an Orla Kiely beach bag

I can’t go out to the island without a beach bag, right? For those of you who don’t already know, Morgan and I are getting married on an small island in Southwest Florida. We head out there on Tuesday, and I plan on lovely days of relaxing on the beach. I hadn’t thought to bring a beach bag, so I decided to make one out of the cute Orla Kiely dishtowels I bought the other day.

They come in packs of two – one printed and one solid. I opted for these cute pears for the outside, with the corresponding olive green fabric for the lining. I made it as large as I could, based on the size of the towels, and it ended up a generous 20″ across by about 14″ tall. It has a large 6″ rectangular bottom, a large divided interior pocket and a little twill tie at the top.

Is it sad that I can’t go away without feeling the need to sew? Luckily my mom had thought to bring her old sewing machine to Florida with her, so I could feed my addiction. I was lacking on the tools – just an old pair of scissors and a tape measure and ironing board… it makes you realize how quickly you come to rely on the conveniences of rotary cutters, cutting mats and plastic rulers… not to mention a built in thread cutter on the sewing machine (I really did miss that feature!)

Anyway, it turned out just as I had hoped… And I love it!

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40 Responses to an Orla Kiely beach bag

  1. 1
    Sandy says:

    This is awesome! Great job, and happy wedding!

  2. 3
    Priscilla says:

    And you’re wearing the skirt! I wasn’t sure I liked it when you showed it the other day, but now I see it ‘on’ it is gorgeous!

    Happy Wedding – I’m sure it will be a wonderful day, and enjoy your beach relaxing too.

  3. 4
    Martha says:

    Goodness gracious, that’s gorgeous, even more so considering you did it on vacation. I wish I had the perserverance you do in whipping stuff up on the fly. Great job.

  4. 5
    Dewdrop says:

    It looks great. So does the skirt in action, btw.

  5. 6
    MichelleB says:

    It looks wonderful! And goes great with the skirt.

    Have a wonderful wedding.

  6. 7
    nettie says:

    super cute bag, and i love the skirt too!!

  7. 8

    Ah! The “MUST have new bag before VACATION” sickness – I know it well! Why do we have this need? Anyway, yours is lovely!

  8. 9
    Nichole says:

    very cute!

    happy wedding! 🙂

  9. 10

    Great bag & skirt! I would have a hard time without my tools too! Enjoy the sunshine for me 🙂

  10. 11
    katie says:

    this is fab! have a great time next week!

  11. 12
    betsy says:

    God you are creative.
    That is a wonderful bag!

  12. 13
  13. 14
    Sarah says:

    Wow, I almost did the same thing with paperchase dishtowels!!
    Great minds think alike.

  14. 15
    terriaw says:

    Fabulous! Plus I love the peak at your cute zig-zag skirt in these photos!

  15. 16
    Alissa says:

    Amazingly cute!! It looks like the fabric was made for the bag – not being dishtowels!

  16. 17
    tracy says:

    Adorable! Second only to that SKIRT!

  17. 18
    Kim says:

    Looks awesome! See you soon 🙂

    I also have a thing for Orla, but only have a wallet. I may need to swing by a Target.

  18. 19
    Kim says:

    I love it! See you soon 🙂

    I also have a thing for Orla, but only have a wallet. I may need to swing by a Target.

  19. 20
    Kim says:

    Sorry, accidentally commented twice, so I now I will comment thrice.

  20. 21
    Sheila says:

    It turned out really cute and I see your wearing your skirt which I have to say I just love on you. I wasn’t sure on the hanger but it looks really great on. Congrats on the going Wedding.

  21. 22

    Ha! I bought those towels for exactly the same reason. Now I’m going to look like I copied you. 🙂

  22. 23
    abcgirl says:

    what a great idea! it combines two things that i always lust after (dishtowels and totebags) and never need more of…. and yet can always find a use for just one more.

  23. 24
    kvinta says:

    I had missed the part of the marriage…. Congratulations!! Have a lovely vacation too:)

  24. 25
    Janis says:

    Fabulous bag, wonderful pictures — and most of all CONGRATULATIONS!!! How can you find the time and sanity to blog? Best wishes!

  25. 26
    sara says:

    This is inspiring. I actually picked up a pack of Orla kitchen towels with the exact same purpose in mind!

  26. 27
    kristine hanson says:

    DARLING!!! I was just at Target last night and was looking at all of the linens and dishes in that line….decided not to buy anything because I don’t NEED anything, but I need a set of those towels now, too stinkin cute!!!

  27. 28
    Rachael says:

    It looks so cute with your new skirt! Good job!

  28. 29
    alexis says:

    genius! i love it, i may steal the idea. hope you have a wonderful trip and wedding!

  29. 30
    Cheryl says:

    Great bag!
    PS I’m married to a Morgan too!

  30. 31
  31. 32
    Sara says:

    Who whips up a bag on a whim and has it look that great? You’re out of this world, Ashley!
    I hope you have a wonderful wedding day!

  32. 33
    gardenymph says:

    Have a wonderful wedding. :~)

    I would have never thought to make a bag with fabric from a new line of dishtowels, but you can bet I’ll never look at a dishtowel again without thinking of whether or not it would look cute as a bag. :~)

    Love the skirt.

  33. 34

    The bag is great. Now I feel justified in buying some of the towels. 🙂

    Hope everything goes great for the wedding! Congrats!

  34. 35
    julie says:

    I am loving your skirt and the bag, I just may have to make both but first a trip to target to get fabulous towels.
    congrats on your wedding.

  35. 36
    Stephanie says:

    Congrats on the wedding and the bag. I hope you’ll share pictures of those cute napkins you sewed in use at the reception. I’m thinking of doing something similar for my wedding in October.

    One of the reasons I love knitting and crochet is how portable it is. I love sewing, but when I’ve been away for more than a few days knitting has been a godsend. Of course I wish I could take a sewing machine with me!

  36. 37
    karla says:

    Happy Wedding guys, love the bag!!!!!

  37. 38
    Laura says:

    I ADORE the bag! I started to make one with pears for my little sis last night and WHOOPS! Washed the towels first. I’m going to scour the local stores for more. Wish me luck. If anyone knows that they can find them at one of their stores, would you let me know?

  38. 39
    Susan says:

    I Recently found your blog. Love everything you’ve made so far, can’t believe you’ve only been quilting a year. I couldn’t wait to make one of the Orla Kiely Pear Bags – headed out today to get the dishtowels. Only thing of hers left was a few kitchen mats and a tablecloth. On to the next Target – same thing, the shelves were cleaned out, I wanted to cry.

    My 12 yr old Son said, OMG Mom, just buy a tablecloth so you can make 5 bags and let’s go home. The tablecloth fabric was too silky, not as stiff as dish cloth fabric, didn’t think it would work as well. Either everyone is making those bags of they just love the look of her products. Oh well, maybe they’ll get more in…

  39. Pingback: On My Mind…things to do (part I) « Sew La Tea

  40. 40
    Donna Crum says:

    Is there a tutorial for this that I have missed?

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