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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, sail canvas and seams hand sewn with the tools of the sailmaker. In this class, you will design, cut and sew (using both hand sewing and machine sewing) your own bag custom fit for your 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 sail cloth bag in a similar style. This course is ideal for the contemporary seafarer dreaming of fair winds and warmer weather.


Wed, Nov 20th, 2019  –  Thu, Nov 21st, 2019

Course Details

Length: 1½ Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: Day 1: 9am-5pm; Day 2: 9am-noon
Intergenerational age: N/A
Tuition: $110.00
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: Varies ($15-$50)


You will need the following tools for this class:

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

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

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 - 11/20/2019