DIY & Crafts

Zip down to the beach

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DIY & Crafts

Zip down to the beach

When it's time to relax and take in the sun, unzip the bag — and you've got a perfect beach mat. Stretch out lazily on this comfortable layer of foam, covered with 100% cotton. As the sun begins to set, just fold up the mat and zip — it becomes a roomy tote again.

Great for carrying your towel, suntan lotion and all your beach needs. At home, trim your thighs and flatten your tummy by using it as an exercise mat.

Whip up our foldable, toteable beach mat this afternoon and you're off!

Directions

You need:
• 1 piece foam 183 x 61 x 13 mm (72 x 24 x 1/2 inch)
• 2.10 m (2-1/4 yards) cotton 140 cm (54 inches) wide
• .10 m (1/8 yard) contrasting cotton for handles (optional)
• 2 separating zippers, each 45 cm (18 inches) long
• Matching thread
• Dressmaker's chalk

To make:
Use 13 mm (1/2 inch) seam allowance throughout.

1. Preshrink fabric.

2. Cut 2 pieces of fabric each 185 x 64 cm (73 x 25 inches).

3. Using chalk, mark fold lines on right sides of one piece of fabric. (See diagram.)

4. Separate 1 zipper. Place right side of 1 zipper half and right side of fabric together, so teeth at top of zipper are at A and bottom of B, with edge of zipper tape 3 mm (1/8 inch) in from edge of fabric. Pin in place. Repeat with other zipper half, placing top of teeth at C and bottom at D. (Note: Both halves of zipper are attached to same edge of fabric.) Baste. Repeat with second zipper on opposite edge.

5. To make straps, cut 2 strips from remaining or contrasting fabric, each 38 x 10 cm (15 x 4 inches). Fold each lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch long edge. Turn right side out. Press. Topstitch around entire outside edge. Stitch straps to right side of fabric as indicated in diagram.

6. With right sides together, join fabric pieces by stitching 1 short and 2 long edges, leaving second short edge open for turning right side out. (Keep straps toward middle while stitching so they don't get caught.) Trim corners diagonally.

7. The "buddy system" makes this step easier: With cover still inside out, slip hands in to the far edge and grasp edge of foam through the fabric. Slip cover over foam, turning it right side out and smoothing it as you go.

8. Turn under seam allowances at open end and slipstitch or machine stitch together.

9. Machine stitch along each chalk fold line, through all three layers.

10. Fold ends of mat toward centre. Fold in half. Zip closed.

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DIY & Crafts

Zip down to the beach

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