30 December, 2009

Chalk Bag

My next to last Christmas Sewing project was making a Chalk Bag for my son. This bag holds the chalk when you are rock climbing. You hang the bag off your belt and it stays open while you climb. When you need to chalk your hands, you dip your hand in. When you are done, it cinches tight to keep chalk from going everywhere.
Some internet searches via google yielded several results from the  outside fabric to how to cinch it to actual patterns plus instructions. These bags retail anywhere from $25 - 40.
I used this pattern and it worked quite well.

My son liked the Swedish flag motif on one bag(swedish ancestery). I used fabric scraps I bought a few years back (for the airplane cover) from one of my favorite fabric stores in Portland. The outside fabric is a weather-resistant blue fabric and I used a purchased 1/8 yd of bright yellow rip-stop-type fabric for the flag. I searched for Grosgrain ribbon in bright yellow but could not find it wide enough.
For the inside fabric, I used a scrap of the soft fleece I used for the airplane cover that goes over the acrylic windshield. It's a  bit thicker than regular polar fleece but similar. I had several barrel locks in my stash but at the store bought one more because I couldn't remember if I had one. I also found nice sturdy elastic cording. The regular cording at this store was kinda crappy and wouldn't hold up to cinching.

Basically - you want the inner bag to cinch - and the outer bag stays somewhat rigid.
I finished the top with some belting - also bought at RCT and added a elastic loop for holding a brush and two belt loops for the carabiner attachment.
I also placed a piece of plastic boning (or use a plastic cinch strap) at the top to fascilitate the rigid opening.

You definitely want to utilize your 'jeans' sewing machine needles (size 18). There are many layers to this bag.  After sewing too many CD holders and this chalk bag and swearing through multiple needle breakages, I need something soft and delicate to sew next.

Here are some other links to interesting design possibilities for making your own chalk bag:
1. REI
2. Blue Ridge
3. Swedish
4. Petzl


  1. I'm glad you liked my pattern! And I'm glad you decided to go with a Swedish theme as well! :)


  2. Great job making the chalk bag, Kathy. No wonder you need something soft and delicate to sew next.

  3. I'm not going to mention that my mind, for some reason, went to chocolate chip cookies as good content for a similar bag. NO, Sandra - NO! >:D The bag looks really well made, Kathy - sturdy and practical - the Swedish flag is a nice touch :)


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