Project 2 – Beach Bag


This project comes with some thanks to a few, God, but of course.  My Mom, who without, I never would’ve figured out how to actually recreate this beach bag.  My friend Meredith, for being willing to spend that $75 at Victoria Secret’s to get the FREE beach bag (that’s a guess) and be so kind as to let me borrow it.  Finally, Victoria Secret’s for making the bag…its nice when you can justify spending $80 on a bathing suit because, after all, you get the FREE beach bag!

I borrowed this bag once and fell in love.  I mean, I know it’s just a beach bag but it was just wonderful!  That’s how “beach bag” ended up in the hat…I wanted to recreate this bag.  After a long, in depth, calculating conversation with my Mom, I started by taking measurements of the whole bag.  I was sure to add a ½ inch seam.  Once I got the measurements (and if you want them, I can get them to you), I started drafting it out on some…FREEZER PAPER!  It was nice to find another great use for it.





I wanted “watermelon” colors but not an actual watermelon print.  I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and was so happy with what I found…and it was on sale! Love that Jo-Ann’s app on my phone!  I got a yard of each material.  The ribbon was just some scraps from my collection.  With material and thread, this project totalled $11.00.  Not kidding!



I pinned all my patterns and cut all the pieces for the bag.  The VS bag didn’t have inside pockets…oh, but mine would! That’s where I started.  I cut out from the canvas the size pockets I wanted, plus a ½ inch for part I would fold under.  I literally did this all the “right” way.

I ironed under the ½ inch of material so I was sure everything would be smooth.  First, you have to top stitch straight across the top of your pocket, doesn’t hurt to double fold here so you don’t have any fraying.  I pinned the pockets on the material for the lining and sewed them together (top stitch).



Once the pockets were on, I sewed the bottoms of the lining together.  I did another seam about a ¼ inch down.  We all know how easily lining seems to tear.  I just wanted to make sure it was reinforced.  That’s it for the lining…for now.







For the canvas shell, you will need to find the middle of one of your sides and one of your bottoms.  Line them up at the middle.  The side pieces will extend further than the bottom.  Sew them together.  Now add the other side panel, again, matching it to the middle.




Next you will take the 2nd bottom piece.  You need to iron under a little less than ½ inch of the material.  As you can see from the picture beside, you will be top stitching this so it will be just off to the side of the other seam.  I like how this is constructed; I think it will make it very sturdy.





After that, I made the straps.  I realized my measurements were slightly off so on this piece of pattern.  I did just eye the cut a little bigger, rather than make a new one (I believe the straps were 1 1/4 inch thick, so add a 1/2 inch for the seam).  I made sure to leave plenty for the seam; I just wanted the straps to be as strong as possible.  It does make it a little harder when you are trying to turn them right side out.  Once you have them flipped, top stitch on either side.





The first place you begin sewing the lining and shell together is at the top.  I started by ironing everything.  For the lining, I ironed under a ½ inch.  For the shell, I ironed under a ½ inch and then another 3 inches.  This will be for the fold at the top of the bag.





This bag has a magnet closure.  I just grabbed 2 off the fridge that were the same size.  I probably should’ve bought more powerful ones.  Through the material, they don’t hold together too well.  I used a netting to sew mine in place.  They should go somewhere behind the top 3 inch fold of the bag, that way, the stitches are not seen from the outside.




Once your magnets are on, it’s up to you how you want to do the next steps.  The first time I put my ribbon at the top.  If you are going that route, you need to top stitch the bottom of the 3 inch fold and sew on the straps first.    Then you’ll sew the ribbon, shell and lining together.  I did this but was not really happy with the finished look.

After showing it to Mom, we agreed it was best to move the ribbon down to the seam of the 3 inch fold.

Be friends with your seam riper!  There aren’t a lot of things in life you get to do over again!


First you need to lay the right amount of ribbon under so when you top stitch the seam, the ribbon will be in the stitch.  Do that for both sides.




Next, you’ll want to attach the straps.  I did it just like it was on the VS bag.  I didn’t close the rectangle; that will be done when you sew thing lining and shell together.  Just make sure you are attaching the right strap to the right side…made that mistake and well, spent time with the seam riper!




Now to sew the shell and lining together.  Since you’ve already ironed the folds, it makes the sewing so much easier.  I made my middles line up, just like you did for the bottom shell of the bag.  Then you are just going to top stitch those pieces together.  Do the same for both sides. You will go over the straps, thus completing the rectangle shape.




Now you just have your sides hanging open.  Line up all 4 layers as best you can (2 shell pieces and 2 lining pieces).  You are going to sew them straight down the side.  Once you’ve done that on both sides, you will lay the bag so the bottom is flat, you can see the remaining “sides” of the bag will overlap, putting the seam you just sewed toward the center of the bottom of the bag.  Things will not match up 100% (at least they didn’t for me).  Sew straight across that and be sure to catch the seams of the shells sides to bottom.



Ta-da!  Your bag is all together now.  Just a few steps left.


The VS bag had fabric covering those insides seams.  With all the action the inside of a bag gets, I wanted to do the same.  Plus, I refused to not match the VS bag on every level.  I just used some of the scrap pieces.  The ones I found were about a 1 ½ inch thick.  I folded them in half, ironed, and then folded in the sides to the middle…just enough that it would hold after being top stitched.  I trimmed up the inside seams of the bags, enough that the strip of material would cover it.  I sewed over the side seam first and then the bottom seam.  It really gave it a nice finished look.  Since the material was so thick, I did flip the bag over to make sure the top stitch didn’t miss on the backside.  It did in a few places, so I just went over the missed areas.




To finish the bag, I added 1/4 inch tucks at the top.  I placed them about 2 ½ inches from the side seam.





With Love,



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