February 25, 2021
Sailor’s Ditty Bag
Our kids activity this week is a step-by-step tutorial for sewing your own ditty bag
Written by Kirk Cusic, Education Director
Today’s At Home Activity is a little more complicated than our usual ones, but don’t be intimidated! There is still lots of room for creativity if you stick with it. Today’s project is a sailor’s ditty bag, useful for holding all sorts of bits and pieces but often used to carry sewing supplies like a fid, a palm, a cake of wax and your sail needles and thread. These instructions came from “The Arts of the Sailor” written by Hervey Garret Smith. We have used his tutorials for several previous posts, like our rope fender project and the bound grommet tutorial.
These instructions make a bag that is approximately 12″x 7″. One yard of canvas will be plenty for one bag. We did use a sailor’s palm a few times to help push the needle through several layers of canvas, but you can also use a few layers of cardboard or leather or a wooden spoon (as long as it isn’t special!) to protect your hand if you don’t have a palm.
– Light canvas (8 oz or less)
- – Waxed sail thread and heavy sewing needle
- – Palm
- – About 25′ of light 3 strand line, 1/4 inch or less
- – Small piece of dowel or a wooden spoon
click each image to view larger
Step 13: Temporarily seize each end of the braid and untie the overhand knot. Fold the braid in half bringing all 6 strands together and tie a Mathew Walker knot in the end to join them. Remove the temporary seizing.
Our Director of Education Kirk Cusic reports: “Having never made anything of this nature, I am pleased with how it has turned out! No doubt there are those among us who poses the skill to make a finer example. If you make one for yourself, please remember to post it to our social media. We always love to see your At Home Activities.”
As with all our At Home Activities we would love to hear what you thought of this project! Share your photos with us by emailing us at email@example.com, posting on our Facebook page or tagging us on Instagram @herreshoff #HerreshoffFromHome.