Tutorial: Sewing Up A Summer Waterproof Washbag

JUL 12, 2016 updated May 14, 2021

Ever wanted to create a waterproof, wipe-able bag that’s super easy to clean? While Spoonflower doesn’t yet offer lamination, there are super simple hacks you can use to create the same effect. This week guest author Emma Jeffery from the blog Hello Beautiful shares a tutorial for sewing up a waterproof washbag. 


Emma: A washbag is a useful accessory to have at any time of year, but they’re particularly useful to have around when packing for summer vacations or trips. This oversize bag is big enough to hold all essential lotions and potions and by using an iron-on vinyl fuse, you’re able to choose from the glorious designs in the Spoonflower marketplace and turn the Linen Cotton Canvas into a laminated, wipe-down surface! Sewing with vinyl can sometimes be challenging but with a teflon coated machine foot that easily slides over the ‘sticky’ surface, it becomes very straightforward. If you are looking to sew with vinyls, laminates or oilcloth fabrics, I recommend investing in one of these for your machine.

Supply List:

  • Three fat quarters or 1 yard of Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra (I used Krople by Ravynka.)
  • 1 yard iron-on vinyl fuse
  • Zipper (I used 22″ heavy duty chunky zipper with plastic teeth, for durability.)

Cut:

  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 19″ x 13″. These will be the side pieces.
  • 1 piece of fabric measuring 19″ 5″. This will be the front pocket.
  • 1 strip of fabric 4″ x 8″. This will be the loop/strap.
  • I sewed using a ½” seam allowance.

Carefully remove the release paper from the back of the vinyl fuse and lay on top of one piece of 19″ x 13″. Smooth it down gently with the palm of your hands to remove any creases or air bubbles. Place the release paper back on top of the fabric and with a hot, dry iron, press the fabric and ensure the vinyl fuse adheres successfully. I recommend you read the directions on your package of vinyl fuse as the technique may vary depending on the manufacturer. Repeat for the remaining pieces of fabric you cut.


Trim the edges of the vinyl fuse so that they are even with the edges of the fabric. A pair of scissors with non-stick blades are very useful when cutting tacky surfaces.


Using the release paper to protect the vinyl surface from melting under the iron, press the 4″ x 8″ strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together. This will be your loop/strap. Open up the fold, and press each side in towards the center fold and fold in half again.


Top stitch along the two sides of the strip to secure the folds and put to one side for now.


Take your 19″ x 5″ piece (your front pocket piece) and fold over each long edge to the wrong side by ½”. Top stitch all the way along the top edge, leaving the bottom edge folded but not stitched, for now. Place this pocket piece on top of one of your side pieces, measuring 3″ above the bottom edge and pin at the sides and bottom edge. Stitch the pocket piece to the side piece along the sides (within the seam allowance) and the bottom edge, securing the folded edge down.


Pin the zipper along the top raw edge of the side piece. The zipper will be facing downwards with the zipper pull facing the right side of the fabric.


Using a zipper foot to make sure you’re able to stitch close to the zipper teeth, sew the zipper to the fabric. Remove the fabric from the machine and fold over so that the zipper AND the fabric are both facing upwards. Top stitch along the folded edge, close to the zipper teeth.


Repeat for the second side piece.


Fold the bag in half with the right sides facing in and sew the bottom edge closed. These seams will be visible from the inside of the pouch so I prefer to finish them with pinking shears to make it look tidy.


Keeping the pouch inside out, bring the bottom seam up so that it is resting immediately above the zipper.


Fold the loop you made earlier, in half, and slip it between the bottom seam and the zipper. Pin in place and stitch up both sides of the pouch.


Measure a 3″ square in each of the 4 corners and cut away.


Open up the cut area and press down in the opposite direction to make the gusset bottom. Pin then sew each corner closed.


Turn the pouch right sides out and poke out the corners. It sometimes helps to use a point turner or unsharpened pencil.


Your washbag is complete! You’ll have a convenient pocket along the front of the pouch (sew one on the other side for extra storage space) and a looped strap, which will allow you to hang the bag on a hook.


About Our Guest Blogger

Hi! I’m Emma, and as well as working on the Fiskars Design Team, I blog over at hellobeautifulblog.blogspot.com.

I’m an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they’re not absolutely perfect. And though I’m no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.

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