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Saturday, July 27, 2013

How to make a spacious beach bag

It's late july, it's hot, it's time to go to the beach.


This is how you can make a spacious beach bag with a small inside pocket.

The bag is made from a strong cotton fabric. It measure 55 cm on the top and 40 cm on the bottom and has 15 cm bottom width. The height is 40 cm.

You need to cut two identical shapes from your fabric and lining, I am using the same fabric for both.

I am using a 0.9cm seam allowance therefore I need to cut 2 rectangles measuring 101.8 x 56.8cm.
Then I fold the rectangles in half and cut out two rectangles on the bottom side (where the fold is) measuring 15 x 7.5 cm but given that we're cutting on the fold the actual cut will be 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm.

Start by preparing the outer and inner bags.
Keep each piece folded in half (as you cut the bottom squares out) right side to right side and join the two longer outer sides with a straight seam. I additionally zigzag the rough edges in order to better protect them.

Then open the reamining opening, closing it perpendicular to the 1. seam. Practically you need to match points A and C folding the two edges of corners B onto themselves.

 Close the opening with a straight stitch, and if desired, zigzag the raw edges.

When done take the four rectangles you cut from the big rectangles before, we will use those to make the inside pocket (if you prefer a pocket of different dimensions, cut the pieces from the fabric and proceed as indicated below).

We have four rectangles and we will need two identical pieces for the pocket. Therefore we place two pieces right side on right side and join them to two squares measuring 15 x 15 cm.

Now place the two new squares right side to right side onto each other and sew all the way around, leaving only a small opening for turning the piece inside out.

Place the finished and turned square onto only the lining, positioning it in the center of one side.

Sew in place with a simple straight stitch attaching three sides and leaving the upper edge open.

Now it's time to join the outer bag and the lining.

Place one inside the other, right side to right side and sew together the upper raw edges (zigzag if desired) leaving a small opening to turn the bag inside out.

Next you need to prepare strips for the handles. I wanted the handles to be long enough to comfortably carry the bag on the shoulder.

I cut strips 22 cm wide and joined them into a complete loop of 340 cm. This is how you join shorter strips to one long loop. Take care not to twist the strip when closing the loop.

Now iron the seam allowance of 0.9 cm on both sides of the strip towards the wrong side.

Then iron the strip in half lengthwise, hiding the raw eges inside. Sew a straight seam close to each side of the long loop.

Now position the handles carefully making it run along the bag as shown below and paying attention to having both handles of the same length.

When satisfied with the position of the loop and handles, sew in place all along both sides of the strip wherever it touches the bag. Reinforce the seams on the upper edges of the bag,  just where the actual handle starts, sewing a cross and square as shown below.

Now, to finish the bag, you need to attach the zipper.

Use your zipper foot and sew it about 1/2 cm below the edge of the bag to the inner side of the bag.

Attach both sides of the zipper and you're done. This is the finished zipper:

This is what the inside with the small pocket looks like:

In the pictures you can see, how the additional width in the bottom makes the bag pretty spacious:

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Have you made a project following this tutorial? Let me know what you think. Did you like it? Was it easy to understand and to follow? Do you have any suggestions?
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