This past weekend my fiance and I took a trip to beautiful Catalina Island where we went Kayaking to our own private beach (Trip report).
For this trip, I needed a large dry bag to keep all my gear dry while we kayaked 6 miles along the coast of Catalina Island. I wanted to use strong waterproof material that was pretty light. So I chose to use X-Pac VX07 purchased from Ripstop by the Roll.
Since this was one of my first bigger sewing projects I also followed a tutorial video created by Ripstop by the Roll:
Their tutorial video is for one of their kits and a much smaller dry bag than the one I needed but it was easy to take the concepts from the video and scale up to the size of my dry bag.
Following the instructions from the video above, I first laid out my fabric and folded it in half and used alligator clips to hold it together. I have done a little bit of sewing with Cuben Fiber (Dyneema) in the past and hadn't had much luck using pins to hold the fabric together while sewing so I tried these clips after seeing an image on the Reddit MYOG page and thought it was ingenious. Using these clips helped me a lot on this project.
After attaching all the clips along the long edge seem I brought it over to my sewing machine and sewed a simple straight stitch.
With the fabric next to my sewing machine, you can start to get a good idea for how big this dry bag really is.
Next, I continued to follow the instructions and put the seam I just sewed down the middle and pushed hard on the outside edges to fold the crease. Afterward using the clips along the bottom edge in preparation for the second straight stitch which would seal the bottom of the bag.
The next part I thought was going to be very difficult, sewing in the stiffeners at the top of the dry bag but this wasn't too hard and went by without any issues. Again I think the clips really helped hold the stiffeners in place while I sewed them in.
Rolling the Stiffeners down was a little tricky, so I only did one roll instead of the two rolls they recomend in the video tutorial but all worked fine. Since my bag was so large my stiffeners that I used were already pretty thick. I did still do a middle bottom and topstitch to hold them in.
The buckles were the most tedious part. It's not that they were necessarily hard to attach but it was a lot of short stitches with a lot of direction changes. I sewed this entire bag in one day and at this point, I was getting a little hungry for dinner. All in all, it came out great though!
Overall the bag came out pretty good for just a couple hours of sewing:
I held off on seam sealing until the next day and I went probably a different route than most. I wanted this bag to be able to take a beating and last for years to come. So I chose to go with Flex Seal tape. It was my first time using it and it went on easily and held up great over the weekend when I put the dry bag to its first test!
Overall the dry bag worked amazing this past weekend. I took it on over 15 miles of kayaking along the coast of Catalina California and dragged it across rocky beaches. No leaks, holes or any issues!