Sew a See-Through and Breathable Beach Bag

  • 01 of 05

    Materials Required

    Sewable beach bag
    The Spruce Crafts / Debbie Colgrove

    This beach bag breathes and can be seen through, so towels won't mold as fast if you forget to empty the beach bag when you get home. You may even want to experiment with changing the size you sew to have a see-through bag to get through airport security a little faster.


    • Fiberglass screen: a 36" by 24" piece. This screening is available at places like hardware stores or lumber and home improvement centers.
    • Thread* to match the screen
    • 3 to 4 yards of 1 1/2" wide (or wider) nylon webbing for the strap. The bag shown used 4 yards so the bag can go over the neck or will hang low when slung over a shoulder.
    • Thread* to match the strap (In the strap shown, clear nylon thread was used to blend with both edges of the strap with thread to match the screen in the bobbin.)
    • Optional: Embroidery or patches of your choice. 

    *Note: Quality thread is advised as inferior thread tends to shred and unravel, getting stuck in the machine while sewing screen.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Strap Placement

    Measurements labeled for bag
    The Spruce Crafts / Debbie Colgrove
    • Fold the webbing/strap in half. Use a straight pin to mark the fold.
    • Fold the 36" length of the screen in half.
    • Finger press the fold in place.
    • Measure 6" in from the edge at the fold.
    • Place the end of the webbing/strap on the fold and the edge of the strap toward the body of the screen, lining up the edge of the webbing/strap with the 6" measurement.
    • Keeping the webbing strap straight (not twisted) match the fold of the strap with the screen fold, lining up the strap as you did the end of the strap.
    • Measure in 6" along the edge on 36" edges of the screen and pin the strap in place as you work the entire edge.
    • At the 24" edges stop 2" from the edge of the screen and pin the strap in place. (Double pinning or pinning from both directions will remind you to stop and pivot your sewing at this mark.)
    • Bring the last end of the strap around to match the first end and butt the ends of the strap to each other.
    • Align the edges as you did the rest of the strap.
    • Sew both edges of the strap and the top ends of the strap. Sew as close to the edges of the strap as possible.
    • Zigzag stitch across the butted ends of the strap.
    • Place any optional embroidery or applique patches, remembering that there is a 2" hem at the top of the bag.
    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Sew the Side Seams

    Sewing the side seams
    The Spruce Crafts / Debbie Colgrove

    The side seams for this bag are sewn in two steps to prevent anything that is put inside the bag from snagging on unenclosed screen edges. Even a bathing suit will be safe from snags if the screen edges are enclosed.

    • Fold the bag in half again, placing the backside (screen coated sides) of the straps to each other.
    • Align the edges and pin in place.
    • Sew the side edges together using a 1/4" seam allowance.
    • Reach inside the bag and finger press the seam allowance to one side, working the seam allowance all the way down to the corner of the bag.
    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    The Second Pass on the Side Seams

    The second sewing of the side seams
    The Spruce Crafts / Debbie Colgrove
    • Turn the bag wrong side out.
    • Finger press the seams to the edge of the bag. (Press from the inside of the bag and push out the bottom corner, then press flat aligning the seam to the edge of the bag.)
    • Sew the sides using a generous 1/4" seam allowance, so that the original seam allowance is enclosed in the new seam allowance.
    • Turn the bag right side out and finger press the side seam to the edge of the bag.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Hem the Top of the Bag

    The bag's hem pinned
    The Spruce Crafts / Debbie Colgrove
    • Fold the top edge down to the inside of the bag, using the top of the strap as a guide and keeping the entire edge folded down an even amount.
    • Finger press the fold.
    • Fold the edge in half, turning the edge up inside the fold. Keep the amount folded as close to half as possible so the folded screen provides strength to the top and is visually appealing.
    • Sew the hem in place sewing as close to the inside folded edge as possible.