Editor’s Note: There are four articles in this series.
|Time to construct|
|*This project is part of a series. The cost is for making all components.|
|**Tools include a hobbyist level sewing machine.|
This article is the second in a four part series on turning 5 yards of spinnaker fabric into a SuperUltraLight (SUL) tarp, pack, and stuff sack. Five Yards to SuperUltraLight, Part 1 showed how the fabric was divided efficiently into the various pieces for each project. In Part 2 we will construct a SUL stuff sack. I have used this stuff sack design for years. It has everything a stuff sack needs without extra bells and whistles, and can be made in under an hour. The simplistic design resonates in the 0.2-ounce final weight.
Recommended Materials and Equipment
- Spinnaker fabric (12 inches x 16 inches, plus a small 2 inch x 2 inch triangular reinforcement piece)
- Micro cordlock (1)
- Length of Spectra cord (20 to 25 inches)
- White Gutermann’s thread
- Consumer grade sewing machine
- Scissors, measuring tape, seam ripper, pins, pens, etc.
Pieces needed to build a SuperUltraLight (SUL) stuff sack; large piece of fabric (12 inches by 16 inches shown), small reinforcement triangle, small micro cordlock, length of Spectra fiber cord, and white thread (not shown).
Stuff sacks are quick and easy to make, requiring only the straight stitch. I will begin by sewing the draw cord sleeve along the top opening. Sew the sides and bottom in a single straight stitch. Add a couple additional stitches across the bottom to give it a square shape. I finish by sewing a small triangular reinforcement piece at the top, just under the draw cord opening.
|Begin by determining the top of the stuff sack. For a stuff sack, usually the fabric is wider than it is tall, so the top will be one of the longer sides. In our 12 inch by 16 inch fabric piece, the 16 inch side is the top. The corners of the top are folded inward and sewn as shown by the red line. I fold in about 1 inch, and taper 3 inches down each side. This will allow an opening for the cord to pass through.|
|The next step is to fold over the top to the inside (left), in the same direction we folded the corners. I folded mine just a little over an inch. Use a straight stitch (right) to sew the flap down to create the cord sleeve for cinching the bag closed.|
|After folding the stuff sack in half, inside out, we sew around the perimeter of the open side and bottom starting from the top opening (top left). Sew down the stuff sack, turn at the corner (bottom), and complete the stitch with a reverse feed stitch at the bottom corner. Note that we do not begin sewing at the very top of the stuff sack (top right). This would seal the ends of the cord sleeve. We want to leave the ends of the folded sleeve open for the draw cord to pass through, so begin sewing where the sleeve’s horizontal seam meets the stuff sack edge, as shown in the top right photo.|
|I like to give the stuff sack a square bottom. The first step is to refold the stuff sack on its side, and inside out, with the corners folded down (top left). Next, mark the location of the seam. Since this bag is roughly 16 inches in circumference, or 4 inches on each side if square, our seam will be 4 inches in length (top right). Once marked, sew a straight stitch across each corner (bottom left) and trim off the excess material (bottom right).|
The finished bottom will have a square shape and the seam work will resemble an “H.”
|The top of the side seam, directly beneath the cord opening, receives the most stress and will be the first to fail if not reinforced. I reinforce this area using a small triangle of fabric (left). I place this on the outside of the stuff sack and sew around its perimeter (right).|
Finish the stuff sack by feeding a draw cord through the top sleeve and adding a small cordlock. My finished stuff sack weighs a scant 0.2 ounces and is sized just right for storing the tarp we will make in Part 3 of the Make Your Own Gear: Five Yards to SUL series. See you there.