Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gone Fishin'

If you use this tutorial I'd love to see your creation! 
Feel free to post it to the Handmade Mommy Tutorials Flickr Pool.

My husband will celebrate his 32nd birthday this week. Happy Birthday, Babe! He said all he wanted was a family camping trip. But I still wanted to make him something. Sadly, my own husband and kids often get the fewest handmade goodies because I'm always working on some other project. However, this is something that he specifically asked for awhile back and I was thrilled to be able to give him a handmade gift that he'll actually use.
(Oh, and I made him swear not to check the little blog and ruin the surprise. I just couldn't resist posting these.)

Update: my husband was thrilled with these! I also gave him the Avatar DVD...which was quickly set aside and he just kept talking about the bags, how much he had wanted them, how great they looked, how curious he was about the stencils...possibly the best gift I've given him in a long time. Ahh...sigh of contentment.

Without further ado, I give reel drawstring bags! Huh? Yah, it's a little different. But we do lots of odd things for the ones we love, don't we? :) He will hopefully get years of protection for his prized reels and think of his loving wife (Hi, Honey!) every time time he makes a deep sea fishing trip with his dad.

If you feel so inspired to whip up some manly drawstring bags to hold fishing reels (might make a good handmade Father's Day gift...), here is the tutorial for you!

Disclaimer: I'm sure there's a better/easier/faster/more efficient way to to do these bags, 
but this seemed a good way to keep the seams put and make sure he never saw a raw edge.

You'll need...
your denim needles (this is important),

a canvas or duck cloth fabric,

and elastic cord with coordinating cord-stop.

First, you'll cut 4 pieces of fabric: 2 outer & 2 lining. 
They're all the same size and the size is determined by your reel. 
I just laid the reel on the fabric and then took a good guess.

 My outer pieces (khaki) and lining pieces (green striped)

Next, I freezer paper stenciled a fish on one of the outer pieces of fabric.
Why didn't someone ever mention how great freezer paper stencils were?? 
Oh, I guess a couple people have covered that here and here and here
These are just a few of the tutorials I found.
You should try it someday. It took me way too long to do it myself.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what fish those are on the bags up top, one is a Yellowfin Tuna and the funny looking one is a Dorado. These are the fish my hubby most often brings home to fill our freezer and I knew he'd recognize them.

Place each outer piece right sides together with a corresponding lining piece. Pin and sew together using a 1/4" seam. Leave a 3 1/2" - 4" opening on the short side that will be at the bottom of your pouch.

Turn right side out, push out your corners, and press.

Put your pressed pairs of fabric outer sides together and stitch, using a 1/8" seam allowance, down one long side starting at the top, going across the bottom (one of the short sides) and back up the other long side stopping about 2 1/2" from the top.
You will also be closing up the openings you left for turning when you stitch across the bottom. 
To ensure that the bottom of your bag is strong, stitch back and forth over this opening a few extra times.

This will be the gap you didn't sew on the side, where your cording will come out for the drawstring.

Fold your top down about 1 1/2", toward the lining, and pin.

Sew 1/2" from the lower edge around the entire bag twice. I like doing it twice to make sure it stays put.
Go slow through the thick parts and hand turn your needle if necessary. 

(and if you screw this up and have to use your seam ripper and sew it again, 
you're in good company)

Then turn your bag right side out and push out your corners. You will not get crisp corners because of the thickness of fabric - this is OK.

Cut a length of cord that is twice the width of your bag plus ten inches. 
Feed cord through your casing and pull even.

Now work a minor miracle and get both ends of cord through your cord stop. 
This is pretty frustrating. I won't lie to you. 

Tie the ends together in a knot - pull it good and tight. 

Drop your reel in! 
OK, don't really drop it. 
No matter how great your bag is, it will never make it up to your man if you break his reel...

Admire your handiwork!
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  1. cool kari, these are great! very creative

  2. What a great idea! :) Have fun on your camping trip!

  3. I know plenty of guys who would die for such a special gift! Great idea.

  4. Easiest enuff for me! Nice useful gift.

  5. Love it! Gonna make some of these for the fishermen (and women) in my life!! Thanks so much!

  6. These are great, and your stencils take them over the top! Happy B-day to your hubby, and enjoy your camping trip...

  7. My husband is really gonna love these. THANKS for the great idea and instructions. TNsuzyQ

  8. They look to be of commercial quality . . . except better due to the personal involvement.

    Repurposed denim could be a good choice for material. I want to try buckskin.


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