In case you're wondering "What's a wet bag?": Wet bags are useful for any time you want to transport something wet or damp without it soaking everything or everyone near it: cloth diapers, potty training accidents, bathing suits, laundry, etc. The best part, besides keeping wet stuff contained, is how they can be tossed in the wash with the contents, which makes cleaning them a breeze.
Not only are these bags handy, but they're a relatively quick sew too. I'd made the usual basic single layer versions over the years & they'd worked pretty well, but with the kids having weekly, year-round swim classes, I found they all started to leak or wick around the seams over time. Even stripping (a cloth diaper washing technique for removing leak-causing build-up) didn't help. I like making them, but didn't want to have to make new ones every couple of months!
- PUL fabric - 1/2 yd each for lining & outer (or extra large diaper cut for outer)
- 24 inch piece of grosgrain ribbon between 5/8 inch to 1 inch wide
- Sewing notions: rotary cutter/shears, safety pin, clips, marking pen
My finished bag dimensions are generous enough for several bathing suits, clothing items or diapers. I always love whimsical prints on my fabrics and these cuties didn't disappoint - I loved these jolly gnomes+hedgehogs & tuxedo-wearing bulldogs with pipes I bought over at Diaper Sewing Supplies.
Cut the lining piece to be 12 inches high by 32 inches wide and outer to be 17 1/2 inches high by 23 inches wide. PUL has a 4 - way stretch so there isn't a grain direction to worry about.
Fold the outer fabric in half width-wise, right sides together and clip. You don't want to use pins with PUL since those leave permanent holes (you want this baby to be as watertight as possible!)
Measure 1 1/2 inches from top and mark along side edge. Make a second marking 1 inch below that and stitch the side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving that gap open. To keep the shiny side of the PUL from sticking to the presser foot, run a bit of clear lip balm along the fabric. It's easy to wipe away after & won't damage your machine (sewing through tissue paper or using a Teflon foot are other options, but this is SO much simpler & cheaper).
Open the seam allowance and stitch around the gap that was created - this will make it easier to snake the ribbon through the casing later.
The bag will now be a tube. Flatten so it will have the side seam along the center as shown below and clip along bottom edge, then stitch bottom closed.
To make the lining, fold the fabric in half, right sides facing out and stitch along both sides. Square off bottom corners & trim off excess as done previously.
With outer bag right side out, insert the lining (shiny side in), into the outer bag. Press the bottom corners of outer and lining together with your hand or a ruler. Use clips on the corners of the outside to hold the layers together so they don't shift while sewing.
The top edge of the lining will be shorter than the outer:
Fold the outer edge down, over the lining and clip all the way around:
Stitch all the way around 1/8 inch from the raw edge of the outer fabric to create the bag's casing:
Turn bag right side out. With one end of the ribbon attached to the safety pin, insert into cases and snake around to the other side. Use a lighter to seal the ribbon edges (to prevent fraying) and either double knot ends together or overlap the edges and stitch together, then shift the ribbon so the stitching is hidden inside the casing.
Toss the bag in the dryer on hot for about 15 minutes to heat seal the stitching holes and the bag is ready for whatever wet wearables need containing.
and my Bathing Beauty Bathing Suit Tutorial