How to sew a paddle bag
- 1. What you’ll need
- 2. How to cut the canvas fabric
- 3. Sewing Different Parts
- 4. Final Results
In this blog, I’ll be sharing how to sew a paddle bag for a two-piece European kayak paddle. Paddle bags are very handy when storing and transporting paddles. The paddle bag I am trying to replicate looks like this.
You can also check out the video below.
How To Use the ACK Kayak Paddle Bag
The two-piece paddle bag has three parts. I measured each part based on an old paddle bag I have. Here are the dimensions:
- Blade bag (width: 25 – 28 cm, length: 55 - 60cm)
- Shaft bag (width: 15 – 17 cm, length: 25 - 30cm)
- Elastic strap connecting blade and shaft bags (length: 40cm)
This type of paddle bag used to cost $15 each. In the past, you could easily buy them from ACK or other online stores. However, they are no longer available. If you want to buy a paddle bag, it could cost over $50 or even $100 now. For example, NRS Two-Piece Kayak Paddle Bag costs $139.95. That’s why I decided to sew my own paddle bags.
What you’ll need
|Item||What I used||Price|
|Sewing Machine||SINGER 4432 Sewing Machine||$209.99|
|Heavy Duty Nylon Fabric||1000 Denier Cordura Nylon Fabric||$10.58 / yard|
|Elastic Strap||Dritz 3/4” Non-Roll Elastic, Black, 3 yd||$3.79|
|Nylon Thread||Heavy-Duty Bonded Nylon Thread||$9.99|
|Tailors Chalk||Dritz Tailors Chalk & Holder||$5.49|
|Other common items||Extra fabric, scissors, tape measure||costs depend|
How to cut the canvas fabric
As mentioned above, I ordered my nylon fabric from Amazon. What I ordered was a 60 inches x 1 yard nylon fabric. However, what I received had a dimension of 152cm * 104 cm. Before I cut my fabric, I need to come up with a plan for how to cut my fabric. My goal is to use this piece of fabric to make as many paddle bags as possible.
Below is my template 1. Based on this template, I can make 4 paddle bags out of 1 piece of 152cm * 104 cm fabric. Two pieces of fabric A can make one blade bag, and one piece of fabric B can make one shaft bag (I will explain how later). If you cut this fabric according to my template 1, you will end up with 4 paddling bags of the same size.
The second time I ordered fabric from Amazon, I got a different-sized fabric. I then designed template 2. The advantage of template 2 is that you can make different sizes of paddle bags, as there are different sizes of paddle blades in the market. If you cut your fabric following template 2, you will end up with 4 paddle bags with three sizes (you’ll need an extra piece of fabric B).
Drawing lines and cutting
After I picked a template, I used chalk and rulers to measure and draw lines on the fabric. I then cut the fabric using my scissors. I bought two pieces of fabric - the grey fabric is cut based on template 1 and the green fabric is cut based on template 2.
Sewing Different Parts
Sewing a Shaft Bag
As mentioned earlier, we only need one piece of fabric B to make a shaft bag.
- To start, take a piece of fabric B (shaft bag fabric) from template 1 or 2, and fold the cloth in half along the long side.
- Then, sew on the left and right side.
- Once done, turn the bag inside out to complete the shaft bag.
If the cloth B has dimensions of 15cm * 60cm, then the shaft bag’s dimensions would be about 15cm * 30cm (usually slightly smaller, like 13cm * 29cm).
Sewing a Blade Bag
To make a blade bag, we need two pieces of fabric A.
Step 1: sew the two pieces of fabric together
- Take two pieces of cloth A and align them face to face.
- Sew them together on three sides (U shape).
Step 2: adding the mid-layer fabric
- Cut a third fabric the same size as fabric A; this will serve as our middle layer (to separate the two blades).
- Align this piece of fabric with the ones from Step 1
- Sew them together on three sides (U shape)
- Turn the bag inside out to complete the blade bag
If fabric A has dimensions of 26cm * 60cm, then the blade bag’s dimensions would be about 26cm * 60cm (usually slightly smaller, like 24cm * 58cm).
For the outer fabric, I use heavy-duty nylon fabric (like 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon Fabric) as it is waterproof. However, for the mid-layer fabric, I use cheaper, softer fabric (I tried three different mid-layer fabrics).
Installing the Elastic Strap
- Cut an elastic strap with a length of 15 inches.
- Sew one end of the elastic strap on the blade bag
- Sew the other end of the elastic strap on the shaft bag
- Sewing a middle line to split the shaft bag into two tunnels (to separate the two shafts)
In the end, I made eight paddle bags even though I only have two European paddles. However, I have many kayaking friends, so a paddle bag can be a great gift for them! You can see the photo below; there is one green paddle bag in which I used an extra fabric B for the shaft bag. I tried three different fabrics for the middle layer. I made these eight kayak paddle bags during one weekend, and it took me an average of 90 minutes to sew each paddle bag.
This article was written by me on 8/4/2022 and revised by ChatGPT on 5/12/2023. I am a sewing beginner.