Of course, you need the right gear for any athletic endeavor and perhaps the most important is the carrier to get it all there. I completed my new beach/pool bag in time for the opening of the pool for Memorial Day weekend. As per usual in this part of the world, it was chilly and dismal. But this week the sun has shone and I got to fill it up and take it for a spin. If you would like to make one here's how.
The Beach Bag Tutorial
Choosing fabrics: I found a great coated fabric much lighter than oilcloth but water resistant to avoid stains and lined it with rip-stop nylon. Neither was a fabric I had sewn before, so I practiced a bit with it before starting. The stripe was sticky ( a friend suggested a Teflon presser foot…what will they think of next?) and the nylon was slippery. And pinning was prone to creating small holes, so not the type of project for a complete beginner. Another fabric choice would be much different. I suggest a canvas or duck and wouldn’t this Graphics Fairy image look great?
MATERIALS:Outer fabric: 2 yards of 45” wide
Lining: 2 yards of 45” wide
Straps : 3 yards of webbing or similar. You could make fabric straps. I don’t give instructions for those.
1.Cut 2 pieces 21” x 18” of each main fabric. Cut 2 pieces 21” x 19”from lining fabric. The extra inch will provide a fold over binding. Cut 2 pieces 21 x 13 from main fabric for pockets. Cut 2 pieces 21 X 14 from lining fabric. Again the extra inch will be for the fold over binding.
2. Cut 2 pieces of medium weight interfacing 20 x 18 for the main body of the bag and 2 pieces of the same interfacing 20 x 13 for the pocket. The interfacing will not be as wide to avoid having extra layers in the side seams. It will go all the way to the top and bottom.
1.With the interfacing on the wrong side of the main fabric, lay the main fabric and lining right sides together and sew along the top edge leaving a 3/8 inch seam allowance. for both sides of the bag and also for each outer pocket. I know this pic shows a 1/2 inch but I now know 3/8 is better.
|This is to show the layering|
|A 3/8 seam allowance is better|
2. Open out the lining and main fabric (pic:#4) on each of the pieces and fold the lining fabric back over the wrong/interfacing side of the main fabric. This will leave the seam allowance covered by the lining fabric.
3. Stitch directly “in the ditch” down the front of the fabric. Try to keep any pins in the ditch as well, to avoid pinholes if using a coated fabric. Repeat this on the top edge of the remaining large piece and both pockets pieces.
|Stitching on the bottom underside of strap|
|Straps folded back over fabric pinned and ready to topstitch|
EXTRA: I found something to add after using the bag. You may want to make a line of stitching across the width of each side of the bag where the straps end. I found that when the bag folds under to form the bottom that small things can drift into the bottom of the bag and are difficult to find and retrieve!!
5. Lay the two side of the bag, right sides together and without catching in the interfacing or lining , stitch around the sides and the bottom.
Repeat the same corner process on the lining
7. With the main fabric section of the bag inside out, fold out corners to create the bottom. (pic#11) Mark the fabric to line what will be the fold forming the bottom of the bag with the ends of the straps. You will sew across the triangle you have formed and cut off the triangle.
8. Sew the lining pices right sides together down each side leave at least a 12” opeing at the bottom of the lining. You will have to pull the main part of the bag back through this opening. Repeat the same corner process on the lining
8. Sew the lining pices right sides together down each side leave at least a 12” opeing at the bottom of the lining. You will have to pull the main part of the bag back through this opening. Repeat the same corner process on the lining as shown above.
9. With the bag inside out fold the interfacing over the shape of the bag and without stitching create a fold at the bottom but simply cut off the excess fabric. You want the support it provides without bulk in the seams. See pics below.
YOU’RE ALMOST DONE!
10. Pull body of the bag back through the lining (sorry, no pic) Then with the lining still outside the bag fold under the seam allowances in the lining opening and stitch across the opening close to the edge. You could do this by hand for an invisible seam if you are OCD but I feel it is already invisible enough inside the bag!
11. I did not like the way the top of the side seams looked. And so as a final step I took a 2” x 3” scrap on each side and created a fold over “tab” to conceal it. You could make this out of either fabric or even the strap webbing. See below.
PLEASE LET ME NOW IF YOU LIKE OR USE THIS TUTORIAL. I welcome your thoughts. It took me longer to write this blog than to make the bag!