Beach Bag Tutorial

Beach Bag Tutorial

Splish Slash ~ Beach Bags! Get ready for summer or make one to take them along to swimming lessons, after school sports or the gym with this sturdy and roomy bag.

*A quarter inch seam allowances has been used unless otherwise stated. Iron all your fabric before starting. I recommend a walking foot for much of the construction of this bag.

What you need

1 Fat Eighth Yellow Fabric 

30 cm Green Spot Fabric 

25 cm Blue Check Fabric 

60 cm Fabric - Lining 

20 cm of woven medium weight iron on interfacing 

80 cm of bag batting 

3 small buttons 

Fabric scraps for applique 

Small amount of visofix 


Getting started

Print your applique templates. Onto visofix, trace each fish, tail and face shape three times, and the fins 6 times. Trace 15 circles ranging between small, medium and large. Leave a gap between each shape for cutting out.

Following the manufactures directions fuse the visofix to the wrong side of the fabric scraps. Cut around the shapes. Set aside.

From the yellow fabric

1 x 8"x 21" rectangle - bag base

From the green spot fabric
2 x 4"x 21" rectangle - bag top
2 x 29" x 3 1/2" rectangles - bag straps

From the blue check fabric
2 x 8 1/2" x 21" rectangle - bag centre

From the lining fabric
1 x 31 1/2"x 21" rectangle

From the bag batting cut
1 x 24" x 35" rectangle

From the medium interfacing cut
2 x 28 1/2" x 3" rectangles - straps

Step 1 - Fusing the interfacing

Match the interfacing with the corresponding piece fabric for the straps. Following the manufactures instructions, iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric leaving a quarter inch seam allowance around each piece.

Step 2 - Strap construction

Fold the straps in half lengthways with the right sides together and stitch along the long edges with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn the straps right sides out and press with the seam along one side. Topstitch along both long sides.

Sew two or three rows of topstitching evenly spaced along the centre of the straps to create a decorative finish

Step 3 - Bag construction

Take the yellow 8" x 21" rectangle and sew a blue check 8 1/2" x 21 1/2" rectangle to each side to create the bag panel. Press the seams towards the blue check fabric.

Mark 4 1/2" from each blue fabric side edge on both sides. The applique shapes must be placed inside the 4 1/2" marks towards the centre of the bag.

** Remember that the yellow fabric is the bag base so ensure that the fish are not placed upside down. When the bag panel is laid flat, the yellow fabric should be closest to the bottom of the fish.

Using the photo as a guide, iron the appliques into place using a warm dry iron. Don't forget to overlap the applique pieces for the fish fins and tail. Fins and tail down first, then the fish body, then head shape. Spots are last. I arranged my fish so I had two fish on the front of the bag and one on the back.

Applique the shapes using your favourite method. I used 2 strands of matching thread and the button hole stitch technique. When finished securely sew your tiny button in place.

Step 4 - Attach the Strap

Pin both handles 6" from the side seams on the outside of the bag, with the raw edges aligned.

Sew the 4"x 21" green spot fabric for the bag top, to the top of the bag panel sandwiching the straps in between. Press the seam towards the blue check fabric.

Place your bag batting to the wrong side of the bag panel, as you would to create a "quilt sandwich". Note it will be slightly larger than your bag panel but will be trimmed to size later. Ensure that the bag panel is lying flat on top of the bag batting. Using a basting spray or pins, secure the bag panel to the bag batting ready for quilting.

I quilted to base of the bag with a diagonal diamond pattern, with each line spaced 1 1/2" apart.

Top stitch along the top and the bottom of the blue check fabric around 1/4 from the edge. If you are good at free motion quilting (unlike me) it would make the bag even sturdier to quilt around the fish and blue checked fabric.

With the straps pinned down and out of the way, quilt the top of the bag. Again I used a diagonal diamond pattern, with each line spaced 1 1/2" apart.

Fold the bag in half, with the right sides facing and the sides and seams aligned. Sew along the sides leaving the top open. Press

To form the bottom of the bag, fold the side seam across the bottom so it forms a triangle.

Mark the line across the triangle where the edge measures 7" across and sew along this line. Repeat on the other side. Trim the corners and turn the bag right side out. This will create a box shaped base to the bag.

Step 5 - Lining

Fold the lining fabric in half, right sides together and the edges aligned. Sew along the sides, leaving a 4" gap in one side for turning. Form the base of the lining as you did to form the bottom of the bag.

Place the bag inside the bag lining with the right sides facing and the top edges and seems aligned. Stitch around the top of the bag. Turn the bag right way out though the gap in the lining.

Push the lining into the bag. By folding the lining fabric over the top of the bag and not folding the seam allowance, it creates a faux binding feature along the top of the bag. Press the lining carefully into place. Stitch in the ditch under your faux binding edge of the bag, keeping the straps pinned out of the way. Press

Beach Bag Tutorial

Step 8 - Finish the bag

Take your bag straps and place them upwards against the top of the bag. Pin into place, ensuring that the lining is smooth inside the bag. Following the line of top stitching, stitch a rectangle across the sides, to the top just below the faux binding and bottom of straps to hold them securely in place.

To give additional stability, I sewed another line 1/2" from the top and bottom of the rectangle holding the strap into place. Repeat until all the straps are sewn into place.
Give your bag a good press and slip stitch the opening closed. A generous sized bag for the beach, gym or after school sports.

Beach Bag Tutorial

Beach Bag Tutorial

Beach Bag Tutorial

Beach Bag Tutorial

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