My thoughtful granddaughter, Ishta, bought me a pack of 10, 100% polyester, microfibre dish towels from Costco and one look at the gorgeous colors and I could see a beach bag in the making.
So Paula and I played around with the tea towels until we came up with a workable solution on how to do it. It had to be quick and easy to make.
We felt that simply sewing the tea towels together made the bag too long and Paula came up with the idea of using the excess as pockets. We decided that we didn’t want to cut off the piece to make pockets so we decided to simply fold up one end to make them. And it worked beautifully.
If any of the instructions below don’t make sense then watch the video for further clarification.
What you need:-
- 2 terry towel (microfiber teatowels) – mine measure 25″ x 15″
- Cord of your choice. We used outdoor blind cord for our bags which we got at our local Bunnings store and it was so much cheaper than the craft store.
- I have taken a matching pair of tea towels – 1 plain, 1 striped.
- Cut off the labels.
- Fold up 5″ at one end on both tea towels.
- Pin in place.
- Decide how many pockets you want.
- Measure where you want the pockets to be and pin in place.
- Sew from the top of the pocket to the fold.
- Backstitch at the top.
- You don’t need to backstitch at the folded end as it will be caught up in the seam when we sew the two pieces together.
- Don’t sew the sides, these will be caught up in the side seam when we sew the two pieces together.
- Now we need to measure the top of the bag for the cord insert.
- Measure 2¾” from the edge and make a mark using a fabric or Frixion pen (not a regular pen).
- Make a second mark 1″ from the mark you just made.
- Do this for all 4 sides. So there will be two sets of marks on the stripe tea towel and two sets of marks on the plain tea towel
- Lay one piece on top of the other, right sides together with the pockets facing up.
- Pin the two pieces together along the bottom edge.
- Now starting at the top pin the two pieces together, making sure they meet.
- This material may be stretchy, so you will need to ease the sides together and pin the sides.
- Place a pin on each of the marks that you made earlier.
- Do the same on the other side.
- Starting at the top edge, backstitch and sew to the first mark, backstitch.
- Lift the needle and move to the second mark. Backstitch and continue sewing right around the bag until you come to first mark on the other side, backstitch.
- Lift the needle and move to the next mark, backstitch and sew to the edge, backstitch.
- So I want you to backstitch at the edges and at the marks to give the bag some strength at those points.
- We are leaving a space on both sides of the bag to thread the cord through. (You can see my finger poking through the hole.)
- Finger press the seam open.
- Fold the edge over 1¾” all the way around the top.
- Sew around the edge just up from the overlocked edge of the tea towel.
- Top stitch around the outer edge about 1/16″ or 1/8″ from the edge. Just to give the top extra stability.
- Cut away some of the bulk at the bottom corners. Take care not to cut your stitches.
- Turn the bag right side out.
- Carefully push out the corners.
- Thread the cord through the opening.
- I used a bodkin but you can also use a safety pin to thread the cord through.
- Thread the cord from one side of the bag and have the ends come out the same hole on one side of the bag.
- Thread the second piece of cord so that the ends come out the hole on the other side of the bag. (Check the video if this is unclear)
- Decide how long you want the cords and cut them to length.
- Knot the ends of the cord. Or use toggles if you prefer.
- And there you have your finished beach bag with the pockets hidden on the inside.