Sewing A New Life Sling Bag

Making a canvas life sling bags adds a lot to the look of your sailboat.
Sneak peak of the new boot stripe and varnish!

Now that I’ve gotten in the swing of sewing again, it has been hard to stop. After I finished our dodger, I was ready for the next project. Our new bimini frame sits on our dock, unbent, so I decided to get rid of our ugly and cracking life sling bag while I wait. The sling itself is in good shape, but the bag made our boat look a little more on the “project” side and we’re trying everything we can to get as far away from that as possible.

Armed with about a yard of fabric and little motivation, I turned out a beautiful navy blue life sling bag that happily hangs from our new hard rails. The entire project only took about 2 hours. After trying to maneuver heavy fabric and windows with the dodger, working with something so small was such a pleasant experience. No fabric to get stuck and take my straight line into a detour and unsightly crooked stitching.

I like to add a 1” seam allowance to every edge so that I can easily fold in both sides for the hem. This way I don’t have to use any basting tape. It works beautifully in instances like this so that all seams have a clean finish and the hot knifed edges are hidden.

I cut the instructions for using the life sling out of the original case and sewed them to the inside of the panel that faces the interior of the boat. The only thing I wish I did differently is to use Phifertex for the bottom panel so that if I ever have to use it, the water can easily drain out as it dries.

Slowly but surely we are ridding this boat of all things green and falling apart.

A canvas life sling bag is an easy DIY project you can make for your sailboat.
The original use instructions are sewed on the inside of this panel.

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  1. I am just finishing up sewing m bimini for our boat, and have a life sling and bag we found at a consignment shop and the bag is ripped. I am looking forward to doing the same thing, take a break from the large project and sew something more simple. I like that you put the instructions on the inside of that flap, I wondered at first glance why the flap was so large, not I see. I wasn’t sure if I was going to sew them to the outside of the case or not. Still have a few other things to finish before I decide. Great post!

    • Hi Marrilyn – I’m currently working full time, so don’t really have the time to. I will be on maternity leave in a couple of months. When do you need it?