Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Quick To Stitch Hunting Bag

My DH has a camouflage patterned backpack that he keeps his hunting goodies in--grunts, bleats, rattling antlers, rope, gutting knife, etc.  I call it his "Bag of Tricks".

Now, I'm less active of a hunter, in that I prefer to sit and see what comes by rather than getting into the fine art of calling deer to me.  But, I still take things to the blind with me, like chapstick and kleenex, my cell phone, a snack, a small pad of paper and a pen, a book. . . I can't sit long without having something to do with my hands, so I take something to write on and something to read; that helps me sit still and quiet longer.  Mother-in-Law used to take knitting with her when she went hunting, but I haven't learned to knit (yet--I have my first lesson in January!).

Trying to stuff all those items into the pockets of my hunting coat hasn't always worked well.  Especially when I want to take a light weight pair of gloves for early in the afternoon and also a heavy weight pair to switch to after a few hours when the sun gets low and the temperatures drop.  My hands get cold very easily--if it's less than 65 degrees indoors, my fingers will feel like ice cubes.  So being outside for several hours at 40 or less, I need gloves.  Not just gloves, but warmer ones to change into the longer I'm outdoors.

The day before firearm deer season began this year, I was looking at DH's Bag of Tricks, and thinking how I needed a bag of my own to tote my own hunting blind do-dads in.  Then, inspiration struck!  I remembered that when I made a skirt for the double tree stand last year, I had a rectangular piece of camo burlap leftover.  To the Sewing Room!

Upstairs, in the Sewing Room (which previously was known as the Boys' Room until the youngest son left for college, at which point I moved my sewing gear in next to his bed), I dug through my bin of scrap fabrics until I pulled out that burlap piece.  It was as perfect for the job as I remembered: about 36" long and 14" wide.

What I proceeded to do, was to take the burlap and fold it in half with the fold line at the bottom (so it was now about 18" tall) and right sides (the printed 'outside' of the fabric) together.  Then I sewed 5/8" seams up the left and right sides, stopping about 2" from the top of each side.  Now I had side seams, a bottom, and an opening at the top.  I folded down the unsewn top edge 1" all the way around, and sewed it down. I double stitched each side seam, and the top that I'd just stitched down, for extra durability. Then I turned the whole thing right side out.

I hunted up two black cords.  One was from a sweatshirt of DD2's that she'd pulled out because she never draws her hoods closed, and the other was a length of bootlace from somewhere.  I didn't bother measuring them, just eyeballed that they were about the same length.  If I had to give a guesstimate, I'd say somewhere between 48" and 60".  (Eyeballing distance/measurements is not one of my strong points).

I then proceeded to take each one, and put it in the channel at the top of the bag, one cord in the 'front' and one in the 'back' channel.  I had not sewn the side seams all the way closed on that, only stitching the bottom of the channel to the inside of the bag, so it was easy to get the cords into the channel at the side seams.  After I had each one threaded all the way through half of the bag, I evened them out and tied them all together at the ends.  Now I had a drawstring bag.

I hope I haven't lost you. In hindsight, it would have been easier to show this process with a picture than to try to describe it.

The 'strings' are long enough I can put them over my shoulder and carry the bag with my hands free--very handy for climbing ladders into tree stands.  They also make it possible to hang the bag if  where I'm sitting doesn't have enough floor space to set the bag down.  Such as 15' up a tree, just within arm's reach. . .

If you want to make a similar drawstring bag for yourself, for hunting or any other activity, all you need is a rectangle of fabric as wide and twice as long as you want the bag to be, and some cords/old boot laces/rope, and some thread to stitch it up.  I think I spent all of 15 minutes making mine.

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