Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beach Bag Tutorial (Kinda)

"Ask and you shall receive." Susan asked for more details on how I made my Big A** Beach Bag in the comment section of my last post. I get so few requests - how could I not comply?!

But I warn you - these are guidelines not "Instructions." I won't go into enough detail for these to be instructions.

You can see the measurements above. (If you click the image it should enlarge.) I used an IKEA canvas for the outer shell and a softer white fabric for the lining. Here we go:

CUT: 2 large outer panels: 25 X 20"
2 large lining panels: 25 X 20"
2 outer side panels: 20 X 7"
2 lining panels: 20 X 7"
1 outer bottom panel: 25 X 7"
1 lining bottom panel: 25 X 7"
1 outer side pocket panel: 9 x 7"
1 outer front pocket: 15 X 12"

handles: I used leather handles I bought at JoAnn's so I just had to make four tabs. You may want to make fabric handles.
front hook: because it's so big, I just wanted something to loop over and hold it together. I made a tab (with machine) and sewed on a big snap by hand.
Inner pockets: I will try to find the directions I used (online) to help with the zipper pocket. I will not do a good job of explaining it. I also made a regular pocket that I just stitch on (much like the front pocket) on the facing side. It's not pictured. But I figure if you're carrying around a huge bag, you're gonna want some pockets to hold your smaller stuff.
Ribbon to hold carribeaner hook. (I don't know how to spell carribeaner.)

First you need to get the front pockets ready. That means folding over and sewing the TOP EDGE of the OUTER SIDE PANEL POCKET. Then you want to do the same thing to the OUTER FRONT POCKET. When you've sewn the top down of the OUTER FRONT POCKET - go ahead and iron the edges of the sides and bottom so they won't show when you stitch on the pocket. Place it carefully in the center of one of your front panel pieces and sew it on. (DON'T SEW THE TOP. But seriously, if I had to tell you that, buy a pattern because there is NO WAY you're going to be able to follow these rough guidelines.)

OKAY. Now place the OUTER SIDE POCKET on one of the OUTER SIDE PANELS - toward the bottom - and line it up - right sides together to an OUTER LARGE PANEL. I'd do the one with the pocket since you're thinking about it and this way you won't attach something upside down. Go ahead and stitch all four sides together.

Now you get to do the ever-so-much-fun chore: stitching on the bottom. There may be a better way to do this, but I just line it up side by side and make 4 lines of stitching. Turn it out and press -= you have the outside of your bag.

OKAY. Now you have to prep any pockets for the interior of the bag. Here is a VERY GOOD TUTORIAL on how to make a Hobo Bag. I have not made this bag, but this is where I got the direction for the zipper. Best of luck to you!

Go ahead and sew in the other pocket(s) if you so desire and the loop of ribbon for the carribeaner hook.

Now assemble the lining just like you did the outer shell ONLY remember to leave a gap in one of the side seams (approx. 4-5 inches long) so you can turn the bag back out.

OKAY KIDDIES - now we have to pin that bag together and stitch it together. You're going to need your handles and the front tab if you are using those. ("But Julie, you didn't tell us how to make the tabs." You're right. It's too easy and I'm not patient enough. If you need more help than "make tabs" you need a real pattern. Sorry.)

Keep the right side of the outer shell fabric facing out and flip the lining so the rough edges are facing out. Tuck the outer shell INTO the lining - right sides of fabric facing. Pin the corners together. Place handles with the rough edges poking out the top and the handle dipping down between the fabrics. Pin in place. Pin front tab down the same way - rough edge sticking down between the fabrics. Pin all the way around and stitch. I try to stitch over the handles a few times to make them good and strong.

Now turn the bag out through the gap in the lining seam.

If all is well, you can hand stitch that seam up and then I do a top stitch over the top of the bag to make it good and secure. If all is not well, guess you'd better go and fix that now. I'll wait.

OKAY, Good?

Now finish off the snap.

Then I tacked the corners of the lining down into the canvas so it wouldn't move around.

If that made any sense at all, you'll have your own Big A** Beach Bag. If not - sorry. Directions are hard. Go out and buy a good pattern and if you can understand what they're saying - appreciate the skill that goes into writing clear directions! :)

Good Luck!


Susan Gurry said...

Hey Julie,

Thanks! That was way faster than I expected. I feel very honored. I will give it a try and let you know how it comes out. However, I have several projects in the works right now so I don't know when I'll get to it.

Julie_c said...

If you do make it, Susan, I would be so excited to see it. Good luck!