Fat Quarter Friday {The Beach Comber Bag Tutorial}

The Beach Comber Bag Tutorial
(allow 1-2 hours to make & you will need to know how to sew a button hole)

Materials Needed:

*2-3 fat quarters of decor weight fabric (depending on the size of bag you make and if you make your own ties)

*1/2″ wide elastic (you will need about 1/2-1 yard)

*stabilizer if you want to use regular weight cotton fabric and want a sturdy bag.

Find a bowl with the same size as you want the bottom of your bag to be. Now use the bowl as your template and trace out two circle pieces of fabric. Cut out the circles. These two circles pieces will be used for the bottom of your bag.
Now to figure out the measurements for the sides of your bag you want to wrap two pieces of fabric around your bowl and add 1″ for your sew seam. So for example, my bowl measured 21″ around so my two pieces of fabric will be 22″ long by my desired height. I found that 13″ high was ideal for me, So my 2 pieces of fabric ended up being 22″ x 13″. Now you have the bottom and the sides of your bag cut out, now it is time to make the elastic piece that will hold your sunscreen in place.
Now cut two pieces of fabric that are 2″ wide by a length that is 8″ longer then the length of one of the pieces that you just cut out. This is going to be the casing for the elastic that will be holding your sunscreen in place. Take the two pieces of fabric and sew right sides together. Turn right side out and iron flat. Now cut your elastic piece 5″ smaller then the length of the casing you just made. You want the elastic to be shorter so that it bunches up just a little. My elastic was 25″ long and my casing for the elastic was 30″ long. Place a pin on one end of the elastic and sleeve the elastic through the casing.
Sew elastic in place on both ends of fabric sleeve.
Your elastic piece should look like this now. Now gather one of the larger pieces of fabric and your elastic piece. It is time pin in place where you want your elastic compartments to be and how big.
Pin one side of your elastic piece 2 1/2″ up from the bottom and even with the left side of the fabric.
Repeat by pinning the right side this time.
Now find the middle of the fabric and the middle of your elastic piece. Pin the middle of elastic and the middle of the fabric piece together.
Next I pinned two more times on each side of the middle, giving me a total of 6 compartments to hold sunscreen. Of course you can adjust the number and how big you want them to be. This is just what worked best for my needs.
Sew elastic in place. Make sure you back stitch a few times. Your piece of fabric should look something like mine above now.
Set that piece aside for now and gather the other long piece of fabric. This is going to be the outside of your bag and now it is time to add the button hole to it.
Find the middle of your fabric and make a little mark as a reference point. Now measure 2 1/2″ down from the middle mark and make two more marks about 1″ apart. These two marks are where your button holes will be sewn. Sew button holes in place.
Now take one of the larger pieces of fabric and fold it right sides together. Make sure the sides line up and now sew in place. Make sure you do not sew the top or bottom. Repeat with the other piece of fabric.
Turn both pieces right side out and press sew seam flat. Now gather the circles and turn the two larger pieces wrong side out again.
Working with the piece with the elastic first, find where the elastic is and make sure that the side with the elastic is closest to the edge being pinned onto the circle piece. Pin with right sides facing.
When pinning in place, use lots of pins! This will make it much easier when sewing, seriously pin away!
It is ok if your bag doesn’t line up perfectly around your circle. You can fudge it a little at the sew seam on the side of your bag. Just readjust the sew seam on the side of the bag by pinching it a little to make it fit better.
Sew together.
Repeat with other piece of fabric and circle. Make sure that this time the side with the button hole IS NOT sewn closest to the circle. Now turn right side out and stuff into the other bag with right sides facing.

Sew around top edge leaving a 2″ space for turning right sides out. Turn right sides out and press sew seam flat.
Top stitch around the top of the bag and make sure to close off the opening.
Now draw a line 2 1/2″ down from the top of the bag, around the whole width of the bag to give you a sew line. By sewing around the bag like this you will keep your tie in place once laced through the button holes. Then top stitch again just below the two top stitches you just did. You don’t have to do this, but I think it looks better this way.
Now make a tie or use a ribbon. I made a tie using one long piece of fabric that I made into a bias strip and then sewed sides together. My piece was about 40″ long, but you can definitely make your piece smaller.
String tie through bag and cinch up.
And there you have it, the perfect little bag for holding all of your sunscreen and beach needs. And there is plenty of room inside the bag for bringing home little treasures, hence the name Beach Comber. We all know how much our little ones love to comb the beach!

**Please feel free to use this tutorial for your personal sewing projects. You may link this to your blog and use any photo’s. Just please be kind and give credit where credit is due.**

Any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me. If you make one using this tutorial, please add it to my flickr group. I would love to see it and you just might see it featured on my blog one day!

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  1. Melissa @ Love Affair With My Brother says:

    I love it! This is something I will have to try to make once I get used to my new meds and my hands start cooperating with me again…that and when I unbury my sewing room from all the boxes. The move, plus the new arthritis, plus building new furniture, plus watching after Anne has been a complete stress. This will take my mind off it! Thanks :)

  2. Krystal says:

    Hi sweetheart! You really are amazing! This bag is awesome! My boys would fill it with rocks and sea shells:):) love it!!
    Sending HUGS and HEALTH your way!!!

  3. Adorable! I am a beginner sewer but I'm trying this one!

  4. CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [04 Jun 03:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  5. Sarah @ Modern Country Style says:

    Hi lovely,

    It's gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! I really like the fabrics you've chosen to use; they just absolutely make that bag. Soooooo lovely!


  6. danemi1 says:

    absolutely fab – thanks for the tut – will be giving it a go!

  7. You really take the best pictures – everything is SO clear and concise! Thank you!

  8. Michele says:

    What a cute bag!

  9. kluckingbear says:

    What a great idea! I have swim team kids and one of these would be perfect for summer meets. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This is great! Thanks for the tutorial! I would love to have you come and share this at my Fantastic Friday link party. http://ironvioletdesigns.blogspot.com

  11. Being Creative to Keep My Sanity says:

    Awesome job getting featured on Ucreate! I love this bag it turned out really cute. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Love one of your happy followers, Laurie


  12. Mindie Hilton says:

    I would love for you to link it up to my party that is running now. Any linky goes.


    Come strut your stuff.

  13. ~ Regan says:

    Great idea, this will come in handy this summer!!
    Such cute material, too!

  14. Daily Craft says:

    Great project! I just wanted to let you know that we featured this project on our Facebook page with almost 12,000 fans. We’d love it if you’d use our Featured Blogger button, available at: http://www.dailycraft.com/thank-you-for-crafting/. Our audience loved the project and we look forward to sharing more from you. Please let us know if you have any questions or projects you’d love us to feature! Thanks!

  15. Christine says:

    I just made this bag! I didn't think I could make something like this. Yes there was a lot of stitch ripping but I did it! Thanks for the tutorial!

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