April 24, 2013 posted by littlewhitecottage

How to make a shower curtain fabric, drawstring swimming bag…

Making your own drawstring swimming bag is very easy and saves money especially if you’ve more than one to make. I use a shower curtain as the fabric is fabulous for a swimming bag – it can be washed easily but is also light to carry when full of swimming gear. Out of 1 shower curtain I have made 2 bags so far and I would think there would be enough to make at least another 2, maybe even 3.

You can decide what sized bag you would like to make and then add on 4cms to the width and 5cms to the length.

Here’s my piece of fabric.

swim bag 1

To make up the bag, fold the edges in 1cm, iron flat and then fold another cm. This double hem is to hide any stray edges and prevent fraying as swimming bag fabric does tend to fray. Iron the double fold and then pin.

swim bag 2

Here’s a closer picture of the pinned fabric.

swim bag 4

Sew the hem, taking the pins out as you do (I pin vertically but to be correct you should pin horizontally so you can sew over the pins)

swim bag 3

To make the top edge for the drawstring fold the top over 1cm, iron and then fold it over again 3cms and iron. Once you’ve ironed pin in place.

swim bag 5

Sew this hem.

swim bag 6

Using letter templates cut out the letters you need for the name you’d like. I’m using Heat and Bond (a bit like bond a web) because I want to stick my letters on so they don’t come off. This bag will be washed lots and dragged around wet changing rooms so I need to wash it. Remember when using heat and bond it’s ‘wrong to be right’ in that you need to draw the template the wrong way round so you will end up with the fabric on the right side. Have a read of the next few lines and this will make more sense.

swim bag 7

I’ve stuck the heat and bond onto my chosen material.

swim bag 8

Now cut the letters out. You can see that they are the ‘right’ way round.

swim bag 9

Peel off the back paper

swim bag 10

The glue will now be on the back of the fabric.

Measure where you would like the letters to go. I use a ruler to put them on and then use a tape measure to measure the distance from the bottom of the ruler to the bottom of the fabric. So long as it’s the same your name will be straight.

swim bag 12

Iron the letters on.

swim bag 11

Now to edge them in perle cotton or a thicker embroidery cotton.

swim bag 13

I chose a blue as I think the greater the contrast between the thread and the fabric the better. If it’s of a similar colour then it blends in and you can’t always see it.

I just do a simple running stitch but you could use a blanket stitch if you’d prefer.

swim bag 14

Here’s the name all stitched. If you don’t have any heat and bond you can just stitch the letters to the bag. Felt is a great material to make letters from as it doesn’t fray and is easy to work with.

swim bag 15

Now fold the bag in half ready to sew – make sure that the name is on the inside of the bag.

swim bag 16

Pin the bag in place.

Here’s the other side.

swim bag 17

Now sew the edges together. Make sure you don’t sew up the gap for the drawstring to go in!

swim bag 19

Zig zag stitch the edges especially the bottom edge so it doesn’t fray then snip any lose threads.

swim bag 18

Turn your bag the right way round. Now to put the ribbon in…

swim bag 20

I use a pair of blunt nose long tweezers I found in a medical pack. I push the ribbon right to the bottom and it hold fast while I push the tweezers through the channel. You can use a safety pin which works just as well if you don’t have these tweezers.

swim bag 21

Push the ribbon through the channel

swim bag 22

Cut the 2 ends just a little longer than the bag and then tie them in a knot.

swim bag 23

You’ve finished your bag!

swim bag 24




  • Wow man !!
    That was awesome.
    Wish I could try this once at my sewing practice.
    Is looking forward to learn more from your blog.
    Carry on 😀

    • I’m really glad you liked it! Lots more still to come 🙂

  • Could you also use UPVC to make a swim bag from? Xx

    • Swim bags are already made from PVC so yes -but you wouldn’t be able to iron it!

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