The Busy Bean

Beach Bag-Towel Tutorial

As promised, here’s how to make your very own Beach Bag Towel. The towel in my example is a generous kid-sized, 30 x 60. I will also share how to make bigger versions if you want more¬† lounging room.

Step 1: Cut out your pieces. You will need:

  • (1) 30″ x 60″ piece of terrycloth for main towel
  • (2) 11″ x 15″ pieces of terrycloth for “pocket”
  • (2) 2″ x 15″ pieces of terrycloth for strap
  • (1) 2″ x 15″ piece of lightweight fusible interfacing for strap (not pictured)


Step 2: Fuse interfacing to one strap piece according to package directions. I didn’t do this on my example, but I would highly suggest it. Otherwise your strap will stretch a lot when you load it up with your stuff.

Step 3: Sew two strap pieces right sides together down long ends. If you have a serger, I recommend using it for all of your edges. This stuff is knit – which means it won’t unravel, but the little terry loops sure do fall off the edges!


Step 4: Turn handle right side out. You can use a safety pin and thread it through. I like my turning tools I picked up at the fabric store… they save me a lot of time, and they’re super cheap. Plus, I can even turn home-decorator fabric easily without it sticking to itself!


Step 5: Attach handle to pocket at one short end. Sandwich your handle between the right sides of your pocket pieces. Measure in 3/8″ from each long side and line the ends up with a short side. Sew down both long sides and the short end with the handle.


Step 6: Turn the pocket right side out. You should have three finished sides with the handle, while the bottom edge is unfinished.


Step 7: Now line up the unfinished bottom of the pocket with a short end of the towel. Sew along the bottom of pocket to attach to towel. Serge around the outside of the entire towel.


Step 8: Sew the long sides of the pocket to the towel. Take it slow – since the fabric is pretty thick at this point and stretchy, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t bunch up funny. If you have a walking foot for your machine, now would be a good time to use it. If you are like me and don’t have one, just relax and take it slow. I found that I did a better job when my iTunes switched from Bowling for Soup’s “Trucker Hat” to Harry Connick Jr.’s “Danny Boy.” Yeah, that’s a random shuffle.


Step 9: Almost done. Just turn your serged edge to the back of the towel and stitch down. If you haven’t serged your edges, you’ll need to turn under and then turn under again so you don’t get the little loops shedding every time you use it.


Step 10: I know, you’re ready to hit the beach already! And you think you’re done. But please please please for the love of all that is holy, don’t skip the last step: clean your machine. If you don’t you’ll have these little fellas on your next project. That is, if they don’t jam up your machine while sewing your next project!


Now you’re ready to grab your towel/bag and hit the beach {or inflatable backyard pool}.


Hope you enjoy!

If you want to make a larger (or smaller) version, here’s how:

  1. Cut your towel to size. {or, skip making the towel part and use one you bought on clearance!}
  2. For the pocket, use 1/3 the width (short side) and 1/4 the length (long side) plus 1/2″ to each measurement for seam allowances. {so, a 40 x 70 towel would be 13.5 x 18 – just round off to what you’re comfortable with.}
  3. Cut handle to length desired
  4. Follow steps outlined above.


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  1. Pingback: The Busy Bean · Hit the Beach!

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