Awhile back, I saw this shell collecting bag in a catalog and thought it was a really clever idea. My kids love collecting seashells, but I never liked how gross their shells got by the end of the vacation. Take some wet, sandy shells, leave them in plastic buckets in the hot summer sun for a few days and you'll end up with a stinky mess that you don't want to transport home. I decided I'd try my hand at making my own mesh seashell bags. I was really pleased with the way they turned out and they worked just as I'd hoped ~ the perfect bag for collecting and no stinky, sandy buckets of wet shells to lug back home.
The bags were actually quite simple to make (although I must admit, I'm kind of patting myself on the bag for figuring out how to put it together without any kind of pattern ;) ). My finished bag was about 9"x12" with a 30" shoulder strap.
Here's how I did it ...
- mesh fabric ( I found a utility mesh at JoAnn's that worked perfectly)
- cotton fabric (1/2 yard is plenty)
- sew on velcro
- about 20" of 1/4" ribbon
2. On each of your 8x10" pieces, fold over about 1/2" on the longer sides and iron down.
3. Next, fold in half so the longer edges are touching and iron again, creating a crease in the center.
4. Now you're going to attach the cotton fabric to the mesh. Open up your fabric so the wrong side is facing up. Place the mesh over the folded edge and pin in place. Do the same thing on the other end of the mesh.
6. Open it up, then bring in both edges to meet at that center crease you made and iron in place.
7. Finally, fold in half one more time and iron. You'll have a long strip 4 layers thick and one inch wide with the raw edges completely enclosed.
8. This is what you'll have so far ~ your folded and pressed shoulder strap and your 10x20" piece of mesh with the cotton fabric pinned on each short end. Now, you're ready to start sewing!
9. Using a zig zag stitch, sew the cotton fabric to the mesh. Do the same at the other end.
10. Now you'll want to fold over the cotton fabric, wrong sides together and pin in place. You'll see that the raw edges of the cotton fabric are now enclosed on the inside (thanks to those edges we'd folded over) and the mesh piece is secured in the middle.
11. I wanted to make sure that mesh was securely attached, so I sewed a zig zag stitch and then top-stitched right along the edge. Do this on both ends of your mesh piece.
12. Next, we're going to sew up the sides. Putting the right sides together, fold your bag in half, lining up the sides and top. (NOTE: There's not really a right side and a wrong side of the fabric showing, but one side will have two rows of zig zag stitching. I made this the wrong side so it would be on the inside of the finished bag.)
13. Because I wanted to make sure the mesh was securely sewn on the sides and I knew it would be tough with all those holes, I took two pieces of 1/4" ribbon scraps, cut them to the length of the mesh, and pinned it to the edges of the mesh.
14. With the ribbon in place, sew up the sides. I did a straight stitch first and then followed with a zig zag stitch on top of that.
15. Now onto that shoulder strap. Pin the open sides together ( the other side will be a fold)
16. Now top stitch close to the edge down both sides.
17. To attach the strap, pin the end of your strap across the seam on the inside of your bag. Sew straight across that short end to attach the strap.
18. Then flip your strap up and stitch in place. I did a rectangle and then an "X" to really make it sturdy. Do the same on the other side. ( NOTE: You'll want to pin it in place and test it out before you sew to make sure your strap is laying properly and isn't twisted!)
19. WooHoo, you're almost finished. Cut a piece of hook and loop velcro (approx 2 1/2") and pin into place near the top center of the front and back of your bag. Sew into place on both sides.
That's it! You're ready for the beach!!
|Time to find some pretty shells!|
She's selling seashells at: