I really wanted to practice working with mesh fabric since it can be a real pain but it's great for so many things. I like mesh for beach bags because the sand doesn't collect at the bottom, it just falls right through! I also added a pocket for a cell phone, keys, etc. because I wanted a way to keep them out of the sand. This instructable is more about how to successfully sew mesh than other aspects of this bag since it is very simple and there are other guides out there.
Step 1: Collect Supplies
For this project, you will need:
-webbing for straps
-small scraps of fabric for pockets
-extra wide, double fold bias tape (or make your own)
Step 2: Cut Out Pieces
Decide how big you want your bag and pocket and cut it out. You can really make your bag any size. I wanted mine to be around 20 inches wide, 12 inches tall and 6 inches deep. To make the bag, you should cut out 3 rectangles, two small ones for the sides and one large one for the sides and the bottom. The pocket can be any size and you can make as many as you want. You need one piece of fabric to fold over and become the pocket and a smaller piece for the flap to close the pocket.
Step 3: Sew Pocket
Hem the top of the fabric for the pocket and with wrong sides together, sew three sides of the pocket together. For the top of the pocket, cut a length of bias tape for each side, arrange it so the fabric is in the fold of the bias tape and sew it down. Cut a length of velcro and sew one piece to the top front of the pocket and one to the under side of the pocket flap.
Pin the pocket to where ever you want it on the bag pieces and sew it down leaving about 1/4 inch seam allowance. I found it easier to sew the pockets before sewing the rest of the bag. Pin the flap to to bag, making sure the velcros line up, and sew down the top.
Step 4: Sew Bag Together
This is the most challenging part. Mesh can be a huge pain to sew by itself. It is slightly stretchy, and can get sucked down into sewing machines, tangled up, you name it, it has probably happened to me. To avoid this, I found a few techniques that work. For this bag, instead of trying to hide the seams, they are incorporated as accents. Cut a length of bias tape long enough for each side. Start at one corner and start pinning the bias tape and the two sides of mesh together. I found it easier to pin the pins parallel to the fabric instead of perpendicular, just be careful to remove them as the sewing machine gets to them. Start at the other corner and repeat and then do the same this on the bottom side. One side of the bag should now be sewn together. Repeat the same process on the other side. You should now have the main part of the bag done!
If you really don't want seams like this, you can use scotch tape, wax paper, pattern paper or parchment paper in a similar way but peel it off after you sew, leaving just the stitched thread
Step 5: Add Handles
Since this mesh is slightly stretchy, I knew I couldn't just put handles on as I normally did because the entire bag would stretch out, so I made the handles out of one big loop of webbing the reached under the bag and hung over bother sides forming handles. You can decide how long your handles are and exactly where you want them, but I would highly recommend running them under the bag to prevent the mesh from stretching too much. Pin the webbing in place and sew it down using two seams.
Step 6: Add Webbing to Opening of Bag
I added webbing to the top of the bag for added support since there was nothing holding the mesh together and I didn't want it to stretch out too much. It also adds stiffness to the mesh to it is easier to throw stuff in the bag and head out the door and you don't have to wrestle with it. Pin in place and sew down with two seams. Make sure both seams sew both the mesh and the webbing. Be careful with the overlapping ends, but don't worry too much about it. When it's all sewn together it is barely visible!
Step 7: Hit the Beach!
You now have a super cute beach bag! And you know how to work with mesh! Awesome!
Feel free to message me with any questions!