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A quick and easy sewing tutorial for making water-resistant bags to hold your soggy swimsuits! #sponsored by Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen
If you’re a waterbug, like me, than summer time is all about getting wet. We split our outdoor time between the splash pad, swimming pool, and natural springs surrounding us here in central Texas. Swimming and splashing is essential to summer survival in this part of the world since we can spend weeks with temperatures over 100F. If it weren’t for places like Barton Springs and Deep Eddy, I don’t think I would have lasted through my first year in Texas six years ago.
Thankfully, my son shares my love of the water and like me, much prefers to spend his time submerged. Lately we’ve been hitting the pool several times a week. One of the biggest challenges that comes along with all this swim time is an abundance of soggy suits, gear, and towels. Lugging around soaking wet tote bags and duffels gets old quick, so I whipped up a batch of wet bags to help dry up our routine.
Wet bags are small zipper pouches made from a special water-resistant fabric called PUL. PUL is most well known for its role in modern cloth diapering, but it also comes in handy for swimming, boating, camping, or pretty much any activity that involves getting wet. These simple zipper bags can be made quickly and easily with the help of a sewing machine. In fact, once you get going, you can make a whole pile of bags in a single afternoon.
A word on working with PUL. This stuff behaves a little differently than other fabrics you might be used to. It’s a little bit sticky and clingy, so you’ll need to take extra care while running it through your sewing machine. PUL experts will also tell you not to use pins to hold the fabric together. This is actually really great advice since every hole poked into PUL makes it less waterproof. For the best bags possible, use something like wonder-clips in place of straight pins. I didn’t have wonder-clips so decided to live dangerously and poke my PUL full of holes. This is one of those “do as I say not as I do” kind of moments. Sorry!
– 21″ x 12″ PUL fabric
– 11-inch zipper
– Matching thread
PUL is often sold in 3-packs of 21″ x 24″ pieces. This size is perfect for this project as one pack can make up to six bags. You can also purchase PUL by the yard and cut it to size yourself. You can easily use the method shared here to make a wet bag of any size you like. Just cut the fabric to the size you prefer and match with an appropriately sized zipper.
Step Two: Working at the top of your piece, pin the wrong side of the zipper to the right side of the fabric. Center the zipper as best you can. Stitch the sides together using a 1/8″ seam allowance. Make sure not to sew too close to the zipper or it will snag when you use it.
Tip: Sewing along the zipper can be tricky! Take your time, and be sure to zip and unzip as needed to make enough room for your stitching.
Step Four: The piece should now resemble a tube. Fold the tube so that the zipper is about 1/4 to 1/3 from the top. Pin each open side, then stitch along the edges using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Sew right over the zipper on each side.
TOTE BAG VARIATION
You can take this project one step further by sewing a wet bag right into an existing tote. The wet bag will act like a pocket within your larger bag, allowing you to carry all of your beach goodies together in one extra cute carry-all.
– Tote bag
– PUL fabric – cut to size
– zipper in appropriate size
– Matching thread in two colors (one to match the PUL and one to match the color of the tote.)
Step One: Measure your tote bag. Cut your PUL to fit within the bag – leaving about 1 inch difference between the size of the tote and the size of the wet bag. By making the wet bag slightly smaller you will ensure that it fits easily into the tote. Be sure to cut your fabric twice the size of the tote so that it can be folded over into a wet bag.
Step Three: Turn the tote bag inside out and pin the wet bag onto one side (preferably the back if your bag has graphics or patterns on the front). Stitch across the top of the bag, securing it to the back side of the tote bag. Be careful to only sew the one side of your tote. It’s truly infuriating to discover you’ve just sewn the entire tote closed by accident. (Ask me how I know. haha.)
Tip: To make sure your thread colors don’t clash, use a thread that matches your wet bag as the top-stitch and a thread that matches the tote bag on your bobbin.
Sunscreen is another essential for summer fun. Choosing the right brand can be a little intimidating. The shelves and end caps seem chuck full of choices this time of year and it can be hard to know exactly what to look for while shopping. It’s important to me that store-bought products like sunscreen are not only safe to use – but effective! From my years working in the beauty and personal care industry I’ve learned that doing your homework on products like sunscreen can be really important.
I was thrilled to learn about Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen while working on this post. I’d heard great things about Blue Lizard® products through the sunscreen guide on EWG (Environmental Working Group). Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen is ranked as one of their top choices. It has also been recommended by dermatologists for more than fifteen years. This line of mineral-based sunscreens is made with zinc oxide and can provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection for the whole family.
CC and I tried out Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Sensitive this past week and really enjoyed using it. I loved that it was easy to apply – even to my squirming three-year old, which is a huge plus. It isn’t super thick or overly sticky, and since it is unscented I didn’t have to worry about it irritating his skin or having him be offended by the aroma.
Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen carries two varieties (baby and sensitive) that are free of parabens, synthetic chemicals, and fragrances. Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Sensitive is perfect for my son and I. We’re both extremely sensitive to synthetic additives like fragrance, dye, and preservatives, so it’s nice to find a brand that caters to our needs. They also carry an oil-free formulation for facial care and sport formulation that is water-resistant.
(A note to parents: Be sure to consult your pediatrician before applying sunscreen to babies under six months old as even Baby type sunscreens may not be suitable for itty bitty babies. Baby or Sensitive varieties of Blue Lizard® sunscreen are great for kids OVER six months in age.)
Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen also has a nifty feature that your kids are sure to get a kick out of. The bottle actually changes color when exposed to harmful UV rays! This patented feature acts as a fun reminder to apply your sunscreen while spending time outdoors.
I purchased my Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Sensitive at Walmart. You can find all available varieties of Blue Lizard® in the sunscreen section or display in your local store. Look for a seasonal display toward the front of your store while shopping. Right now Ibotta is running a special discount on Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen. Join iBotta and earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen – Sensitive in the 5 ounce bottle.
I hope you’ll have fun using your homemade wet bags during your summer adventures this year! They are not only great for toting wet swimsuits but also wonderful for keeping things dry while boating, hiking, or camping. Happy trails, and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen! xo. Mary Helen