If you have ever owned a portable chair, tent, or other outdoor equipment then you have probably experience the difficulty of putting that item back into the bag it came in. Perhaps the bag has been lost, torn or is just too tight of a fit. This is especially true with tents. These instructions will show how to make a bag for the portable chair but it will also show alternatives to make an easy cover for dutch ovens, sleeping bag or other equipment. Canvas works well because is durable, sturdy and easy to sew with. If you want to make it water proof you can use waxed canvas or industrial nylon.
1 1/2 yards Canvas
26" Strapping (Polyester)
30" #5 Handbag Zipper
Clips or Pins
Scissors and/or Rotary Cutter
Pinking Shears or Wavy Blade for Rotary Cutter
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Step 1: MEASURING
HEIGHT OF BAG
Measure the length of the folded chair. Mine was 42" long
Add 4" to this measurement
Add 1"inch for seam allowances
Example: 42" long + 4" + 1" = 47"
BASE AND TOP
Measure the girth (around) the chair. Mine was 23" around
Add 6" to this measurement
Add 1" for seam allowances
Divide by 2
Example: 23" + 6" + 1" = 30" / 2 = 15"
The 15" represents two sides of the base
The finished base will be 10" x 5"
FINAL PATTERN PIECES
2 - 48" x 16"
2 - 11" x 6"
All seam allowances will be 1/2"
Canvas frays continuously so finish all seams with pinking shears or a wavy blade rotary cutter.
Step 2: INSTALLING THE ZIPPER
Take 1 of the 11' x 6' pieces of fabric and cut it in half to create 2 pieces each measuring 5 1/2" by 6". These will be the top of the bag.
Attach the 5 1/2" side to the top piece to the side panels at one edge using a 1/2" seam allowance creating two pieces measuring 52" long.
Press the seams open.
Starting at the top, pin or clip the zipper to both sides of these 52" long pieces. Open the zipper once it is clipped for easier sewing.
Sew the zipper to each side using a 1/2" seam allowance. This will mean sewing close to the zipper teeth.
Once the zipper in sewn on both sides, sew the seam from the bottom of the zipper to the bottom of the bag.
Top stitch on both sides and across the bottom of the zipper.
Press seams open and cut with pinking shears or wavy blade rotary cutter.
Step 3: ADDING THE CARRYING STRAP
The polyester strapping will fray at the ends. To stop this fraying slightly burn the cut edge with a lighter. This will melt the polyester and seal the ends.
Working with one of the side panels, measure in from the long side and find the center, which should be 7 1/2" in and mark 11" down from the top. This will be the placement of one end of the strap.
Now measure 7" up from the bottom and centered. This will be the placement of the other end of the strap.
Attach the strapping using a box with an X in the middle. This will secure the step.
Step 4: ASSEMBLING THE BAG
Sew the seam opposite of the zipper on the long side of the bag.
Fold the base piece of fabric in half on the long side and mark the center.
Mark a small line 1/2" in from each corner.
Match the center of the base piece with the side seam panel and clip. Sew starting and stopping 1/2" from the end.
Attach the other side of the base piece in the same manner.
When you sew the two short ends you will see the benefit of stopping 1/2" from the end of the long side. This will allow the shorter seams to lay flatter and able to sew. Sew the short ends completing the bottom of the bag. Double stitch the corners if needed.
The base should now be complete. Sew the top of the bag the same way making sure the zipper teeth are close together.
Press the seams and make sure to trim all the seams with pinking shears or wavy blade rotary cutter.
The bag is now complete with extra room making it easier to put in the chair and add maybe a blanket or other items.
Continue to see an easier alternative method.
Step 5: DRAWSTRING BAGS
This example shows a cover for a dutch oven but will also work for a chair, tent, or sleeping bag.
1 yard heavy canvas
1/4 -1/2 inch cording
Dual cord lock, size to fit cording
Clips or pins
Note: All seam allowances are 1/2"
MEASURING AND CUTTING THE FABRIC
Lay the lid to the dutch oven on the fabric and draw a line around the lid directly onto the back of the fabric. If using other equipment determine the diameter needed to fully cover the bottom. Now measure 2" out from the circle and mark in several places. Cut the circle of fabric on this outer circle. Fold the fabric circle in half and mark the center on both sides. Unfold and refold in half the other way and mark both sides again. This will divide the circle into quarters.
Now measure the height of your item from the bottom to the center of the top. Add 3-4" to this measurement.
Next measure the circumference of the circle you cut out earlier. Add 1" to that measurement.
Cut one long piece of fabric equaling the height + 3-4" by circumference + 1"
Step 6: ASSEMBLING THE BAG
Join the two short ends of the long piece, creating a tube. Press and trim with pinking shears.
Sew the circle to one side of the tube creating the bottom of the bag. Trim the seam.
On the top of the back fold the edge down by 1/2" and press. Fold down again by 1" and press. Now sew close to the bottom edge leaving a 1" opening. Make sure to backstitch at each end of the opening. This will create a casing for the drawstring.
The cording will unravel easily so tie a knot in both ends. Use a bodkin or a large safety pin to feed the drawstring through the casing. Cut the drawstring to the desired length approximately 4" at each end.
Feed the ends of the string into the dual cord lock. Tie the ends.
Now you have a drawstring bag for any equipment.
I have made one for each of our sleeping bags, dutch ovens and tent. If you have an embroidery machine you might want to label the bags or just write what is inside with a permanent maker.
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