Stuff Sack Pattern Generator

Pattern Generator

stuff sack planThis pattern generator details the 2D fabric panel sized to achieve desired 3D dimensions of a round bottom stuff sack with drawstring closure. Referencing the image, provide the desired dimensions for finished size stuff sack.

stuff sack pattern

Channel Allowance of 1.5" (4 cm) is provided.
See drawstring details below.

  • Panel Width:
  • Panel Height:
  • Circle Radius:

Material List

Getting Started

Learn about technical fabrics, recommendations, and trusted vendors in our new Fabrics Guide.

  • One fabric circle cut to size
  • One fabric rectangular panel cut to size
  • Drawstring ~6 inches (15 cm) longer than Panel Width of your preference
  • One cord lock that works with your drawstring.

Lighter weight materials work best for drawstring channels. Here are a few recommendations.

  • Lightweight ripstop nylon or 1.1oz Silnylon for low cost, water resistant pouches with many color options.
  • Dyneema Composit Fabric (DCF) aka Cuben Fiber for ounce counters. Can be no-sew using DCF tape.

Assembly Instructions

Circle Pattern

  1. For the circle, cut a square piece of paper with each side slightly larger than the Diameter.
  2. Fold this square in half and then in half again, along the other edge, making a smaller square.
  3. Mark the generated Circle Radius, from the fold corner to draw symmetric arc as shown.
  4. Cut and unfold your perfectly symmetric circle pattern.
  5. Trace and cut your fabric along the outer perimeter.
  6. Mark the 3/8 inch (1 cm) seam allowance along the inside edge.

Body Panel

  1. Using the generated Fabric Width and Fabric Height, measure and draw the dimensions on a fabric panel.
  2. Cut the fabric panel along the outer perimeter.
  3. Mark the 1.5 inch (4 cm) channel allowance along one Fabric Width edge.
  4. Mark the 3/8 inch (1 cm) seam allowance along each remaining edge.

You should now have two fabric panels, a circle and a body.

Drawstring Channel

  1. With wrong side up, fold the corners to the channel allowance, as shown. Pins or wash-away tape helps.
  2. Fold the top edge down to the channel allowance. In the illustration, the wrong side is light blue.
  3. If your presser foot is narrow enough, insert the drawstring and stitch along the channel edge.
  4. Optionally, stitch as close to the raw edge as possible and pull your drawstring thru later.
  5. Depending on how quickly your fabric frays, you may consider overcasting the raw edge with a zigzag stitch.

Your channel should look like the illustration, quite loose around the drawstring.

Sewing the Circle

  1. Contrary to many online tutorials, it's better to sew the circle now to avoid puckering later.
  2. This is by far the toughest part of the project, so take your time. A short stitch length makes sewing curves easier.
  3. With right sides touching, align the circle's center line to the body's left edge seam allowance.
  4. The bottom of the circle should be touching the bottom edge of the body panel.
  5. If your diameter is large enough, pin or staple the body to the circle's perimeter within the seam allowance.
  6. Follow your circle's seam allowance as you sew. Go slow, use a short stitch length. Make sure the edges are even as you progress.
  7. As you reach your starting point, stop before stitching over the body panels vertical seam allowance.

Congrats, you're passed the crux. Circles take a lot of patience and practice.

Body Seam

  1. Because we stitched the circle first, the vertical seam allowances may be a bit uneven. No worries!
  2. Press your stuff sack flat against a table with the open seam along an edge.
  3. Start or stop at the red "x" drawn in the illustration.
  4. Either way, sew the body seam closed, reinforcing the channel opening.
  5. If your seams fray alot, consider edge binding or look into French Seams next time.
  6. Pull your drawstring thru, add your cord lock, and immediately start your next stuff sack.

Don't sweat it, sewing round bottom stuff sacks is tougher than it appears!