Sunday, September 16, 2012

Archery Party - Quivers

So...... the quivers.

Dad's design:

Remember that Dad is a sports archery coach, not Robin Hood. Sports quivers are not like the movies. Sports archers don't usually reach over their shoulders to whip arrows out in quick succession and fell game/villains. At least, that's not what I imagine when I think of sports archers. Emily, however, imagined quivers on backs, running through woods, powerful and free (Robin Hood, in other words).

I took Emily fabric shopping with me to buy lovely rich brown vinyl to make Robin Hood quivers, with light brown top-stitching and possibly tassels and other such woodlandish embellishments. Instead, she stopped at the marine vinyl rack and pointed.

"I want pink ones, Mum. And the blue looks nice, too. Also the yellow."

Rainbow vinyl. 
My Robin Hood aspirations evaporated.
"What about brown?" I bleated, without much hope.
"That's not fun." she said. "Pink is better."

This is her party afterall, not her forgot-to-grow-up Mother's.

So rainbow vinyl it was. 
Colored on the front, whitish on the back. These were about $17 a yard at JoAnn. Half a yard made four quivers. 

I'm going to share my quiver pattern with you. I used Dad's quiver dimensions but boxed out the bottom to accommodate the fat, marshmallow-headed arrows we were using. Remember that the pattern has NO SEAM ALLOWANCES, so add your own. Also note that if you make your quivers look exactly like mine, they will be for right-handers (see how the arrows rest against the curved lip of the the opening in the first photo as the quiver rests against the right shoulder). If you are making them for left-handers, just reverse the way the mouth/lip curves so the quiver can be worn against the left shoulder. 

CLICK HERE to download Quiver Pattern

And here's how to make the quiver.

First you make the straps.

I used:
  • 18.5" of 1.5" webbing
  • 14" of 1" webbing cut into two pieces: a 10.5" and a 3.5" piece
  • one 1" buckle
Mount the female half of the buckle on the short 1" strap, fold the strap ends under and stitch to one end of the 1.5" strap. The end of my buckle was about 1" (or less) from the end of the wider strap. I also trimmed the wider strap roundish and sealed the fraying edge using the candle method.

I made quite a few of these straps. But you don't need to- you just need one.

Now you are ready to assemble the quiver!

Here's a tip:
Use a leather needle for vinyl. See those two needles outside the needle case? The one on the left is the leather needle. It's longer and thicker than the universal needle on its right. It goes through vinyl (and leather, too, I presume) like butter, doesn't skip stitches and is just lovely. I used regular polyester thread.

First, you hem down the top edge (and sew on the little name label, if you want). Were I not mass-producing and instead taking my time to produce a  single, professional-looking thingy, I'd bind this edge, not fold-and-hem it. (I'd also probably make it in brown leather, mutter mutter..... ) But as that was too much to do for 22 quivers, simple hemming it was.

You can do this two ways: one way is to pin or use binder clips or whatever helps you to keep that hem in place. This might leave holes and you might get little darts like this: 

It's OK, because it allows the hem to lay flat on the right side of the fabric, which is the whole point.

Or you could throw away the clips and pins and just ease it - much nicer.

Here- I made you a horrendously out-of-focus video (not intentional; just very poor movie-making skills) to show you how I did it. Note that this "easing" is not the same as the proper garment technique by the same name that I use for setting sleeves and other things into openings. That is completely different. 

So anyway, here is the (non-sleeve-setting) hand-easing method for hemming vinyl. Obviously this would be even easier on a straight edge, but I'm showing you a curvy edge just to prove that it works. Also note the part the walking foot played in the success of this technique.

Aaaaaand here are the 22 rainbow quiver hems. Takes minutes, literally. 

Once the hem is done, attach the ends of the two straps according to the markings on the pattern.  The wide strap goes on top and the narrow strap goes on the side of the quiver. I apologize for beheading the wide strap so that you can't see the buckle. The buckle side should be face down (i.e. touching your work surface) in this picture.

Next fold the quiver in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew up the side seam from top to bottom. Remember to move the narrower strap out of the way so you don't sew it into the side seam.

Box out the base the way you would any boxy tote bag. My quiver's base was 3" wide.

Chop off the corners.

Turn right side out.

Vinyl seams don't lie flat (and won't succumb to pressing, so don't bother) so you'll have to top-stitch this side seam down. Because of the small opening, you won't be able to stitch more than about 2" from the top. That's okay- it's all you need to ensure the seam allowance lies flat at the mouth of the quiver.

Now slide the male half of the buckle onto the narrower strap like this. Note that I also sealed this free end of the strap using the same candle method mentioned earlier.

The buckle will now allow you to completely separate the straps 

and adjust the overall length of the strap across the body.

Ta da! A rainbow of quivers.

Here are fake slow-motion shots of the quiver in action.

Here is Jenna demonstrating how to swing the quiver around to your front so you can reload your arrows.

