DIY: Oilcloth beach bag.

This week, I’m carrying on from what i said last week – keeping with the seasons ect. ect. So, if you haven’t seen the weather reports for the next week, go look now! *Eeeks.* Its gunna’ be HOT Which means, beach days!! So, with this in mind, I’ve made up a tutorial for something you’ll probably be needing. A beach bag, a super practical oil cloth beach bag. In the prettiest, summeriest, retro-esque gingham pattern from Abakan.


So here’s what you’ll need:

Oilcloth, I’ve used roughly half a metre.

Dressmakers pins.

Tape measure.

Fabric shears.



And here’s what you’ll need to do:

First, I cut out my oilcloth pieces. I cut out 2 pieces of 18″ x 20″ (These are the sides of the bag.) 2 pieces of 23″ x 4 1/2″ (These are the straps. And one 20″ x 5″ piece. This will be the bottom.



Then  It was time to begin putting all the pieces together. First, I made up the straps. I grabbed the two strap pieces (23″ x 4 1/2″). Folded it in half – Patterned side on the outside-.



Second, fold the tip of each side over, so about 1/4″ is folded inside. Then pin, both edges closed.




Now pin down both sides. You’ll want a long straight stitch for this, you’ll also want to adjust your tension right up to about 8/9 (depending on your machine) Oilcloth can be tricky to get through your machine, there’s no real fibres, or friction. So it does struggle to grip – unless of course you’re lucky to be on an industrial.




So, thats your straps made up. Its time to move on to the actual body of the bag. For this you’ll need the remaining three pieces of your oilcloth.

First, put the two pieces of main body together, pattern side facing each other (on the inside.)



Make sure your two pieces are both lined up. Measure up 2 1/2″ from the bottom and pin, on both sides.



Now sew down, from the top corner, a long straight stitch all the way down to where your pin sits. Sew down both sides.



Then fold down the un-sewn bottom flaps of your bag, making it like this…



Place your final piece of un-used oilcloth, pattern side down on this. So the 20″ x 5″ piece. Line it all up, pin it and sew it. It is a little tricky to sew, because you don’t want to sew the two sides to each other. The best way to do it really, is to place the rectangle part down first, pin the rest of your bag to it, then sit it under the machine and sew round your rectangle. (really hope that makes sense?!) When you’ve finished, you want it to look a little like the pictures below, at either side it should be joined in a T shape.




If you peek in the top of your bag, you’ll see its almost ready. But you shouldn’t turn it out yet.



First you’ll need to finish your seams with either the overlocker or pinking shears. This will keep everything nice and secure.



Then you can turn your bag out the right way, getting ready to finish it all off.



Next, you need to chop off the top 2″ of your bag – it’ll make sense soon.



Grab your pins again, fold over the new top of your bag by about 1/4″ and pin.



Figure out where you want your straps (i’ve placed either and about 3″ from the end seams.) and pin in place.



Now, its time to bring back that little stop of fabric you cut off. I overlocked mine, it’s not a necessity, but it will give a better finish to your bag. Fold over one side of it – again by 1/4″.




Next, pin the folded side, up against the edge of the top of the bag. Its easier if you fold the bag over a bit first, you can see a bit better then.




Then comes the most difficult part, the sewing. Its tricky with this fabric because of how stiff it can be. But, be patient, go steady and it’ll be done in no time.



So, thats it. Your DIY Oilcloth beach bag is done. If i’m being honest, I’ll probably use this as a beach bag once maybe twice a year – it is only Summer for half a week a year.- More often than not, it’ll be the girls overnight sleep bag, or even  my shopping bag (seen as we’re charged for carrier bags now. I’m being Eco friendly!)

Whatever you use your bag for, it will be strong and pretty and most importantly, Handmade by you! So carry it with pride.





The little woman pretends.




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