The sun is mostly out, that feeling of summer is here, or just about. What could be better than taking time out and getting off to the beach for a relaxing day? When I go to the beach, I like to take with me all the stuff I’m going to need. Without even considering myself, the needs of three children and a husband are enough to fill at least two of the kind of bags you get at the supermarket (reusable shopping bags). What I’d like to have is a bag big enough, and yet funky enough, to carry almost all I need. Hillary’s was offering a metre square of fabric to make in to anything the imagination would take you, so I set about creating my very own beach bag! The easy bit was deciding on the dimensions and cutting the fabric to size. I simply quartered the metre square, so I had four 50 centimetre squares. Then halved two of these again, one so I had two pieces with the print going up, and two pieces with the print going long ways. These created the sides and the base, and for the fourth long way print I kept for a pocket.
I then decorated the front section (50x50cm) with pieces of sea glass and shells. I sewed the sea glass on as you would a mirror, and used metallic thread to attach the shells simply. I used brightly coloured embroidery threads to sew the sea glass in place.
Next I cut out lining fabric according to the same sizes, except for the pocket.
For the piece of fabric I’d kept for the pocket (25x50cm), I folded this in two, right sides together and stitched together, leaving a small gap to allow me to turn it the right way round. Once turned the right way, and pressed to flatten the seam, I closed up the gap, and stitched all the way round the rectangle, 5mm from the edge. This just neatened off the edges and kept the piece flat. I then attached the pocket to the centre of the back section of the bag, by sewing round three sides, leaving the top open for the pocket itself.
I then sewed together the front, back and sides of both the outer fabric and the lining, to form a long rectangle shape. And the bottom of the bag on to one side of the front.
Next was sewing together the outer fabric to the lining. Right sides together, then stitched along the top only. With the fabric still inside out, I sewed together the ends of the bag to form a large tube. Doing the lining and the outer fabric separately. Again, still with fabric on the wrong side, I attached the bottom sides to the walls of the bag, doing the lining first. When I did this with the outer fabric, I left a small section to be able to turn the bag the right way round, before closing the gap once all was pulled in to place. I now had the bag shape, with the lining inside.
I made the handle by plaiting together several strands of wool in three different colours.
I then simply attached this to either side of the bag, and secured with many stitches. The handle is adjustable by simply knotting it. It’s long enough to have as a shoulder bag, or knotted as a carry bag.
The last part was to add decoration with colourful flowers. I attached these to the upper edge of the front section.
And there we have it. A simple and effective beach bag. Big enough for towels, drinks, sun lotion, book, and even a bucket and spade.
Hillarys provided me with one metre square of Rayna Apple fabric for this project.