12 November 2013

It's all puff - Chalk Bag with borrowed tutorial link

My giant friend has started to come more regularly at the climbing wall wit me. It is very motivating to have a climbing buddy, it becomes a bit of a climb and natter session with the added competitive streak.

The less positive side is that buddy might not be properly kitted off. You don't need much for climbing boulders indoor, just comfortable clothing, climbing shoes and maybe a chalk bag. Well my buddy has barefoot shoes and keep using my chalk bag.
I usually share, but the timing is not working well (we cannot climb at the same time and both use the bag) and as most beginners do, he uses chalk like there is no tomorrow. Chalk dries your hand, it doesn't make you stick to holds, honest. No need to chalk yourself up to your elbows. Just sayin...

A few month ago, I stumbled upon chalk bag patterns. This was the perfect opportunity to try that pattern!!!
Now I hear you, one doesn't just stumble on chalk bag patterns. I might have happen to do a more aimed Google search...

This is the Handy Hippy site and this is their tutorial.

It is a great little project. Not only you get to use fabric and your sewing machine, but tools too! My Leatherman multi-tool has been very handy for this project.

For this project I used 3 different types of fabric:
- Fleece for the inside
- Thick printed cotton for the outside
- Stretchy polyester for the chalk cover and the two belt loops.
I also used some cord to close the inner pocket. A little bit of thick round elastic to attach the toothbrush (To clean holds. No, you don't brush your teeth whilst bouldering).

The tutorial talks about using cable tie to rigidify the opening of the bag. Before reading properly the tutorial, I thought about using net curtain flexy wire. I tried both, the next curtain wire wins hands off. And it means I could use my Leatherman to cut it to size as an added bonus.
I used Elephant tape to close the loop.

Instead of using a grommet (mine were too small), I made opening in the side seams and reinforced the opening by triple-stitching above and below the opening.

When attaching the chalk cover to the inner fleecy bag, I couldn't understand the tutorial. So I freestyled. I fitted the chalk cover (wrong side) around the fleecy bag (right side out), and slid it down by 4cm (1.5"), stitched them together.
Then I turned over the chalk cover to its right side and stitched 1 cm above the previous row. I created a little tunnel.
I then opened one of the seam in between the two rows of stitches on the outer side of the fleecy bag. This is the opening I used to thread the cord in.
Once that was done I then threaded in the cord into a similar opening at a similar height I did on the outer bag.

The belt loops are made with the same fabric than the chalk cover. I cut an 18cm strip in 4cm wide, fold it like bias. Then folded it in two and titch it closed. I stitched it again on the other opposite side to ensure they wouldn't loose their shape and too restore some symmetry.

The belt loops and toothbrush holders were positioned and stitched onto the outer pocket prior finishing the bag. It means I didn't have to fight with them to keep them in place whilst doing a good job at closing the bag. I triple-stitched them in.

It is all black and clean. Give it a climbing session and it will be powdery-white.

Instead of using nylon to close the bag, I use the chalk cover instead, folded it onto the opening and set the overlap at 2cm. I pinned it then stitched it closed.

To complete the bag. I'll need a chalk ball and a belt for the bag to be carried whilst climbing. Hopefully, I'll find it all tonight in Go Outdoors, to be ready for Friday's climbing session.

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