It’s that time of year again, school swimming. Which is great for them, the weather has been hitting 30°C regularly and they could use the cool off. But the wet togs and towels crammed into their school bags soaking everything else…not so much. I am not a plastic bag fan, I prefer to use re-usable when possible. So here we have a super easy tutorial for waterproof swim bags! It is very simple you only need to know how to sew straight lines on a regular machine, which I have a tutorial on if you need it.
What you will need to make your own Waterproof Swim Bags
- PUL fabric – I used double PUL (two layers of fabric with the waterproof lining sandwiched in between). Single PUL would work fine too, just not sure if they would be as durable without the protection on the inside too. You may might want to line it.
- Bias Tape or Cording – Two pieces of 115cm (45 1/4″) per bag.
- Snaps – Two sets per bag – Optional is you want to be able to wear as a back pack. Will only work with bias tape.
- Plain Thread and a regular sewing machine.
Instructions for making your own Waterproof Swim Bags
Step 1 – Measure and Cut
It is only one large rectangle to cut of 39cm (15 1/4″) x 112cm (44″). If you are using single PUL you may want to line it. Fold double so the top and sides line up.
Step 2 – Sew Sides
Leave a 2.5cm (1″) gap 5cm (2″) down from the top. Sew using a 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance. Sew from the top cut edge down to the first pin making sure to back stitch (reverse over a couple of stitches) at the start and end. Then start again from the second pin, back stitch and sew all the way down to the fold. Then back stitch again.
Repeat on the other side. Make sure to turn the fabric over so you can again start to sew from the top cut edge. Trim off any loose threads.
Step 3 – Fold over and Sew Casing
Fold the top cut edge over by 3.75cm (1 1/2″) and pin in place. Making sure that the side seam is folded open like in the photo above. Wonder clips are great for PUL as you are not making any extra holes if you have them. I just use pins sparingly as that is what I have.
Check that the opening you left in the side seam is on the outside within the casing (see photo).
Sew using a 3.1cm (1 1/4″) seam allowance. You will not need to leave an opening as we left the gap in side seam to feed the bias tape/cord through.
Step 4 – Feed Through Bias/Cord
If you are using bias tape you will need to sew it closed. I just straight stitched along the open edge taking care to catch both layers.
Feed the first piece of bias tape/cord through using a safety pin from one opening right back around to the same opening. Then repeat with the second piece from the other side. I then like to tie the ends together to prevent them getting pulled through or fraying.
You can see here how the pink bias tape slides straight past the opening on the other side.
Step 5 – Add Snaps – Optional – Bias Tape only
If you want to be able to wear your waterproof swim bags as a back pack then you can add snaps to the ends of the bias and to the bottom corners of the bags.
I hope you enjoy making your super quick waterproof swim bags! I did both in about half an hour, the longest part was laying out the fabric to cut!