Drawstring Waterproof Swimming Bag Tutorial

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Welcome to those joining us as part of Creative Crafting blog tour, hope you are enjoying the various stops.

This is where I blog about items I make, either for our home or for sale. I often write about recycled and upcycled projects.


What do you make with your former shirts? I love upcycling former clothes into new creations, often favouring eco bags. Today I am going to share with you a tutorial for making a drawstring recycled bag, lined with shower curtain fabric. This makes it ideal for swimming gear.

Swimming Bag Tutorial

To make your own swimming bag you will need one shirt, plus lining. I suggest using shower curtain fabric to make it semi waterproof

  • Sew down the front of the shirt, alongside the top stitching. Tip: Remove the buttons, stitch the seam and sew back on.
  • Create a pattern template – cut a template for the swimming bag. This bag is 31 cm by 41cm, don’t forget to include seam allowance on your pattern.


  • Cut out two pieces of the shirt fabric, ensure it is straight when pinning on your pattern. Tip I suggest folding your pattern in half length ways and ensuring it lays down the middle of the buttons.
  • Cut out two pieces of shower curtain fabric. Note this needs to be 2cm longer than the shirt to allow the fold over at the top.
  • Cut out a small piece of fabric to create the piece your piping will thread through near the base of the bag


  • Stitch your piece of fabric for the tape. Turn through and fold over, pin near the bottom of one of your side panel, facing inwards.


  • Stitch three sides of the shirt, right sides together. Strengthen the corners by double stitching, and cut the edges off to reduce bulk.
  • Turn to the right side out and press


  • Hem the top of your two lining pieces
  • Stitch your lining together. On one side start your side seam 1.5cm down, as this is where you are going to fold over and thread in your piping.
  • Insert your lining bag. Pin the bottom to the bottom of the main bag.
  • Turn over the top to create your channel for the piping, and tack.
  • Stitch round the top


  • Using a safety pin thread in your piping.
  • Tie the two ends of you piping at the bottom of the bag, with one piece of piping threading through your tab.
Swimming Bag Tutorial

You’ve done it… excellent  one recycled swimming bag:)

Like me you probably have lots of the shirt left, this is what I made:


Wine bottle carrier


Sewing kit jam jar


Makeup Bag


Kindle Case


Hair Clips


Thank You Notes

 I am particularly delighted with the bottle carrier, and the thank you notes – both of which I have been meaning to make for sometime. What will you make with the left overs of your shirt?

To celebrate taking part in my first ever blog hop I am offering a giveaway. Simply leave a comment stating which of the shirt items you would like and a random winner will be picked on Sunday the 11th August:) Plus as usual I am off to Handmade Harbour to see what other people have been making this week. thanks for taking the time and hope to see you again soon.




  1. August 4, 2013 / 6:49 am

    What a great idea, I’ve recycled shirts, but have never thought of using a shower curtain as a waterproof lining, so simple really. I’ve really enjoyed being part of this tour, and it’s so much fun seeing what everyone is doing. Thank you for the giveaway too, I especially like the kindle cover. Enjoy the rest of the tour

    • August 4, 2013 / 4:23 pm

      The shower curtain came about a few months ago for a custom order for a waterproof fabric handbag. Currently adding some as a lining to a men’s messenger bag 🙂

  2. August 4, 2013 / 8:09 am

    Very nice ittems and all that from old T-shirts, Thank you for the inspiration.

    • August 4, 2013 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you for stopping by, and taking the time to comment:) All comments are really appreciated:)

  3. kristinr
    August 4, 2013 / 9:03 am

    I *really* must conquer my fear of the sewing machine. Such good ideas! I try to recycle as much as I can but if you can sew there’s a whole new world of possibilities! V inspiring. Can I put my name in the (hand-sewn?) hat for the sewing kit jam jar as an incentive?

    • August 4, 2013 / 4:18 pm

      I still have a fear of zips, despite many attempts to overcome it!!

      • kristinr
        August 4, 2013 / 4:24 pm

        🙂 sewing machine out. Psyching self to approach.

