Beach bags

I've just had the perfect beach holiday...morning swims, lunchtime daquiris, nanna naps and afternoon walks.  The first thing I did to prepare for my holiday was to sew some new tote bags to replace my worn and ripped bags from a few years ago.  Usually I make totes out of remnants or other fabrics for which I've lost the love, but I've had a bit of bag envy lately, so I broke out the good gear.

First up, Vogue 8485 (View C), using a Japanese cotton from Tessuti.  This bag is a great size and shape for carrying picnic blankets.  I made a few modifications to the pattern.  I eliminated the 2 shorter handles and attached the long strap directly to the bag.  I quilted some bamboo batting into the shoulder strap.

 I added an external zippered pocket.  Very neat, if I do say so myself.

 Here you can see the way Vogue adds the magnetic snap closures to their bags.

I changed the internal pockets to zippered pockets.  When I read through the Vogue bag reviews on PR, changing the internal pockets to zippered pockets seems to be a very common modification. 

 This second bag is the Hotpatterns nomad hobo handbag, currently available as a free download from fabric.com.
 This bag has a square base, so it is very roomy, which makes it great for carting all those snacks and drinkbottles to the beach.
For the exterior, I used 2 different Amy Butler fabrics.  For the lining, I used a stretch terry towelling left over from a baby change mat that I made almost a decade ago.  It felt good to finally clear it out of my stash and it absorbs the condensation from cold drink bottles.  I also changed the pocket configuration on the interior to suit my needs.

I made this next little pouch a while ago, but have only just got around to photographing it.  It is a waterproof pouch, for bringing home all the wet swimmers.  I wish I had made it years ago.

I used this tutorial for a lined, triangular, zippered pouch, only I made the dimensions bigger.  The exterior is cotton twill.  The interior is waterproof PUL, which is not my favourite fabric to sew.


  1. All three bags look stylish and fun. Now I'm suffering from a dose of bag envy.

  2. I've just booked the beach house for December. All I need now is the bag!

  3. Great looking bags - I'm really into bag making at the moment too - so satisfying - no fitting! Thanks for the tip about the free download. I have just ordered in my very first hot pattern bag pattern - at $16 US + postage additional it wasn't cheap so it had better rock. I love your fabric choices - so glad you broke out the good stuff - it's there to be used!

  4. What a fun bag! A great fabric you've chosen too.

  5. Wow, they are all great! I especially like the Vogue bag. I love Japanese prints.

  6. Hello! I love what you sew, the fabrics you choose & all the adventure! You are one of my inspiring bloggers that I catch up on in my google reader. Technology may not have worked as it should, (or if it has no matter) but I love reading your blogs & such nominated you as a beautiful blogger here ...(if you want to carry the torch & have not already been here & done it !)