Erin from created this practical and pretty Pool Tote which features oilcloth and handy mesh pockets. The cross-body design makes it easy to carry your things from the car to the beach or pool. You can also make this tote with different fabrics if you wish. Let us know in the comments if you make the tote for your summer adventures. We want to see it!

Be sure to visit to learn more about Erin and her beautiful sewing (we especially love all of the clothing she sews!). Here’s a link to her intro too. Erin’s blog is fairly new and we can’t wait to watch what she does next!


My husband and I love swimming laps in the hot summer months at the outdoor pool nearby and this pool bag is big enough to carry all our stuff with room to spare!


My favorite feature of this tote is the mesh pockets. I can put all our soaked stuff in the mesh pockets so they can drip dry without having to worry about our stuff inside the bag getting wet.


I’ve also found that this tote makes an excellent partner for fabric shopping. It holds a TON of fabric! (Much to my husband’s horror!)

Working with oilcloth can be a bit tricky, but here’s a post with great oilcloth tips from the archives of Sew Mama Sew. In addition to putting washi tape on the bottom of my presser foot to keep it from sticking, I also used binder clips to hold my oilcloth fabric together instead of pins.


  • 1 yard Oilcloth
  • 1/2 yard Utility Mesh
  • 1/8 yard Accent Fabric
  • Elastic
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Binder Clips
  • Sewing Essentials

Seam allowance is ¼ inch and is included in all measurements

Step One: Cut
Cut out oilcloth, utility mesh, accent fabric, and elastic to the sizes below. To make a smaller bag, adjust the measurements accordingly.


Step Two: Assemble Mesh Pockets
Fold over edges of the accent fabric in ¼ inch and press.

Fold accent fabric in half and press.


Pin accent fabric to the top of a mesh panel. Top stitch close to the mesh panel as possible as there will need to be enough room in the casing for the elastic.


Insert elastic through casing. Stitch at the ends to secure elastic and repeat for second mesh pocket.


Step Three: Attach Mesh Pocket to Front/Back Panel
Align and binder-clip a mesh pocket to the front panel, aligning at edges. Extra mesh fabric should be pulled towards the middle to keep it from getting caught in the seam.


Baste stitch the mesh pocket to the front panel and repeat for back panel.

Optional: Stitch from the bottom of a panel to just above the mesh to turn one large pocket into two pockets. I did this on one side and left the other side with one large pocket.

Step Four: Assemble Front, Back + Side Panels
Align and binder-clip the side panels to your front panel, right sides together.


Stitch the side panels to the front panel.

Attach and binder-clip the back panel to the side panels, right sides together.

Stitch the back panel to the side panels.

Step Five: Attach Bottom Panel
Align and binder-clip the bottom panel to the front panel, right sides together. Stitch.

Move in a clockwise motion, aligning and binder-clipping the bottom panel sides to the side panels and back panel until bottom panel is securely attached.

Turn bag right side out.


Step Six: Assemble Straps
Fold the edges of the strap in. Fold strap in half and binder-clip.

Top stitch close to the edge on both sides, then repeat for second strap.


Step Seven: Attach Straps
Fold over top edge of bag ¼ inch and baste stitch.


Measure 3 inches from each edge and binder-clip straps, making sure the strap is not twisted.


Baste stitch straps.

Fold over top edge of bag ½ inch and top stitch.


Sew a box to secure straps. Repeat for second strap.


Now you’ve got a great bag to take to the pool or beach (or to the fabric store!).


Thank you so much to my sister Laura of Laura Murray Photography for taking these shots of my pool tote in action!