Make a quick and easy beach bag for the summer! Follow along with the instructions here:


Hi! I'm Linda Augsburg, Executive Editor for American Patchwork & Quilting. In this Show Me How video brought to you by Baby Lock and the Imagine serger, I'm going to show you how to make this beach bag. Now you can download the instructions for the beach bag at What you'll need to buy is a half yard of two print fabrics, we chose an ombre for the outside and a print for the lining, and then also one yard of mid to heavy weight fusible interfacing. Now to cut your pieces for this project, start with the ombre and you're going to trim off the selvages and then cut 16.5" up and 17.5" wide. You'll cut those two pieces and you want to make sure again that you're cutting from the very darkest at the bottom of the beach bag piece and lighter toward the top. Then you're going to cut your two handles. They measure 5.5" by 17.5" and if you're a little shy once you've cut the two body pieces, they can still be used if they are only 5.25". In addition, you'll cut the lining, which is 17.5" x 32.5" and you'll cut the fusible interfacing to that same size. To make your handles, you're going to fold your handle piece in half and press that fold. Then you're going to open it out again and fold in the two sides and you'll want those raw edges to almost meet at that center fold and press each of them as well. Then when you fold it over, you've got 4 thicknesses and really that makes a nice sturdy handle. To finish off those handles, you're going to top stitch those edges and you're going to topstitch both the interior fold and then that open fold as well. Now you're going to do this on your regular sewing machine because sergers really aren't built for topstitching, but they sure do make it easier to sew the rest of the bag. To start with the construction of the bag, sew the bottom seam of the two bag pieces together. Now you can see these are the darker edges of the 17.5" x 16.5" rectangle and you're just going to serge those edges together, of course when I serged it, I had right sides facing. Now I've pressed it and it's open up and ready to go. In addition, I pressed the interfacing, the fusible interfacing, to the wrong side of the lining fabric, so I've got my lining ready to go as well. Now, you measure in 5" from each of the corners on each end of your front piece, or your ombre piece of fabric, and you're going to put on that handle. Now to do that, you're just going to line up one edge with the mark, the 5" mark, and pin it in place. And do the same at the other edge. And you can see I'm putting my pins well out of my range of serging. I want to make sure I don't hit the tips of those pins with my serger blade or my needles. Then you can just serge baste those in place, which is just to serge them right over those two places, just to hold them in place. But you want to make sure you're pretty scant on where your needles are hitting so you don't have another whole serger seam because you're going to serge this seam later. Of course, be sure to add the handle to the other end as well. Then you're going to layer your two pieces, lining up just that handle edge, or that top edge, and that's the seam you're going to serge on both ends. To sew the top of the bag, you're just going to serge right along that top edge, sewing the interfaced lining and the bag front in place. You can see where I serged those handles in place already and again they are just there to keep everything in place, I'll trim off those threads as I go. Now since the interfacing side is down, there is a little bit of drag, so you just want to make sure you adjust things as you go. And there you can see, I've sewn the top of the bag. Now I'm going to do the same at the other top edge of the bag, and then we're going to turn it around so we're ready to sew the side seams. This bag method by Vanessa Christianson of V & Company makes a beach bag so easy to put together. Now, you're going to take the two seams you just sewed and match them up here in the middle. So here's one of the seams that's at the top of the bag that holds the handles in and here is the other. And I've just matched those edges up so that there's a fold at the bottom of the lining and you have your seam at the bottom of your bag piece. And I've just put pins, again well outside of my serger comfort zone, and I'm going to sew that seam. One side of the bag gets sewn all the way top to bottom, the other side of the bag we leave an opening in the lining portion so that we can turn the bag right side out. Once I get to my opening mark, I'm just going to sew off and then serge back on and you can see, I've got an opening here and I've serged the other side as well, so I'm ready to make my boxed corners. Now to box the corners, I'm using a ruler that's got a 45 degree angle. And it's really helpful, I can just line up the line of the ruler at 1.5" and I can use that diagonal line, or that 45 degree line, to make sure that I've got this all lined up correctly. It's just one little extra helpful step, and I'm going to mark at the bottom of the ruler. I'm going to do this same process on each corner of both the bag fabric and of the lining fabric, so I'm going to box the two corners in the bag and the two corners in the lining. I'm just going to serge right along that drawn line. To turn your bag right side out, just reach in that hole you left in the lining and pull the bag out and then you'll find that the lining just follows and you'll take that out as well. And then, you'll tuck the lining inside the bag. Once you're done, you'll sew this opening closed, just turn under those edges. And again, this is someplace that a hand stitch, a quick hand sewing or sewing on your machine is a little bit more convenient than serging that closed. Tuck it inside, press along that top edge just to get a nice crisp edge and that's where you are going to topstitch. So once you've finished off that inside seam and then topstitched this edge, you're ready to go and your beach bag is ready for summer.