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Monday, 10 October 2011

Tutorial for the Terry Towel Reversible Beach Bag

You remember it all started with a Terry Towel found at Vinnies. I was quite stunned by the quality and look what I found:

Seriously, are there still any towels makers in Australia ?
Anyway, let's get started. It is a simple project, easy to make. There is no tricky part and mostly involves straight stitching. You can do this. Any question:

The bag is reversible. Since Oilcloth is now available at Spotlight it was the perfect candidate to pair up with the towel. One comfy side for your head (if like me you use your bag as a pillow when you're at the beach) and one waterproof inside for all the wet stuff.

The size of the bag is defined by the size of the towel. Mine was just above a hand towel size.
First I've trimmed both ends, following the already marked lines.

I made sure to cut in the middle of these lines: that way it keeps each edge from fraying and you have two ready-made handles. If your towel does not have these "features" lines, simply cut two strips the width of the towel and about 2"1/2, 3" tall and overlock or zig-zag stitch, however the finish won't look as neat as below. Alternatively you can line the handles:
Cut a same size strip in fabric of your choice, stitch with Right Sides together leaving a small opening, turn inside out and Top stitch.

Set the handles aside. Cut Oilcloth same size as the towel.
Fold the towel in two. Cut a cardboard template square of 3x3". Place and pin on bottom corner of folded towel. Repeat on other side.

You should have something looking like this:

Repeat with the oilcloth.

For the pocket I've cut a square 6.5"x 6.5" in a contrasting Oilcloth.

I've made a 1" hem at the top and Top stitch along the top edge for a neat finish.

Using your fingers, Fold a narrow simple hem all around rest of pocket.
Unfold Oilcloth panel, centre and pin pocket about 3" from the top edge.

I've also added a small "hoop" made of of small folded Oilcloth rectangle, to attach a keyring.

Top stitch pocket.
Using the same technique, I've applied a small pocket(approx. 3" x 5") on the Terry towel panel. This time I've positioned it on the lower half of panel at approx. 7" from top edge.
I've added a stitch line in the middle to compartment pocket.

Time to stitch the sides, with right side of fabric together.
(do not stitch square at bottom).

Once both sides of panel are sewn, open up squares at the bottom and flattened like so:
and stitch to close opening.
It should look like this:

Repeat all the above with Terry towel panel.

Hang in there, it's nearly done!

Time to assemble the bag:
Insert Terry towel panel into the Oilcloth one: you want Right sides of fabric together and you want the sides stitched lines to match.

Pin in place. making sure top edges are nicely aligned.

Grab your handles. Since I've used both ends of the original towel, one side of my handles was already hemmed. I simply fold and stitch the other side to match. If you have overlocked or lined your handles, ignore this.

Sandwiched handles between the two layers, making sure they are not twisted. Sorry, no pic here for that step. Not sure what happened, but we'll be all right. Handles must be tucked inside between towel and Oilcloth, not sticking out, with the edges aligned with top edge of both panels.

Handles are approx. 4" from side lines. You can refer to pics below for positioning but remember, the handles must be tucked in the inside, since at this stage the bag is inside out. The pic shows the bag with right side out.

Now that you have positioned both handles between Oilcloth and towel, pin  them in place and stitch all around, leaving an opening of approx 6": this opening will allow to turn the bag right side out.Once this is done top stitch all around at about 1/4" from top edge; this will close the opening. (make sure you tuck in edges of opening neatly before top stitching.


 And there you have it! Your own reversible beach towel bag! BRAVO!

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