This giant pool tote avoids the hassle of multiple bags since it’s big enough to fit everything you need! Made with oilcloth and a vinyl lining, you won’t have to worry about sand or mildew and the wide straps keep the weight of the bag from digging into your arm. Add in that you can make it in just a few simple steps, and you’ll have your favorite bag made in no time!
1 yard (we used Oilcloth Scottish Plaid Yellow)
1 yard Vinyl (we used Galaxy Turquoise)
1 1/2 yards Essex Linen (we used Leathered)
2 1/2 yards Pellon 70 Peltex Sew-In Ultra Firm Stabalizer
General Sewing Supplies
Step 1: Cutting Out Your Bag
From Your Plaid Oilcloth, fold corner up to form a giant triangle. Cut two 17.5” x 25” outer panels along the bias (for bias plaid). Fold vinyl in half and cut a 17.5” x 25” piece with the 25” piece ON THE FOLD. This piece will need to be slightly larger than the plaid to finish the bag.
From your yarn dyed linen cut four strips 9” x 41”. Trim selvedges and sew 2 strips together along the 9” edge. Repeat with the remaining two strips.
From remaining piece of linen, cut a 9” x 12.5” piece for pocket panel. From Oilcloth scrap, cut a second 9” x 12.5” piece for pocket lining.
From your Peltex, cut two 3” x 80” strips. With remaining scraps, cut a 8 - 1/4” x 12” pocket panel insert.
Step 2: Creating Your Handles
Take your long strips of yarn dyed linen, and fold them in half to make a strip 4.5” x 80”. Press well and starch if necessary. Insert long strips of Peltex and wrap one side of the linen over the edge of the peltex. Press. Fold remaining raw edge under, press, and using a walking foot, stitch edges closed with a 1/8” seam allowance.
With your pocket right sides out, insert peltex, press, and fold edges over as in the handles and stitch shut. Add horizontal quilting 1/2” apart as before to stabilize and add texture to your bag.
Step 4: Attaching Handles & Pocket to Outer Panels
Fold outer plaid panel in half with the 17.5” ends lining up. Create a slight crease. Fold pocket in half with 9” edges lining up. Create a crease. Line up the creases and with the pocket 4” from the top of the bag, stitch the pocket down on the sides and the bottom.
Next, you’ll attach your handles by overlapping them 1/2” over the pocket on each side, with the ends lining up with the bottom of the bag and the handle curved over the top. Starting 1.5” from the top of the bag, stitch down towards the bottom 1/8” from each edge. Using your first panel as a guide, attach straps to second panel.
Step 5: Assembling Your Bag
With right sides together, sew the sides and bottom of the outer panels together. With fabric folded, and the right sides together, sew the sides of the lining together.
With both the lining and the bag exterior, very carefully cut a 2.5” square from the two bottom corners.
Folding the cut edges so that the side seam lines up with the fold, pin and stitch with a 1/2” seam allowance so that you have a nicely boxed corner. Repeat with all remaining corners.
After repeating these steps with your exterior, press seams flat & turn your exterior bag right side out. Insert your lining inside with wrong side out. Line up seams and corners. Your lining should be about 3/4” taller than your exterior. Fold the lining so that the cut edge of the lining fabric is flush with the cut edge of the exterior. Fold over again so that a clean fold is all that is visible. Using binding clips, secure fold all the way around the bag, making sure handles are out of the way.
Final Thoughts & Tips for Working with Vinyl
Working with vinyl & oilcloth can be really rewarding with just a few tips! First, never iron the shiny side of vinyl. I generally use a pressing cloth whenever I work with shiny fabrics.
Using a walking foot is a must! This will keep these layers moving evenly through your machine.
Always sew with the softest side down. This will keep your feed dogs happy and prevent the vinyl from getting stuck as is goes through your machine.