6.  I used 1.8mm Reflective Accessory Cord and it can be purchased at Sea To Summit, EMS, REI, LLBean or other outdoor stores and online as well. I got mine at the Kittery Trading Post in Maine. If you don’t want to purchase this size cord, EMS and REI have 2mm cord available and you can get this cut to any length. But the 2mm cord will not fit in the mini cord lock used in this project. You will have to purchase a larger cord lock - one that has an opening to fit both ends of this size of cord. In addition to EMS, REI, and most outdoor retailers, Joann’s Fabric & Craft also carries larger cord locks to fit the 2mm cord.

     7.  For this project, I used the Mini Oval Cylinder Cord Lock 1/8. If you purchase a 2mm cord for this project, it will not fit in this size cord lock. You will have to purchase a cord lock that has an opening to fit both ends of the 2mm size cord. I used this size cord lock for my project because it’s the same size cord lock used on Sea To Summit Stuff Sacks.

     8. Bodkins are optional for this project. The instructions for this stuff sack call for placing cord along the casing prior to sewing the casing. I stitched the casing first and then threaded the cord through the casing using a Bodkin.

Made a smaller stuff sack for my climbing shoes
Finished dimensions: 11.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches

Materials Costs:
¼ yd of Ripstop Fabric ($6.95/yd):  $1.74
30” of 1.8mm Reflective Accessory Cord ($9.95/32 feet):  $0.90
1 Mini Oval Cylinder Cord Lock 1/8 ($9.90/17 locks):  $0.58
Total Materials Costs:  $3.22

Green Pepper Pattern #544: $7.00 (re-usable)
¼ yd of Sew-In Interfacing ($0.99/yd):  $0.25  (re-usable)

References & Notes:
Ripstop Fabric: Ebay - Textile Specialists (South Carolina)
 Super fast shipping,  got my fabric in 2 business days!

Green Pepper #544 Pattern: Green Pepper (Washington)
 Super fast shipping, got my patterns in 3 business days!

Apparel Sew-In Interfacing:  Joann’s Fabric & Craft

Coats Outdoor 100% Polyester Thread:  Joann’s Fabric & Craft

Universal 110/18 Sewing Machine Needles
Any sewing store will have sewing machine needles.

Reflective Accessory Cord - Sea To Summit

Mini Oval Cylinder Cord Lock 1/8: Best Buy Button & Buckle (California)
Got my order of mini cord locks in 4 business days.

      My Sewing History
      I spent many years sewing my own clothes….that’s what you did after your mom sent you to sewing lessons for the summer when you’re 14 years old. Over the years I handmade Halloween costumes for my daughters as well as prom dresses and figure skating costumes complete with beadwork all done by hand. Living just 12 miles from Malden Mills, I outfitted my family with handmade polar fleece jackets, pullovers, hats, mittens and pants. We still use polar fleece blankets that I had made years ago! And I even had a small biz selling Polar Fleece Skatewear to figure skating teams – I contracted a small manufacturing company in New Hampshire do to all the sewing in order for me to focus on the sales end of the business. I stopped sewing for several years but now am back at it again. This time for making my own outdoor gear to be used while out climbing and hiking!