I laid out the fabric and chose the sizes of sacks according to purpose, using all of the valuable
fabric. I added about 1" for seam allowances and 1 1/4" for a casing and marked them with dots made
by a marker pen. I cut the fabric while it was taped flat to a cutting mat, with a rotary cutting
wheel guided against a metal ruler.
I folded and "finger pressed" the casing across the top of the sack by folding the fabric over
about 1/2" once and then about 3/4". I folded the ends in slightly to allow for drawstring to
slide easily later on. I sewed the casing seam just inside the folded edge.
Then I folded the sack in half vertically, inside out (with casing seam now on outside), and
sewed the side seam, stopping about 1/2" from the casing to accommodate the drawstring, and
reinforced it by backstitching 1/2" several times.
With sack still inside out, I flattened the sack with the side seam on the center of one flat
side, and stitched the seam across the bottom.
Finished seams were coated with SilNet sealer and left to dry overnight. The next day I dusted
the seams with corn starch powder in lieu of talc to expedite drying the tacky sealer. Then I
turned the sacks right side out. I did not seal the drawstring casing seam, so near the
I measured the 1/16" dia. nylon drawstring cording by laying it on the sack, allowing about
2-6" extra for pulling, doubled the length, and cut it. I pinned a small safety pin through one
cord end as a bodkin and pushed it through the casing. With the pin removed, I slid a tiny cord
lock over both ends, then tied the ends with an overhand knot. I sealed the nylon cord ends by
melting them slightly with a lighter flame.
I used a simple drawstring casing at the tops. I suggest using a waterproof roll top style
closure. Make by hemming the top and attaching a non-adjustable buckle, one section at each
side of the sack top. Allow more fabric in the sack length for this. Adds minimal weight.
Example of finished sizes, as seen in photo: 11" x 15" for clothes, food. 2 1/2" x 9" for tent
stakes. I also identified the sacks with colored cording: yellow for food, black for clothes. I
thought of hanging the food sack (not odor free) against bear sampling, but used another bag
because I could not handle the idea of losing my expensive cuben fiber to a bear, should he get
up the tree. Maybe Roll should sell bear bag material, trade name unmentioned, for custom sizes
and shapes that easily fit in a backpack?
Cuben fiber should not be ironed, but keeps a fold if firmly pressed with finger, called finger
pressing. I suggest small pieces of tape or tiny bull dog clips to pre-join seams rather than
pins which are difficult to get through cuben, and make potential tiny leak holes.
The cuben proved to be durable, resisted tearing, but succumbed to one short cut which did not
lengthen over the time used. Remember I used the thinnest, lightest cuben available. I would
like to make a big sack with a roll top as a backpack liner ... but then I could just build a
whole pack if ambitious! (Think Z Packs and Hyperlite.) This lightweight material is great
stuff. Eventually, the price may come down, and it could be used in quantity for all kinds of
covers and waterproofing. Until then there are still coated nylons. Imagine sewing easily
compressed waterproof slipcovers for bug and dust free bicycles and custom shaped to fit MY
bike and rack?
the attached photograph:
simple drawstring stuff sacks: down jacket, stove kit, tent stakes, clothes, food.
Photo taken at campsite along the PNT, Washington, August, 2017.