The only materials you need to buy are 1/2 yard of desired fabric, a fat quarter or scrap fabrics, and some Clorox bleach. I used outdoor fabric because it is slightly thicker than most fabrics. The colors were pretty bold which was what I wanted so that after I bleached it would change to a duller color with streaks of the bolder color still there. That was just my preference. If you want a larger bag (like the yellow one) buy 1 1/2 yards of fabric.
To bleach the fabric I used the solution of 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 1/2 cups water. At first I tried 2 cups water and it just wasn’t strong enough to pull out the color. Rather than soak it in the bleach I place it on our deck (that is going to be re-stained any way) and streaked the bleach water on with a scrub sponge. After about 1 minute when I saw enough of the color coming out, I rinsed it in the sink with cold water several times. Then I let the fabric dry in the sun until I was ready to work on it.
To make this swim bag, you break a lot of basic sewing rules. Hence the rebellious title (I’m so funny). To read more about that read the previous post. The first thing you want to do is rip some fabric for the handles. To make it so they rip evenly you must get the fabric on grain. To do this, you just rip from selvage to selvage. I made a small cut on one selvage end 1 1/2 inches in. You have to at least go 1 1/2 inch in because a lot of times fabric is cut really off grain and you won’t make it to the other end. So tear 1 1/2 inch off. It will not be even all the way but that is okay because you are just going to throw that strip away. Now make a small cut 2 inches in and tear from selvage to selvage. Do this again to end up with 2 strips. If you are using a contrasting fabric for the other side of your handles, rip 2 inches off of that also for each strip. You want the handles to be double layered so make sure you rip enough strips.
To make the handles I measured how long I wanted them and cut them to size. Then I sewed the 2 layers of strips together, keeping raw edges exposed. Isn’t it nice not to worry about your seams for once?
After ripping those strips off for the handles, it left me with just enough fabric to make the bag. I folded it up to the size I wanted it. I used the fold as the base of the bag. Because I wanted raw edges on all the seams, I cut into the selvage edge and ripped it off. The fabric doesn’t tear as easily going this way, but it still works great.
Then I pressed and folded the tops down about 1/2 inch and stitched 1/4 inch from the folded edge. Once again, I wanted these raw ripped edges to be exposed so those edges will be the outside of the bag.
Now is a good time to add the design to your bag. My flower design was very simple. I folded a piece of paper in half and drew the shape above. Once I cut it out, it was symmetrical and I used that for my petal pattern. We all know the correct way to apply applique is by using an adhesive back such as wonder under. But I was being a rebel and so simply pinned the design on and stitched 1/8 inch away from the edges with a straight stitch. This is because I wanted the edges to pull up and fray. Yes, this is probably the most daring thing I’ve done my whole life 🙂 I should get out more.
Then I turned it inside out and stitched my corners to square off the bag.
The last thing I did was pin the handles where I wanted them and sewed a square with an x inside to attach them to the bag.
For the shape of the flip flops, branches with flowers, and sea stars, I used my silhouette cutting machine. I stitched it on just like I did the flower petals. For the yellow bag, I used freezer paper and fabric paint for the design. There are so many options you can do with that method.
Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any further questions.