Ditty Bag

For the fifth year in a row I traveled to Camp Belzer in Indianapolis, IN for a weekend of adult scout leader knot tying training. This year I would be attending the first-ever "Marlinspike III" class. One of our projects was to sew a ditty bag. Skills learned included sewing with needle and palm, and sewing rope grommets.

Special thanks to Joe Bates (Marlinspike III instructor), Gary Summers (Course Director), and Eric Wickizer (Assistant Course Director).

I'll post more pictures from the weekend later. For now, you can get more information at http://www.marlinspikeskills.com. See also my photos from 2005, 2007, and 2008.

[01] Our bags were made from a heavy canvas which was cut from an old tepee liner. Most stitches were through three layers of canvas, so we used a needle and palm for sewing. Stitch the side, then the bottom, then the top.

[02] The grommets were made using the (what else) grommet knot.

[03] The top is folded over twice, about 1.25 inches. I cheated and used glue to hold the grommets in place before sewing. A hole is punched (not easy through three pieces of canvas) and then the grommet is stitched on.

[04] Here's a look at one of the finished grommets.

[05] I used four grommets on my bag. I then tied four star knots. The "stems" were kept as loops. The "stems" were inserted through the grommets and the drawstring was run through each.

[06] A side view of the finished bag.

[07] A top down view of the finished bag.

[08] My sister Lily also attended the course, and she offered to sew the course patch on my bag for me. Thanks, sis.

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Copyright © 2009 by Bill Qualls. Last updated March 9, 2009.