On the first day of Craft Camp the girls each sewed up a little tote bag made from beach towels. I think sewing is such an important skill to learn so I always try to include some kind of sewing project in the Craft Camp line up. That being said, if you're planning on tackling a project like this with a group of little ladies, call in for back up. You're going to need at least 2 machines and another adult to help you along the way.
Since I am by no means an avid seamstress my mother (who made all of my clothes growing up) helped me figure out the best way to utilize the beach towel. The overall design she came up with is very simple and this is a project you can easily complete in less than an hour. Plan for a little more time if your daughter is doing the sewing.
To begin you'll need to gather:
1 beach towel ( I bought mine at Wal-Mart. It measured 60" X 30".)
Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
Fold your towel in half and using the rotary cutter, trim 4 1/2" from each side. Be sure to save your scraps for the bag handles!
This will leave your towel now measuring 60" X 21".
With the towel still folded in half, trim it down to 16" X 21". Make sure to trim off the folded end, leaving you with two identical bag pieces.
Set the bag pieces aside and grab the scrap pieces you saved from your earlier trimming. Use your rotary cutter, mat and ruler to trim 4 pieces of the towel to 26" X 2 1/2". Sew two of the 26"X 2 1/2" strap pieces together along the sides (leaving the top and bottom open) creating a long tube. Once the long sides are sewn together, flip the fabric right side out so the selvage pieces are on the inside of the tube. Repeat this step for the remaining two strap pieces.
After both straps have been sewn and flipped right side out, top stitch along each long edge. This gives the straps a nice finished look.
Now that your straps are complete, stitch three sides of the bag together (leaving the top open). Next, flip your bag right side out.
Once your bag has been sewn and flipped right side out, pin one handle in place. You can place the handle wherever you like, just make sure both ends of the handle are the same distance from the sides of the bag.
Use your sewing machine to attach the handles. To get a nice strong handle, stitch a box with an "X" in the middle like in the image above. Repeat this for the remaining handle and your bag is complete!
Abby and all the Craft Campers loved making these bags. They were so proud of themselves and learned some great skills along the way.