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May 10, 2013

Wetbag Tutorial

Today we are going to make a simple wetbag. Wetbags are wonderful bags you can use to store your wet swimsuits after swimming lessons, or for dirty diapers, water bottles that tend to leak and/or anything else that might contaminate your adorable new purse! They can also be made extra small and be used for for a reusable snack bag. Wetbags are easy to make and inexpensive. So here we go!


Being Phat Friday I am going to start with a fat quarter (18" x 22") of PUL (polyester/polyurethane laminated fabric). The point of this fabric is that it is water resistant. I wanted to make 2 medium sized wetbags for baby shower gifts, as these are great to throw into a diaper bag. So I will cut my fat quarter in-half width wise to make two 9" x 11" pieces. 

Then taking one of the 9x11 pieces I am going to fold over each short side about 1/2" creating a small lip. Stitch this fold in place. This will keep the seams clean on the inside of your bag. 

These edges will be the insertion point for your zipper. I used a 14" plastic zipper. Next I will sew in the zipper. Be sure that before you sew you use a few pins and that you sew slowly, this fabric slides easily! If it does become uneven your fabric won't lay flat. Once the zipper is attached I unzipped it and give it a nice top stitch. 

Now for the assembly!
Now I will close my zipper and place the right-sides of the fabric together. At this point you can choose where you want the zipper to lay. I made one of each. The white zipper lies across the top of the bag and the green zipper is about 2" below the top of the bag. To change the location of the zipper you simply shift the bag up or down until the zipper is where you like it. I prefer sewing 2" down from the top because you get a clean looking zipper that lays completely fat. Gemia prefers the zipper at the top so she can shove as much into her bag as possible. This is totally up to personal preference, so make one each way and figure out what works best for your family. Once you know where your zipper will be, use two pins and secure the zippers location. Remember that we want to use as few pins and stitch marks as possible, we will seal the bag before use but its still important not to create too many holes.

If you want to add a ribbon or clip to your wetbag for easy hanging now is the time to do it. To make a ribbon loop take your piece of ribbon and simply fold it in half. You should also melt the two ends of your ribbon with a small flame. This will keep your ribbon from unraveling. Then take your ribbon loop and pin the loop inside of the wetbag so that the raw edges of the ribbon and fabric touch.  

So, now to sew the wetbag together. Sew each edge starting with the side where the zipper opening is. I found it easier to sew with the zipper closed at this point. Then, BEFORE sewing the opposite edge you MUST OPEN the zipper. **CAUTION... if the zipper is not open when you sew the second seam you won't be able to open it your bag to turn it inside out!

Turn out your bag by putting your hand through the zipper holes and pulling out your material.

Viola you have a wet bag!


To seal the PUL fabric you need throw it in the dryer on med/low for 15 minutes. By warming the fabric the tiny holes from the sewing will seal up and be waterproof!

Now its time to take your kids out into the sun and swim. Then put all those wet suits into your new wetbag, throw the wetbag into your adorable purse and go get some ice cream without the fear of water leaking on your fancy I-phone or tablet, or your good old fashioned daily planner!

Need a little more hands on help to complete this project? Well, we are her to help those that are local. One of our Adventures With Sewing classes this month is on Wetbags. The class will be held on Friday May 17th at the La Center Grange. The cost of the class is $20 and you will be making a fancy fabric covered, PUL lined, double zipper Wetbag. Oh yeah, we are upping the ante a little. To join us for the class you need to register here. We hope to see you there.

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