Big Beach/Pool Bag Tutorial

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I am back!!! Sorry I have been gone on a couple end of summer vacations with my family. But today I wanted to share one project I used on one of my vacations.

My JUMBO Beach/Pool Bag

After going to the pool a couple times in the last months, I decided it was time to make a bag that can fit all of our towels and extra stuff. I decided to make a bag that is 20″ wide and 20″ tall w/lots of pockets. I used heavy fabric for the bag, outside I used a home decorating fabric and inside I used canvas, I have a lot in my house…

Outside Fabric (54″)-1 3/4 yrds
Inside Fabric (54″)- 1 yrd
Sewing Machine
Iron w/Ironing Board
Fabric Pen
Cutting Mat
Rotary Cutter

1: Cut the fabric.

Outside Fabric Cut Pieces:
#2 – 21″ x 21″ : Front/Back
#4 – 21″ x 11″ : Sides/Bottom/Inside Pockets
#2 – 10″ x 8″ : Front/Back Pockets
#2 – 10″ x 11″ : Side Pockets
#3 Strips of 5″ x length of fabric : Straps

Inside Fabric Cut Pieces:
#2 – 21″ x 21″ : Front/Back
#3 – 21″ x 11″ : Sides/Bottom

Here is a diagram on how to cut the outside fabric:

And diagram for Inside Fabric:

2: Ironing pockets

Take all the pocket pieces and iron the edges of the 8″, 11″, and 21″ side. Fold 3/8″ of the edge and press.

Then fold another 1/2″ and press, this way no raw edge will show.

All pockets ironed…

3: Ironing strips and straps

Take all 5″ strips of fabric and fold in half and press.

Open and bring both edges into the middle (there will be a line from folding in half) and press.

Take one strip and cut the length in half (so around 27″).

Take the other two strips and in each strip, cut the length of 22″ (you will have #2 strips of 22″ and #2 strips of about 32″)

Take the #2 strips of 32″ and fold back to the middle (first fold of this step) and iron.

4 : Top Stitching pockets and straps

Top stitch all pockets with seam of 3/8″. Then top stitch the #2 strips of 32″ fabric with a seam of 1/8″ or 1/4″ (I did a seam of 1/8″).

5 : Now we are going to add the pockets to the front and back pieces of fabric.

Take one piece of 21″x21″, place one of the 8″x10″ pockets 6 1/2″ away from one edge of the fabric and pin.

Take #2 of the 27″ or 22″ strip of fabric.

You can decide how fat of a strip you would like against your pocket. I decided to have the bigger strip.

Pin one strip 4 1/2″ from edge of fabric and repeat on other side of fabric. Then repeat adding pocket and strips to other piece of fabric.

 Example of what it will look like after, you will have two of these pieces. I wanted my strips to stand out so I made sure the lines would not line up.

6 : Top Stitch strips

Top stitch all the strips onto the fabric with a 1/4″ seam. Remove all pins and cut edges so they are all straight lines.

7 : Add pockets to Sides

Next take #2 of the 21″x11″ fabric pieces, add 10″x11″ pocket to one fabric and pin, repeat to other fabric. (sorry picture not great, don’t worry new camera is in the mail, just waiting for it…) 

8 : Adding Inside Pocket

Take last pocket and draw two lines with fabric pen. I did my lines so the fabric would be in thirds.

Then pin pocket to one of the 21″x 21″ inside fabric and sew a straight stitch on both lines.

Remove lines, I always use the pen that come off with water.

Using the fabric pen, mark all of the fabric sides of  21″x11″ fabric (both inside and outside fabrics sides) 1/2″ from bottom corner. MAKE SURE YOU ARE MARKING THE WRONG SIDE OF FABRIC. Take both inside and outside fabric bottom, 21″x11″ piece, and mark 1/2″ from all corners. See picture:

9 : Adding Sides to Front/Back

Take one of the 21″x 21″ pieces of fabric. You will complete this step for both inside and outside fabric.

Pin, with right sides together, one of the 21″x 11″ sides. Make sure the pen marking is at the fabric bottom and the pockets are all on the bottom too.

Pin other side also. Then sew 1/2″ seam from top corner to bottom pen marking. This marking will help when adding bottom piece and making pretty corners.

Pin the other 21″x 21″ fabric piece like before.

When both sides are pinned, sew 1/2″ seam from top corner to bottom pen marking.

You should have something like this.

10 : Adding Bottom Piece.

You will do this for both inside and outside fabric.

Take bottom piece and with right sides together. Pin long sides together.

Sew 1/2″ seam from one corner pen marking to other pen marking.

Pin the last two sides. Sew 1/2″ seam from one corner pen marking to other pen marking.

You will want to make sure that you are only sewing the sides together.

To do this, make sure other fabric is pulling to make a point where last stitching stopped.

After you are done sewing all sides, you need to trim the corners .

This will make a pretty corner, also, you do not need to remove the pen markings because they will not show.

This is what the outside of the bag will look like.

11 : Added the Straps

Taking one strip of the 32″ fabric, place edges in the middle of the fat strips of the bag. Make sure the strap is not twisted. 

Pin in place, one on edge and one about two inches in. You will leave the two inch pin in after this step. Sew only strap with 1/4″ seam a couple times. Complete step on other side.

12 : Sewing Bag TogetherTake the inside fabric/bag and make sure right side of fabric is facing in, liked pictured.

Place outside fabric/bag inside with right sides of fabric together. Pin. To make seams line up turn one fabric (outside or inside) one direction and other fabric other way, fabric will sit in a grove to make seams line up.

Seams turned to…

Line up corners.

When sewing leave an opening of about 5″ on one side of the fabric. Sew fabric using an 1/2 seam. Remove all pins.

Turn bag inside out.

Iron edges to give a crisp edge and to hide the opening.

Sew edge of fabric with 1/4″ seam. And your bag is all done!!!

Here is my bag with 4 beach towels, still room for more…

Here is the bag at the beach…

NOTE: I really like how big the bag is, I can hold a lot of stuff. The only thing I want to fix is the straps, they need some padding or need to be wider, project to come, it gets a little heavy with all the stuff. BUT over all, love the JUMBO BAG.


Can you see the difference in the pictures… I am liking my new camera.

Outside Fabric- $15
Inside Fabric – FREE (but will not be over $11 for canvas, not on sale)
Everything Else- FREE

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