Dr. Seuss Chalk Bags

Pattern: The Handy Hippie's Better Thank Basic Chalk Bag
Fabric: interfaced Dr. Seuss quilting cotton, pvc faux leather, fleece lining
Cost: $7 each

If you sew, then you have surely gotten these requests. You know the ones. They usually start with "Oh, can you make me..." and they usually end in some ridiculous request that most likely wouldn't even feed through your sewing machine. I've gotten requests for modifying leather iPhone cases (hand sewing leather!), mending a favorite backpack (the whole thing was threadbare!), making a costume to please a friend of a friend of a friend (for real?). I've written about my thoughts on sewing for others before, but the requests to make ridiculous things are definitely the most, well, ridiculous.

Which is where these come in. Chatting with my boyfriend the other day, I got that oh so lovely "Would you be able to make... chalk bags?" The boy has just taken up rock climbing, and thought it would be cheaper to get chalk bags through the sweatshop that is my apartment rather than buying one made in China. (For those of you who would rather sew than climb rocks, a chalk bag stores the powdered chalk used to keep your hands dry and better grip the rocks.)

So why did I make them? Well, I'd like to say it's because I'm in lurve (and I am!), but the real reason is that a very quick google search revealed this pattern. And a pattern - made for a sewing machine - makes the whole ordeal a little less preposterous. I sent him the link, he took that as a yes, and we got to work.

The whole thing was actually kind of a fun project to do together. We got to debate modifying the pattern, I taught him some sewing terms, and he handled some of the tough stuff, like forcing the drawstring through those damn toggles. We finished all three (for him and two buddies) over the course of two weekend days, and I have to say the results look quite professional.

So, next time I make something at someone's request, I'll definitely enlist them as a helper. You get an assistant, and get to share your craft with someone who might actually start to appreciate it!

As for the bags, they are pretty cool, and I am definitely glad I had a pattern so I didn't have to think through and reverse engineer the whole thing. After an hour in the fabric store, we ended up using this great black and white Dr. Seuss cotton, interfacing it to give it a little more strength and rigidity. Of course, we didn't buy enough, so I supplemented it with some faux pvc leather I am planning on using for some pants, and I rather like the look. The chalk is kept in with an internal draw string and a flap that covers the opening. He says they're the coolest ones in the gym.


  1. I always enlist my boyfriend in making the costumes I sew for him! Usually I make him cut out the pieces, and he's gotten good enough where he understands most of the markings without me telling him. It's a pretty good deal, all things considered. :) I don't climb, but if I did I'd want a chalk bag like yours!

  2. Alicia that's great! I wish I had an assistant all the time...

  3. brilliant. I need to get my hubby cutting out his shirts in the future! Those chalk bags do look quite professional--bravo!

  4. i just texted the boyfriend: chalk bag post went up, women everywhere demand their partners help when they make them things

    he responded: lol, awesome! i'm such a feminist!

  5. Aw, these are the cutest chalk bags! My sister-in-law just took up climbing and her birthday is this month, this might be the perfect present! Thanks for posting the pattern :)

  6. Oh nice, I'd love to see it if you make it!


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