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Traditional Crafts

Hand-Sewing the Sailor's Ditty Bag

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Course Overview

During long passages or when the wind slacked, sailors would busy themselves repairing sails and sewing other useful items. The same skill set and materials required to maintain traditional sailing vessels are reflected in the traditional sailor's ditty bag or canvas bucket. The classic maritime look comes from using leather, canvas, and seams hand sewn with the tools of the sailmaker. In this class, students will design, cut, and sew their own bag custom fit for tools or a growler. Students may choose to hand sew their own grommets or incorporate brass hammered ones and tailor additional pockets and accessories to match their desired outcome. Students will choose from two projects: a canvas sailor's ditty bag or a canvas bag in a similar style. Some hand strength is needed to hand sew. Be sure to partake in Winterers’ Gathering and Arctic Film Festival, happening all weekend. Materials fee of $15-50 will be payable directly to the instructor. Please bring cash or a check. 

Required Tools

All required tools/materials are provided by your instructor and North House and will be available once the course begins.

Optional Tools

  • Heavy duty sewing supplies and tools (if you already have them)
  • Sailor's palm
  • Leather sewing tools


Fri, Nov 17th, 2023  –  Sat, Nov 18th, 2023

Course Details

Hours: Day 1: 9am-5pm; Day 2: 9am-noon
Tuition: $145.00
Latest Update: View recent changes →

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Ted Gephart
Ted Gephart
Bayfield, WI

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Hand-Sewing the Sailor's Ditty Bag