Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beach Bag Tutorial

Here is a tutorial for the beach bag that I made (you can check out my post on my first beach bag here).

I will be using...
some of the fabric that I teased you with here
fabric scissors
thread to match fabric
fiberglass window screen
old scissors (or buy a cheap pair just for the window screen) - it's easy to cut, but will do in a good pair of scissors
thread to match window screen (this case black)
iron on fusible webbing
grommet kit (enough to make 4 grommets) & hammer

First, I took a square piece of fabric and embroidered a phrase that I liked onto it (in this case "Byers' beach gear"). I then ironed fusible webbing onto the back of the fabric (to give it more body), I trimmed the corners (to miter them) and folded & ironed the edges down toward the back of the fabric. Around the edge about 1/8" or 1/4" (depends on the look you want), I straight stitched it. [Try to make it look as nice as you can b/c you can see through the bag and you will be able to see this.]

Using Fiberglass Window Screen (the kind to fix/repair a window screen at home for a DIY project - found at Lowe's for less than $6/roll and was able to get 2 bags out of it and had some left over) I cut a piece 36" x 23 1/2". Fold it in half. Pin the wrong sides together (we will be doing a French seam - this is important, to keep from snagging anything that you put inside the bag).

Pin both sides.

Using a straight stitch, sew up both sides, then trim.

Turn your bag inside out.

Right sides are now together. NOTE: Right and wrong sides will only matter if you sew an embroidered square on one side b/c the screen doesn't really have a right and wrong side.

The French Seam is now complete. You can see that the 'rough' edges are now enclosed.

The next 2 steps are just for explanation - you do not have to do this.
Turn your bag right side out.

Now, on the inside of the bag, there are no rough edges.

We are now going to make a box bottom for your bag. With your bag inside out, find the corner.

Try to get it as square and flat as possible. You will need to finger press your seam to one side (I usually try to press it toward the back, away from the embroidery).

Using a straight edge, mark it with pins straight across. I believe I went down from the tip of the corner 3 inches.

If you have a ruled mat (for quilting) it helps to get the corner square.

Do this for both corners. (Can you see how the mat helps?)

Then stitch a straight line where the pins are. Can you see how it will give your bag a square or box bottom?

Now, carefully scrunch it up and under the presser foot of your sewing machine. You are going to tack down the tip of the corner with just a few zig-zag stitches. You can hand tack this down if you like. I am way to lazy to do that.

Now you can see that both corners are finished. The bottom of your beach bag is complete. (The box bottom will help it to stand up better and will make it easier to put things into and get things out of it.)

See how it can (kind of) stand on it's own?

Cut a piece of fabric (coordinating or matching the piece that you embroidered on) 4 1/2" X 44" (this will be the top piece around the edge of your beach bag) and then cut fusible webbing 3 1/2" X 44". I got the really stiff fusible webbing. (On my first beach bag, I didn't use any fusible webbing and I realized that it needed something.) If your fusible webbing isn't long enough, you can piece it in.

Iron on your fusible webbing. You can see here where I pieced it in.

Now iron the edges of your fabric 1/4" to the back side (fusible webbing).

Fold it in half (wrong sides together/fusible webbing together) and press.

On one end only, fold the end in 1/4" and press. This will lap over the other end and there won't be any raw edges showing.

Now begin folding the piece over the top edge of your beach bag and sew it on 1/8" to 1/4". Begin with the end that is not folded. I like to start at or near a seam.

This is where your folded end will lap over the raw edge. Stitch over the seam and back stitch. I also sewed a vertical line up the seam to keep it from separating - forgot to get a picture of this - you can use a straight stitch if it laps over well enough, if not a zig-zag stitch may be better. (I used a straight stitch on the seam of this bag, but a used a zig-zag stitch on my first bag.)

Now we are going to add grommets. I measured in approximately 1/3 of the width of the bag from the seams (about 8") and put a grommet. There will be 2 grommets on each side (4 total). On my first bag, I didn't use ribbon or grommets. I made 2 handles out of matching fabric and sewed them on (securing them very well so they didn't pull off when the bag was full).

I will use these grommets to put the ribbon handle through and tie a knot. If you are afraid that your knot will pull through, you can get a large bead and tie into your knot to keep from pulling through (see example here).

I held the bag up to me to see how long I wanted my handles (this is a personal preference). You can see that it is a large beach bag, which is what I wanted. You can see about how long I wanted the handles.

Here I have 3 VERY large beach towels in the bag and there is probably room for 1 more.

I didn't think of this, but if I had planned better, I could have made the embroidery patch an outside pocket. Just a thought.

1 comment:

Beach Bag said...

I love those bags very much. Here is a tutorial for the beach bag which is looking very gorgeous and beautiful.

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