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Zippered Travel Wet Bag Tutorial

Here’s my zippered travel wet bag tutorial. This is a simple project, requiring only straight stitches, however there are a couple challenges to sewing with PUL. I recommend reading Sewing With PUL before you begin. There is a chance of wicking out the side seams, but I’ve found this bag works great for our needs without making it completely waterproof.

Materials:

Coordinating Polyester Thread (Gutterman is great)
14″ Zipper
About a 1/2″ of PUL
Optional – Polypropylene webbing for a handle
Optional – Snaps (for the handle)
Optional – Outer decorative fabric (increased the likelihood of wicking)
Optional – Seam sealing tape (Makes the bag completely water tight)

Tutorial:

1) First cut out the PUL in a rectangle 13″ x 28″ (give or take a little). If you’re using decorative cut both the PUL and the decorative fabric 1/2″ wider.

Tip: Don’t follow the directions on the back of the zipper package. Following those directions will give you a puckered edge on the seam, like in the blue wetbag below

2) Using a regular foot, sew a hem about 3/4″ in on each edge that the zipper will be touching.

3) Using a zipper foot, sew the zipper in place on the side you just hemmed. Try to stay parallel to the first hem, and don’t get so close the zipper than the toggle won’t slide easily. Repeat with the other side of the zipper, making sure that you don’t sew through the other side of the bag.

4)Cut the webbing to size. If you are using a snapped handle cut two pieces 3″ long and 9″ long. If you’re not making a snapped handle, cut one strip 9″ long. Use a lighter to melt and seal the edges (FYI: this doesn’t work for cotton straps)

5) Flip the bag so the right sides are together. Place the zipper about 1.5″ down from the top of the bag. Start sewing a straight stitch 1/2″ in from the edge (3/4″ if you’re using decorative fabric). Just after you finish sewing the zipper in, place the strap between the fabric with the webbing’s edges facing out (if you’re using one piece, make sure your loop isn’t twisted). Straight stitch down the rest of sides. ( See Sewing With PUL if you have problems with this step) Flip it over and sew the other side, first matching up the zipper so it’s the same distance from the top as the other side.

6) Use a zig-zag stitch down the edge to finish it. If you’re using a decorative fabric, first trim the decorative fabric so it’s about 1/4″ away from the edge. Then zig-zag the edges, trying not to pierce through the decorative fabric. This is done to help prevent moisture from wicking out the seam. Alternately, you can use seam sealing tape at this step, following the directions that came with it.

7) Unzip the bag grabbing the toggle through the fabric and flip the bag inside out. Almost done!

8 ) Apply the snaps. First apply two snaps to the short piece of webbing, then one snap to the outside of the long strap. Snap those two together and use that as a guide as to where to place the last snap, as seen in pictures below.

All Done!

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