This past Christmas I gave two I-owe-you gifts to my family. The first was to be the golden bear blanket for my future niece/nephew, and the second was to be a mesh bag for my dad to use while he’s fly fishing. I made the bear blanket during my January sewing class, and this past week, in my February sewing class, I finally made the mesh fishing bag for my dad.
I went to the class unsure exactly what I was going to make. The rest of the class was making a purse, but I had my heart set on making this bag for my dad. The issue was that I hadn’t yet purchased any of the supplies. The store had been out of black pre-cut mesh screens the last time I was there, and I wanted black to match the black webbing I already had on hand. When I got to Eddie’s Quilting Bee, the first thing I looked for was the screen – and, happily, it was there!
A sales lady saw me and quickly came over to help, and when I told her what I was making, we set out to find the store’s selection of waterproof fabrics. There was a muted green that was perfect – it was woven on one side and coated with a thick, waterproof film on the other. I was lucky to find that green fabric. The rest of the waterproof fabrics they had were colorful Amy Butler-styles that wouldn’t have blended in very well with the great outdoors.
The sales lady and I then went to get outdoor thread, which is thick, waterproof, and UV resistant; some heavy-duty 110/18 needles; and some large hook-and-eyes. After that, I was finally able to go up and join the class.
I’m still working on my sewing technique, but I’m very happy with this bag. I learned that the thick outdoor thread requires extra tension. In fact, it needs the most tension that my machine can provide – a nine (traditional thread needs about a three on my machine). You can tell that you need to change the tension on the thread if the back and front of your stitches don’t look the same. I kept increasing the tension one number at a time until the front and back stitches matched as best as they could.
I learned how to make this bag during my October sewing class. I used black mesh with the Burberry fabric from the wedding bags for our out-of-town guests and from the Frenchy bags, and I was very pleased with the striped result.
I now proudly use this bag to hold all of my current sewing projects. The gray Armani jacket is in it right now since it’s on a bit of hold with everything else I’m working on and my husband’s shirt is currently residing on my dress form.
I’ve since made one other mesh bag out of Dr. Seuss fabric as a Christmas present for my brother and sister-in-law to hold all things baby.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that there’s a big difference between the fisherman’s bag and the previous mesh bags I’ve made: the extra fabric catch-all on the bottom.
The fisherman’s bag has the same mesh bottom as the other bags, which should allow water to drain through if needed, but it was also crucial that I include an option that would make the bottom of the bag waterproof. I designed the extra catch-all myself, and I couldn’t believe when it came out just as I’d imagined it to be.
My dad is planning on using this bag to carry his wet boots and waders. I imagine him carrying these items from the water with the catch-all on, keeping the damp inside the bag and both himself and his car dry. When he gets home, I imagine him removing the catch-all and placing it upside down in the bag so that the bag and catch-all can continue to drip dry (with his boots also still in it?) inside the garage.
The catch-all is held on by four hook-and-eyes. I originally had intended to use snaps, but based on the supplies the store had on hand and my experience level, the heavy duty hook-and-eyes seemed like the best solution.
Here’s to hoping that my dad likes it. It’ll be fun to hear how functional the new features are in case I ever set out to make more of these mesh bags. Maybe the removable catch all isn’t necessary? Maybe all my dad really needed was a solid waterproof bottom? The bag is ready to be shipped, so we’ll see here soon enough.