And that brings us to the end of the Archery Set Tutorial Trilogy:

But not to the end of the whole archery tutorial series. There are still the pinata, the games and the medals to go!

One more thing: I deliberately made extra quivers so the party guests would have some choice of color. We have three leftover from the party and I thought I'd put them in the shop so you can buy them if your kid might like one but you don't want to sew it yourself.
Update later today: Um.. they're all sold out now. 

Here are the three colors, modeled by Jenna (age 6). The dimensions are in the item description in the shop, but these quivers were worn by kids as small as Kate (she's 4) and her boy cousins (10 and almost 12). The curve of the mouth of the quiver was made for right handers but these quivers can be slung the other way across the body for left-handers as well. 

See you tomorrow for the target pinata!

P.S. Irrelevant point: I loooooove Jenna's hair. I wish I had Jenna's hair.


  1. Bellissimi!Che mamma fantastica sei!

  2. I just love you! My daughter has asked for a Robin Hood birthday party. My husband is making bows and arrows but I'll be making these. I was going to do hooded capes for 8 girls but I think I like these even better.

  3. I'm making my nieces and nephews "Brave Bows" for Christmas. Just went all around town gathering supplies but cannot find 1.5" webbing ANY where. JoAnne's only had 1" and 2" The closer I look at your picture, I'm starting to wonder if you're bigger piece of webbing is also 2" and not 1.5"??

    1. Alisha, you can use any width you like. I used 1.5" because that's what I had a roll of at home. I didn't have 1.5" buckles, so I had to add in the skinnier 1" webbing in order to use the 1" buckles I did have. Quite the comedy of improvisation, I assure you. So while the 1.5" webbing in the photos is INDEED 1.5" you should feel free to use ANY width of webbing you can buy. Really. The width is not important at all.

  4. Hi LiEr, I read through all the archery party posts and you and the girls did a great job! I did some archery as a kid and liked it, so having an archery-themed party is great.
    I was wondering where you went to buy the marine vinyl? I live in the Twin Cities area as well, and would love to get my hands on some of that yellow vinyl!

    1. Yes, ML - the marine vinyl was from JoAnn. It was $17 a yard.

    2. Oh wow, I must have missed it! I did find a nice faux ostrich vinyl there the other day, it must have distracted me from the other stuff. Thank you!

  5. Me again. It's arrow/bow/quiver making day. I can't get the quiver pattern to download though and wondered if you could possible give size dimensions so we can use the picture as a general guide and yet get the size correct. Thanks!

  6. Me again. It's arrow/bow/quiver making day. I can't get the quiver pattern to download though and wondered if you could possible give size dimensions so we can use the picture as a general guide and yet get the size correct. Thanks!

    1. Alisha, click on the "HERE" below the diagram of the pattern to go to the download site. Don't click on the diagram itself. It should download. Make sure you save it to someplace on your computer (e.g. your desktop) where you can see the file when it appears. Then open it. Otherwise, you can look at my dad's sketch in this post. I used those dimensions.

  7. Great idea love it I hope my dd wants a brave party next year so I can try this

  8. This would be great idea as party favours for several different themes
    1.Disneys new movie brave
    2.Hunger Games (katness) main wepon is archery
    4.Disney 's Ella ENCHANNTED.
    Im sure theres others as well

  9. Hi LiEr, thank you very much for your pattern !
    I used, you can see here mine :

  10. Approx how many arrows does the quiver hold?

    1. With the tips downward, about 4, maybe 5. With the tips pointing up, more - maybe 8.

  11. I found your quiver via pinterest (of course lol) and they were really easy to sew up! I wanted to thank you for providing a free pattern to share. I changed mine just a bit, a friend embroidered my daughters name in the strap and we added a mockingjay logo on the bag. I'd be happy to share pictures with you! Thank you again, your tutorials are wonderful!

  12. I found your pattern via pinterest (of course lol) anyway thank you for such a great tutorial. I changed mine up a bit by having a friend embroider her name on the strap and a mockingjay symbol on the quiver. I would be happy to share pictures with you! Thank you again for the wonderful tutorial! My daughter absolutely loves it!

  13. I CANNOT find 1.5 inch webbing ANYWHERE, except online. But I need to complete them today. :) Could I use two inch webbing? Thank you.

  14. My daughter followed the tutorial and made a quiver from Narnia map fabric - she is dressing as Queen Susan for world Book Day 2016 which is a big thing in English schools - will try to attach a photo - it came out great. I helped with the straps but she did all the cutting and fabric sewing under careful supervision and she wants to try to make the arrows another day.

  15. love it thank you for sharing!!! I have been looking for this for sooo long for my daughters brave party thank you thank you!!

  16. Thank you so much for this. My grandsons asked me to make them quivers & I had no idea where to begin until I found your pattern.

  17. Thank you so much for your wonderful tutorial and pattern. I have made a lined canvas version to go with a purchased bow and arrow set and it came up a dream!


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