My husband is very outdoorsy and we go camping quite bit. Thus we have acquired a generous supply of related equipment. In particular, sleeping bags and tents. For storage purposes, we needed something to contain them while allowing the tents to breathe/air out and without compacting the sleeping bags. We decided to make our own nylon sacks to store them in.
Our inspiration was this North Face mesh sack that came with a pair of sleeping bags.
They typically cost about $10 each but we needed quite a few, 4 or 5, in different sizes. So we decided to DIY instead! We also wanted the bags to match these North Face Base Camp duffel bags. For about $11 in materials we were able to make 6 bags with plenty of material to make more in the future. To us, it was worth the effort for something so simple. It was fun to make & I was pleased with the finished product. This project didn’t save a lot of money but it provided a satisfaction that is hard to come by when most everything we eat, where or use is bought instead of made.
These bags are circular tubes with a round bottom. We made the walls ½ solid yellow nylon and ½ nylon mesh. The bottom is black nylon. You can do the same or keep it all one color or skip the mesh.
Nylon mesh (optional you could do all nylon or some other fabric if you prefer)
- MEASURE: Decide on what size you need. Use an object that is similar in size to figure out what the circumference of your bottom needs to be. You’ll need a length of fabric(s) that is the same as this circumference plus a little extra for seam allowance. If using mesh, divide the circumference in half. Use those numbers for the lengths of the nylon and mesh (together it should add up to the circumference + allowance). Also measure out material for the bottom. The bottom will have the same circumference and diameter as the tube. Height plus allowance for the drawstring channel.
- CUT: Mark your measurements and cut out the pieces you need: 2 rectangles, one circle
- PIN & SEW: Decide which end will be the top of the bag. With the “wrong” side facing you, fold down the entire top edge about ½ – 1 inch. Pin in place. This will be the channel for the drawstring. Sew it up.
- MAKE A TUBE: Match up your rectangles side by side. Pin and sew together. Repeat on the other side to form a tube. If using one solid piece, sew the ends together to form the tube. *** Tip for sewing the mesh (to itself or to solid fabric). Line up a piece of tissue paper (like the gift packaging kind) underneath the mesh. This will act as your needle’s guide to keep the mesh from slipping and gives additional stiffness to help make the stitches easily. When done, pull away the tissue. You could use other thin papers, like newspaper, but tissue won’t rub off ink and is soft enough to come out of the stich without pulling it apart.
- MARK UP THE CIRCLE: You could just sew the circle in if you’re that skilled. If you’re like me, you’ll want to set up guide marks to keep your stitching rounded and to keep track of where your seam is.
- Essentially divide the circle piece into four quadrants. Easiest way is to fold it in half and mark the folds. Then fold in four and mark those folds as well. These marks should line up to the seams of your tube if you place the tube at one end.
- If you need to, mark a dotted line just inside the circle to ID where the seam is going. This will help you keep your materials moving in the right angle and direction.
- PIN CIRCLE TO TUBE: If you made guide marks, they should line up to the seams on the tube. Pin the circle to the tube in at least the four quadrants.
- SEW: Go slowly and carefully attached the circle to the tube.
- Almost done: Turn the bag inside out and thread in the drawstring into the channel at the top. You can use whatever kind of material (string, ribbon, shoe lace, etc).