Getting Crafty for D&D – The Dice Bag

Dice Bag - featAnyone that plays games like D&D – games that require dice – will tell you that it’s inevitable.  You will end up with a boatload of dice at some point.  Fancy dice.  Plain dice.  Clear dice.  Opaque dice.  Swirled dice.  Metal dice.  There are so many to choose from.  I’ve seen players haul lots of dice to games, or dig into their box to pick out a set with “good luck” or without “bad juju”.  Trying to avoid those sets where you just can’t seem to avoid horrible rolls.  (But no one seems to ever throw out the dice that they hate to use.)  Players will buy more and more dice, until there’s practically a whole drawer full of them.

The most common way to take dice to a game is with a dice bag.  It’s just a drawstring bag.  Some are cheap and simple, others are fancy with liners.  I saw a few that looked really nice, but the good ones are also a bit expensive.  So, I figured I would make one.  And not just any bag.  I wanted one of those nice, silk-lined drawstring bags.

Dice Bag - fullNow, I’ll admit, my sewing skill are… nonexistent, really.  I never took a class or got any instruction.  But I can follow directions and it’s easy to search the internet for knowledge.  So, how hard could it be?  I told my wife to snag a couple pieces of fabric on her way home, just anything out of the bargain bin of remnants that might look cool.  I ended up with some cream-colored silky fabric and navy blue stretchy fabric.  No clue what the materials are, though…

I started by finding a pattern online to do a lined bag, and I stumbled across this one.  It’s actually a very easy way to make a lined bag.  After making one, though, I learned a few things about sewing.

  • Swing is not “unmanly”.  There are a lot of applications where sewing can be very useful.  Anything from making a grain bag for homebrewing beer to leather work.  Guys, it’s really a great skill to have in your bag, even if you’re only mediocre at it.
  • Sewing requires reading the manual for the machine.  It helped explain how to thread the machine, adjusting tension to avoid weird sewing “glitches” like huge loops underneath the fabric or puckering because the stitching is too tight.
  • Working with really delicate, silky fabric is a huge pain!  It slips and slides all over the place, making it hard to cut, pin, and sew with precision.  It also has a tendency to fray very easily, meaning your seams need to use the right technique.

That last point is where I ran into issues with the pattern I linked above.  I used a simple hem for the silky liner and it ended up fraying apart and falling out after only a few uses.

Dice Bag - linerToday, I made a second bag, this time making sure to look up the proper seam type to use for silky fabric.  It turns out that most applications for silk fabrics recommend a French seam.  This takes the tension off of the edge of the fabric to keep it from fraying.  The tricky part (and the part that I screwed up on) is to make sure you sew on the proper side of the fabric so that you don’t see the French seam when you’re done.  My seam will work, but you’ll see the first seam inside of the bag.  Oh, well…

But, it’s hard to do a French seam on a bag or pouch, especially if there’s a liner.  Assembling the liner into the bag is impossible using the original pattern I had found.  So, I just made two separate bags, put one inside of the other, and sewed them together.  I could sew one side of the liner to the bag with the machine, but I had to do the opposite side by hand.

To be honest, I pretty much just winged (wung?) this one.  I didn’t use any patterns, but I had a general idea of what needed to be done.  Since it was all on-the-fly stuff, I don’t really have a pattern or instructions for anyone to follow, sorry.

In any case, I think it turned out pretty well.  It could use some improvement, but should serve us well until I decide to make another one.  Probably a larger one to hole more dice as they continue to accumulate.

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