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PatternPile is a resource for finding practical and fun-to-sew patterns for bags, hats and quilts.



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Learn to Sew a Repurposed Nautical Sailcloth Carry-all Bag

With a free sewing tutorial and digital pattern by Hannah-Rose for Bernina

Sew a Repurposed Nautical Sailcloth Carry-all Bag

Bags made from sailcloth, often referred to as sailcloth bags, are a popular and durable choice for various types of bags, such as tote bags, duffel bags, backpacks, and even wallets. Sailcloth is a type of fabric that was originally designed for sails on boats and ships due to its durability, resistance to harsh weather conditions, and its ability to withstand the wear and tear of the open sea. Over time, the use of sailcloth has expanded beyond sailing applications to include a wide range of products, including bags.

Here are some key characteristics and some helpful information about bags made from sailcloth:

Material: Sailcloth bags are typically made from synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon, which are chosen for their strength and water resistance. These fabrics are coated with water-repellent or waterproof finishes to enhance their performance.

Durability: Sailcloth is known for its exceptional durability, making bags made from it long-lasting and suitable for outdoor activities, travel, and everyday use. The material can withstand heavy loads and is resistant to tearing and abrasion.

Water Resistance: One of the primary advantages of sailcloth bags is their water-resistant nature. The fabric's tight weave and coatings help repel water, keeping the contents of the bag dry. This feature is especially useful for beach trips, sailing adventures, and other wet environments.

Lightweight: Despite their durability, sailcloth bags are often relatively lightweight, making them easy to carry and transport.

Minimalistic Design: Sailcloth bags often feature a clean and minimalistic design, characterized by simple lines and a nautical aesthetic. They may also incorporate marine-inspired details like grommets and rope handles.

Environmental Considerations: Some sailcloth bags are made from recycled or upcycled sailcloth materials, making them an eco-friendly choice for those concerned about sustainability.

Maintenance: Maintaining sailcloth bags is generally straightforward. They can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and mild soap. Some sailcloth bags are machine washable, but it's essential to follow the manufacturer's care instructions.

Uses: Sailcloth bags are perfect bags to take boating, to the beach, camping, hiking, and even everyday commuting.

Bags made from sailcloth are prized for their durability, water resistance, and nautical aesthetic. Whether you're a sailor looking for gear bags or an individual seeking a durable and stylish bag for various purposes, sailcloth bags can be an excellent choice. They offer a blend of functionality, style, and longevity that makes them a popular option.

Carry-all Bag Sewing Tutorial and Pattern:

Hannah-Rose decided to make her father a "Carryall" (known as a Tog Bag in South Africa) using one of these sails. He often goes for a sail at and needs a bag with a change of warm, dry clothes.

Hannah-Rose really wanted to use the markings that are traditionally found on a sail to add to it's nautical style. The numbers are the sail's unique race number, the letter determines the type of boat the sail belonged to (S for a Sonnet), and the crown is the manufacturer's logo.

The sail Hannah-Rose used was made from Dacron, which is a lightweight but medium-firm polyester textile. Dacron was developed specifically for sailcloth and was the industry standard for years. She was amazed by how well her B535 sewing machine was able to sew through the challenging stiff material. It was also a challenge needing to be precise in her stitching as pins and needles leave holes in this type of fabric, much like leather.

To see how she made this carry-all bag and to get the pattern visit her blog post at Bernina here. It is a worthwhile intermediate sewing project that can take a weekend to complete. There is an adjustable carry strap, exterior and interior pockets, a zippered closure, as well as two carrying handles.



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