Friday, October 11, 2013

Chalk Bag

I know it's been a while since I posted about something I've sewn, but I have actually been pretty busy sewing up a storm. I started with a few projects for my little brother, his girlfriend and my honorary little brother. Then I moved on to some birthday gifts for my little English students (I took a break from lessons, but am starting up again on Monday and one of the girls had her birthday in August), K's Halloween costume, and once that is finished, it is on to T's costume.

So, first up is a chalk bag for my little brother. He celebrated his birthday last month, but he didn't actually recieve his present until Wednesday. Ha! I figured this is probably the last time I get to use the excuse of a newborn in the house, so I might as well take advantage of it ;) My little brother is quite the climber. He goes to the local climbing gym quite often, but also goes on climbing trips. Here he is in Red Rocks.

Quite obviously he has a chalk bag, but in my mind, chalk bags are like handbags - one can never have too many. What if he wants to change it up one day? That being said, it kind of seems like the type of product that once you have one, it seems a bit wasteful to buy another unless it's for a really good reason. To me, that is the perfect birthday present - something you don't need, but want, but don't want to buy for yourself. I looked online and found a surprising amount of chalk bag tutorials. I wanted one that would be fairly big given that my little brother is a dude. Also I lied to him and told him I wanted to make one for Y, and I was curious as to the usefulness of a pocket. He said his has a pocket, but it's pretty useless given that it isn't big enough for his phone. My mission was to make a bag that was on the big side with a pocket big enough for a phone. I found this tutorial and liked the sound of it, I just had to add a pocket.

I started with fabric that was similar to K's backpack, just different colors. I cut everything out and zig zagged all edges - I don't need to deal with it falling apart again.

I also prepped the pocket sewed it to the piece that would be used for the front of the bag.

Big enough for my hand; big enough for an iPhone.

The next step is to sew the outside of the bag together.

Then the inside.

This is where I stopped taking photos. To be honest, I just wanted to get it done. The tutorial, however, is very easy to understand if you have a general idea of what a chalk bag looks like. The trickiest bit is towards the end when you are trying to sew through about 15 layers of fabric. In fact, at the end, I had to hand sew bits of it because I couldn't get all of the fabric under the foot of my machine.

In spite of the thick fabrics, I think it ended up working out well and looking quite cool. As a note, instead of nylon for the belt loops and edge of the bag, I used cotton. I liked the look of it more than the nylon.

I will point out that the back of mine got a bit messy. The outer bag was a bit too big for the linen cover, so I had to put a pleat in the back. Also, as you can see from the photos above and below, the cotton edging isn't seamless, it was simply too thick to overlap that bit.

That being said, I don't think it ruins the structural integrity of the bag, so I imagine it is still safe to use, and from the front you would be none the wiser. The pocket for the phone works as well - Y and my little brother have the same model iPhone, so I could make sure it fit well.

See the phone stuck in there? It's not too snug, but I really doubt it will fall out.

I was on the phone with the little when he opened it and he seemed stoked. He put chalk in it immediately - yay! Hopefully this bag gets to go on many exciting and memorable adventures with my little brother.
Happy birthday, T! We love you and miss you!!

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