Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kinda Sorta Nautical Beach Bag

Each year around this time my sister's friend/co-worker runs a benefit to raise money for a scholarship in her late mother's honor. Last year my sister asked if I could make her this weekender, and then she filled it with stuff that I really don't remember what it was right now. This year she wanted to fill a beach bag with goodies. We settled on a super simple design--the most basic tote you can imagine. I armed myself with coupons and paid half price for everything. Woot!

For all of its simplicity I love this bag oh so very much. It's clean, it's classic, and it's got a slight bit of swish to it to give it a little somethin'-somethin'.

Right? My mother and sister Alicia have similar tastes in that they like less-bold colors, clean lines, and not an obnoxious amount of detail. I frequently ask their advice in fabric matters because I'm very "Use all the colors!" and they're all "Maybe just pick one or two!"

This bag was super simple to make--it is 22 inches wide, 18 inches high, and has boxed bottom corners giving it a depth of five inches. I even paid attention to stripe matching.


I used something new on this bag--plastic grommets. I originally bought the metal ones that come in the little kit with the setting tools. In comparison to the size of this bag they would have looked teensy so I was going to use a few and do a drawstring effect. I decided to give it a test run to see if I needed to add any padding for the grommet to grip, and boy am I glad I did before cutting into the finished bag. I've hammered a few grommets in my day, and was oddly looking forward to it this time (I was in an ornery sort of mood all weekend and thought some hammering might help, haha). So I'm bang-bang-banging away, and when I checked? Nothing. Not a dent. Not a bent prong, nada. I tried again. Nothing. So back to the store to make the exchange. And I'm glad I did.

The most annoying thing about grommets and eyelets are cutting out the little holes for them to fit through. At least this was a larger hole, so I could use scissors. I was worried that they might not be secure, but they pop together with a most-convincing click, and are really nice and snug on there. I had to remove one (you put a screwdriver in a little slot) and it was not an easy thing to do, so I'm confident they'll hold.

I didn't use any interfacing on this bag. The outside is a home dec fabric, and the lining is a bottom weight in white. I used another layer of the white as an interlining for just a little more structure.

I was hoping to find more ropey-looking rope for the handles, but nobody sells rope!! I went to three hardware stores, and nobody sells cotton rope (unless it's thin clothesline). I looked online and to order thicker rope and ship it would have cost way too much for ROPE. I was going to braid some clothesline, thinking it would be cute (and it was) but that didn't work out in the end. So I told myself "Self, you are going to make this work." And I did. The above is thick piping cord. Not what I had in mind, but it achieves the look.

I researched knots (yes, I know, who says things like that?) and went with the bowline knot. I liked the double bowline but it ate too much of the rope (and I was NOT going back to the store) so I went with this. I tugged the jiminy out of them and they're on there well.

My sister loved it and stuffed it with goodies already. And tossed me the line "Don't you just love how you always have to learn something to make the stuff I ask for?" Yep, can't get enough of that.

Linking up here:
Submarine Sunday at Navy Wifey Peters Aboard the USS Crafty
Craftastic Monday at Sew Can do
Weekly Block Party at Pieces by Polly
Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou
The Inspiration Board at Homework
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts


  1. Huh, who'da thunk that rope would be hard to find?! The bag came out beautiful anyway though! That stripe-matching is a thing of beauty.

  2. Next time you need rope, try a horse and tack supply. They usually have rope in a variety of sizes on the roll. Love your tote!

  3. You might find your rope in a sailing store.
    I have used those grommets in a couple of bags. They gave stayed closed for three years in one bag and for a year in another. They work well.

  4. That bag is adorable! I might have to try making a few of my own since you made the grommets sound easy to do.

  5. What a cute bag, love what you did with the rope and grommets. I have used one of the grommets, so far so good with it staying closed. Thanks for sharing.



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