How to Create a Swim Wetbag
Whether you’ve spent the day at the pool and want to keep your damp swimsuits from getting everything wet, or you’ve just worked out and need to keep clothing separated, this wet bag can hold all your gear and keep it contained so the rest of your items stay dry and smelling fresh! This swimsuit wet bag features a handy clip so you can attach it to a tote or beach bag or make a matching strap to use as a stand-alone piece!
Materials to sew a Swim Wetbag:
- ½ – ¾ yard material for exterior
- ½ yard PUL fabric
- 18″ zipper
- 1″ D-ring
- 1″ lobster claw clip\clasp
- Thread to match
- Hand sewing needle
- Sewing machine, I sew on a BERNINA 580
- Zipper Foot, I use the BERNINA Zipper foot #4
Optional Materials to sew a Swim Wetbag:
- Wonder Clips
- Walking foot, e.g., the BERNINA Walking foot #50
What is PUL?
PUL is short for Polyurethane Laminate. This material is popular in diaper making because it is waterproof and wicks moisture away from the body. PUL has two sides: a knit material that is typically kept close to the body and a shiny (sometimes tacky\sticky feeling) exterior that keeps moisture ‘sealed in’. Consequently, the ‘right side’ of the material is usually the knit fabric. However, since our PUL will be used to make a bag and not worn, the right side of the fabric in this tutorial will be the shiny, laminate side. Pins can easily leave holes in PUL fabric so it is recommended to use clips (such as Wonder Clips, binding clips, etc.) or keep pins within the seam allowance when sewing. Although PUL can withstand the heat from washers and dryers, it will not typically withstand the heat of the iron—finger press seams when necessary. If you find that the laminate side is difficult to sew, use a Walking foot to aid in stitching.
PUL material can be found in most brick and mortar stores as well as numerous online vendors and can be found in a variety of colors and prints.
From exterior fabric:
- Cut 2, 16 x 16″ squares
- Cut 1, 4 x 18″ strip
- Cut 1, 16 x 16″ squares
Sewing Instructions to create a Swim Wetbag:
Note: All seams are ½″ unless otherwise specified
Make a ‘fabric sandwich’—Place exterior fabric right side up, lay zipper right side down along top edge of fabric, and the wrong side (knit side) of the PUL facing up, on top of it all. Match raw edges and clip\pin layers together. Sew 1/8″ away from zipper teeth.
Press layers open with wrong sides together and zipper sandwiched in between. Topstitch fabric layers 1/8″ away from finished edge.
Repeat steps 1-2 with second exterior and PUL squares. Make sure fabrics are in the same placement as in step one by matching up the raw edges on the sides.
Remove excess zipper tape.
Prior to cutting, it’s a good idea to whipstitch edges of the zipper together with a few quick stitches to keep the zipper from sliding off the track.
Fold 4 x 18″ strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Unfold and bring raw edges of fabric to meet fold line. Fold strip in half again, matching finished edges. Top stitch close to both finished, long edges.
Cut a 4″ segment from finished strip. Slip one end through lobster claw clasp. Fold strip clasp, matching raw edges. Place raw edges along one exterior side edge, 1 ¼″ – 1 ½″ under zipper and baste in place, keeping PUL lining free from stitching.
Unzip the zipper halfway. Open out bag so that the right sides of the exterior bag are facing each other and the right sides of the lining are facing each other. Match raw edges and pin\clip in place.
Note: When pinning, make sure that the zipper is pinched toward the bag lining on each side. This will give it a consistent appearance when you are finished sewing and keep the zipper from becoming recessed and difficult to zip.
Sew around the entire bag, leaving a 4″ opening at the bottom edge of the exterior panel. Clip bottom corners of exterior and PUL.
Note: Depending on the style of zipper used (for example, coil vs metal), it may be necessary to increase your stitch length when sewing over the zipper so that you do not break your needle. In either case, sew slowly when stitch over this area.
Turn right side out through opening in exterior.
Slipstitch opening closed on bottom of the bag. Push lining to the inside of the bag.
To make a matching, removable strap: Slide remaining strap material through D-ring. Fold back ¾″ of the strap over D-ring as well as ¾″ on the other side of the strip that is free from hardware. Place strap edges together matching folds and raw edges. Stitch close to D-ring through all thickness. Sew again ½″ away from original stitching, encasing raw edges.