Okay, what is a paddle bag. And why are you making one?
A paddle bag is a bag, about 54″ long and 6-10″ wide that is used for transporting a kayak paddle. The paddle breaks down into two sections and a bag makes carrying them easier. They are also not a cheap item.
No, it’s not for me. It’s for a FB friend that is the friend of a friend and an acquaintance of mine. We have an ongoing joke where every time I post a photo of a quilt, Kris asks “Is that mine?”
After looking at paddle bags and finding only boring gray ones, she contacted me and asked if I could make one for her. My first question was the same as yours. What is a paddle bag? A quick search of YouTube yields exactly one DIY Paddle Bag video. But it has dimensions, which are oh so helpful. After reviewing the video I figured, heck yeah! I can make one. Basically, it’s a long, skinny tote bag!
Kris had a moment of hesitation after seeing the costs of the cool batik fabric she wanted, strapping for a carry handle, and foam to cushion paddles. Plus, a few bucks for my time. “Can we make it cheaper?”, she asked, after realizing it would cost a bit more than a “good” ready made paddle bag. Of course, I replied. You can always make something really cheaply. But I will pass on that project, good luck!
Here is what we fabric artists & sewists all know. Sewing is not cheap. It often costs MORE to make something that to buy it. When I made my own clothing in high school, I could buy a remnant and make a skirt or dress much cheaper. But that was the “olden days”. Times have changed and we now have lots of ready to wear shops selling cheap fabric sewn into shirts, dresses and pants by very low wage workers in other parts of the globe. If I am putting my time and energy into making something (and taking me away from something else), I prefer to use quality materials.
The next day I heard of from Kris. Let’s do it! She purchased fabric and made a template of the paddle, dropping it off outside my patio door. The “covid drop off”.
Cutting the Soft n Stable by Annie (1/4″ foam). This is a great upgrade from batting for when you want a firmer and/or more protective middle layer. I use it all the time in my tote bags.
The fabric/foam/fabric sandwich was then quilted, but it’s tough to see the stitches! Feathers on one side; swirls on the other.
Kris wanted a flap with a connector to secure her bag and ensure her paddles stay put. I made a short strapping out of the batik for the connector sections
The flap is a fabric/batting/fabric sandwich. The top connector is then stitched into seams.
A binding is added to the edge opposite the flap. Now I need to measure for the second part of the connector and attach.
A middle divider was constructed out of fabric and batting so that the two paddle sections are cushioned. A strap for carrying is also pinned in place. Time to sew it all together!
I hope this does the job for Kris. It’s a bit daunting sewing something that I’ve never seen in person! But as always, we rely on good measurements and communication to make it work.