Sewing a Squirrel Tail Chalk Bag
My new climbing hobby means that I need a chalk bag. As one of the few ways to differentiate your climbing gear, a chalk bag can be a nice personal touch to your climbing gear. Naturally I decided to make one, and in honor of Squirrel Brain, I sewed a bag in a squirrel tail. It may not have come out perfectly, but it was fun.
Since I haven’t sewed a chalk bag before, I started out by locating a simple pattern online. Fortunately All Beta has a simple design that I followed fairly closely except for extending the exterior of the bag to make a curl in the squirrel tail.
My project started by collecting materials and the equipment I needed. I already had the furry fabric and fleece I needed to make the bag itself as well as a variety of eyelet sizes. The cord and 1″ webbing was easy to locate at JoAnn Fabrics (and frankly they can hook you up with everything for this project).
My main variation on All Beta’s chalk bag, was extending the length of the exterior bag to make the tail. I cut the faux fur about twice as long as suggested by the instructions (3x might be better) and rounded one end to give it a tail like appearance.
After basting the two fabrics together and attaching the webbing, I ran a seam down the outside of both bags as indicated in the All Beta tutorial. After turning the tail right side out, I hand stitched two points together along the back seam to introduce a coil in the tail. The reason 3x might have been a better length is that the curl isn’t as pronounced as I wanted. A longer exterior bag would have curled further.
Finally I sewed the bottom into the interior bag and laced the drawstring through so it would cinch the interior of the bag, but not the outside. A small carabiner attached the outside will let me quickly attach/detach the chalk bag when climbing. I can’t wait to try it out.
The final bag is suggestive of a squirrel tail, but it’s probably not very obvious. Next time I’ll try making the exterior of the bag longer to introduce more curl or use something to brace the coiled shape instead of tacking the curve.
And because one good bag deserves another, I made a chalk bag for my husband. Thanks All Beta for the great pattern.