Saturday, January 30, 2016

Christmas FO: Sand Free Beach Bag

As Christmas drew nearer, I was becoming concerned that I hadn't figured out what to give my in-laws yet. They aren't really the cute animal type and I haven't the faintest if they would use a knitted item. They are very big beach goers though, and my husband threw out the idea of making a beach bag for my mother-in-law. Immediately I remembered a bag I'd seen on pinterest or somewhere that someone had made using pool screening. I liked the idea - that the screen would hold your stuff in but filter out the sand - but I wanted the bag to be prettier than just a mesh bag. So I married the idea with a traditional beach bag and came up with this: 
I decided to make a nice bag, but to replace the bottom pieces with screen. This way the bag is still aesthetically pleasing yet functional in a special way. I really love how it turned out!
I started out with 1 yard of a home decor weight fabric I picked up at a thrift store. It was brand new with a tag still on it from where the previous owner bought it at Walmart, lol. I then thought of Simplicity 1905 as a cute bag pattern I'd always wanted to try (oop now, also picked up at a thrift store). I really love the styling on the Lisette patterns, don't you? I find I want to make them more than the regular patterns. I decided to make View B which has a gathered bottom and front pocket, but no big bow. For the contrast I grabbed another thrifted fabric from my stash - a fairly light weight white poly cotton - and I picked up a length of screen from some scraps my parents had saved for patching their screen.
Sewing the screen on was one of the final steps with making this bag, and it went really well when I used my teflon foot. I had no problems with it sticking or pulling the fabric in any odd way. Smooth as butter! I was slightly worried that the stitches wouldn't hold the screen on well, but I shouldn't have worried. It all went together wonderfully.
So the bottom is now completely sheer. The idea is that you can put all your stuff in the bag while you're at the beach, then give it a shake before going into your car so you aren't stuck with sand in places you don't want it to be. I always hate that everything I bring back to the car from the beach gets the car filled with sand, so hopefully this prevents that happening.
I followed the directions for the pattern with some small changes. I left off a really deep side pocket (frankly I didn't want to puzzle it out, lol). I also made the bag's lining as directed, just without sewing its bottom on. The pattern has you make a full outside bag and a full lining, but I didn't want multiple layers on the bottom to affect the straining of the screen, so I just sewed the lining and the outer fabric to the screen as one piece. To keep the insides neat, I bound the bottom seam with pre-made red bias binding. Worked like a charm! I did include the smaller pockets inside and I like the size of them - perfect for your phone and glasses or other things you don't want just floating around in the bag.
The outside of the bag has a small pocket too, and I made a small change there. The pattern has you add a contrasting strip to the top of the pocket piece, but when I tried going by the directions I couldn't figure it out so I just left it off. I did add the little loop and button though because I think they look cute. The button was a one-of that I got in my vintage button salesman kit a friend gave me a few years ago. I love the color combo - it feels more classy beachy to me than a big plastic one would have.
In the end I really love this bag. I think it was a cute idea that really played out much better than it might have, lol. I didn't add any interfacing to the bag so it's perfect to fold down and carry with. My mother-in-law particularly mentioned how she liked that it could fold so well :) I hope she gets a lot of use out of it, and now I fully plan to make one of these for myself in the future!

Fabric: 1 yard light canvas with red and white floral print - $0.50 (thrifted), 1/2 yard white poly cotton - $0.25 (thrifted), pool screen scraps - free
Pattern: Simplicity 1905 - $1.00
Notions: thread - stash, premade bias tape - $1.00, button - stash
Hours: 4
Total Cost: $2.75

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