Sunday, December 27, 2020

More DIY Stem Bags, Get Creative!

I recently completed one of the most satisfying projects of 2020 - three stem bags fashioned from favorite fabrics/recycled gear. I used's Make Your On Stem Bag tutorial, which allowed me to concentrate more on creativity/fabric choice and less on functional design. This venture rivals the previous project, designing a useful Dahon handle bar bag, for most interesting 2020 craft. 

Drawstrings and cord locks purposely don't match - I used up my stash of items.
The pattern was designed for thicker, stiffer outer layer material to hold it's shape, but because I wanted to reuse jacket material (rust colored fabric) and former backpack material (purple material), I sandwiched pre-cut bubble-wrapped envelope packaging between layers to get desired stiffness. It worked really well.

You can also add personal flair - mine included re-using the star ribbon which formerly bookended the jacket zipper. The tutorial has a wonderful comments section, complete with photos and other suggestions.

Astute viewers will notice the right hand bag's straps both attach to the bar. I will figure out if it makes sense for both stem mounted straps to overlap each other.
It is helpful (but not necessary) to include lighter colored lining fabric. I had leftover white ripstop nylon from a previous tent repair.

Standard pattern holds a regular-sized water bottle.
I created a third bag for my mountain bike adventure buddy to match his bicycle.

Though not a difficult project, there were many steps with small pieces. But the process allows for alterations, piecing different colors if desired, and adjusting for wider or longer stem bag. What a great way to re-purpose outdoor gear - future stem bags are definitely on the agenda!


  1. Wow looks really well made, congrats!! Very practical too, Happy New Year's! :)

  2. These will be really handy Annie, and versatile too.

  3. Those bags look great and, I am sure, are practical. I've never sewed much more than a replacement button on a jacket, but seeing your work makes me think I might be capable of more!

    1. Justine, thanks for the kudos. I'm sure you can up your sewing game. With a little patience you'd be surprised at what you can do.


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