  4. Joy
    August 4, 2013 / 9:19 am

    Love the tutorial – and you certainly don’t waste any of that shirt do you! WOW!
    It all looks so wonderful, I do especially like the thank you notes – they’re so elegant
    Fantastic post Vicky 🙂
    Joy xx

    • August 4, 2013 / 4:19 pm

      Thank you Joy, I enjoyed writing it:) In particular challenging myself re the remainder of the shirt!

  5. Gaynor
    August 4, 2013 / 9:37 am

    Oh my goodness..what amazing ideas! I love them all! I am def. going to try the wine bottle carrier…perfect for personalising a gift. So clever and so funky. I am learning lots on this tour thats for sure!

    • August 4, 2013 / 4:20 pm

      I had been meaning to make a bottle carrier for a very long time, in reality it only took 10 minutes!!

  6. August 4, 2013 / 10:12 am

    Great idea, my son has been looking at an advert for a swimming bag, I may have to make one like this from a top he’s grown out of. love the kindle case have been meaning to make one myself.

  7. August 4, 2013 / 10:13 am

    Wow Vicky fab post have signed up for your blog really interesting – and would love to enter the giveaway too xox My favourite is the Sewing kit 😀

    • August 4, 2013 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you so much for signing up, always brings a smile to my face when someone new signs up – I’m not writing into the ether!

  8. August 4, 2013 / 11:40 am

    I love how much you got out of one shirt and such clever ideas too! The jam jar sewing kit is very cute and the kindle case is great – is that a recycled pair of jeans too? Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    • August 4, 2013 / 4:22 pm

      Well spotted, it certainly is a pair of recycled jeans! More ideas next week re upcycled jeans:)

  9. August 4, 2013 / 8:43 pm

    Well you did really well from one shirt. I think my favourite is the sewing kit jar, as I am always a bit messy on my sewing table.

  10. August 4, 2013 / 8:54 pm

    Another brilliant idea. No ideas. You always amaze me with what you come up with. I would never have thought of the cards. (Or any of the other things either.) (Can I be a bit cheeky and ask how you managed to put the pin it buttons under your photos?)

  11. August 4, 2013 / 11:23 pm

    My favourite has to be the little bunting notes – so understated (in a good way, of course!)

  12. August 5, 2013 / 7:40 am

    Thanks for the tutorial, what a great way to use an old shirt and make all those extra bits and pieces afterwards too.

  13. August 5, 2013 / 3:44 pm

    A great post, I’m another recycler 🙂 I recently made a bottle carrier with an across the body strap so my grandson can take a water bottle out with him. I love your little notelets 🙂

  14. fiddlyfingers
    August 5, 2013 / 4:20 pm

    Wow! What a lot of things you made out of this shirt. I love the post it notes but I think I would find the makeup bag the most useful. I shall think twice next time I discard any clothing 🙂

  15. Heathe Barber
    August 5, 2013 / 8:05 pm

    Most impressed with what you made – particularly like the bottle holder and the notelets, both of which are things on my ‘must do that sometime’ list

  16. August 9, 2013 / 5:03 pm

    What a great swimming bag 🙂 And a wonderful tutorial! I need to make a gym bag for my daughter who’s starting school in September, so I have to say the bag is my favourite, but I do like the thank you notes! Simmi x

  17. Lori
    August 9, 2013 / 5:08 pm

    Oh my goodness thank you for this we love anything swimming-related because we are a water-logged family! What a wonderful tutorial and I love how you wasted nothing! Mom is partial though to the ADORABLE Kindle cover – you are so talented!

  18. August 10, 2013 / 8:14 am

    You really made the most of your shirt! I’ve been stashing old clothes to upcycle but wasn’t really sure what do with them. Loads of inspiration here. I really like the note cards. Thanks for sharing.

    • August 10, 2013 / 8:57 am

      …oh, and the sewing kit jam jar too 🙂

  19. August 10, 2013 / 1:36 pm

    The bag turned out great! I love how you kept the button front detail!

  20. August 11, 2013 / 8:56 pm

    Great ideas! I am also on the Blog Tour and enjoying visiting the other stops. I pinned and Liked.

  21. buntyw
    August 12, 2013 / 7:00 pm

    Fantastic – I can’t believe how far one shirt went!!!

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