How to make a beach mat

Follow Country Homes & Interiors’ step-by-step guide to making your own beach mat

Place one bolster strip at the top left-hand corner, 3cm down from the top raw edge.  Michael A HillPlanning a trip to the seaside this summer? Why not sew this stylish beach mat so that it’s ready for when you head to the coast.

You will need

  • Main floral fabric (we used Lilac print cotton, col Cobalt, Laura Ashley)
  • Striped border/backing fabric (we used Carey Stripe, col Chalk Blue, Laura Ashley)
  • Matching thread
  • Taking thread

Step 1) For the front, cut out one floral panel, 2.5m by 50cm;
and two striped strips 2.5m by 20cm. For the back, cut one striped
panel 2.5m by 80cm. For the bolster channels cut two striped strips 53cm by 15cm.

Step 2) For the bolster ties, cut two 4cm by 30cm strips of floral
fabric. For the wrap-around tie, cut one 4cm by 80cm length of floral
fabric, joining pieces as necessary. To make the ties, place fabric
wrong side face up and fold in each long edge so that they meet in the
middle. Press, fold in half lengthways and press again. Tuck in the raw
edges at each end, then top stitch all round.

Step 3) Join the three front sections together along the long edges taking 2.5cm seams. Press open seam allowances.

Step 4)
Take one bolster channel piece and overlock then turn under 2.5cm along
each short edge. Press and tack in place. Turn under 2cm then 3cm along
one long edge. Machine stitch close to the fold to form a channel for the bolster tie. Repeat with the second bolster channel piece.

Step 5) To join all the pieces, place the three-piece
front section right side up on a flat surface. Right sides facing and
matching raw side edges, place one bolster strip at the top left-hand
corner, 3cm down from the top raw edge (see illustration).
Position the second bolster strip in the same way on the top right-hand
side. Tack in position along seam lines. Wrong side up and matching raw
edges all round, place the back striped piece on top. Pin and tack along
the side edges, stitch taking a 2.5cm seam, trim seam allowances, turn
through and press.

Step 6) To make the bolster section at
the top of the beach roll, turn under 2.5cm along the top raw edge then
fold down again by 24cm, aligning the two halves of each bolster piece,
and tack along the folded edge. Machine stitch along tacking through all layers as close to the folded edge as possible. Remove tacking.

Step 7)
Take one of the shorter ties and push and fasten a small safety pin
through one short end. Push into one bolster channel and, using the
safety pin to help, manoeuvre the tie through the channel and out the
other end. Holding both ends of the tie, gently gather up the fabric.
Secure the tie with a bow. Repeat to fit the second short tie into the
other side of the beach roll. Remove safety pins and unpick tacking
along overlocked edges.

Step 8) To hem the bottom edge of
the beach roll, turn under the raw edges by 2.5cm and press. Tack the
two pressed edges together, sandwiching the wrap-around tie, folded in
half, centrally in between as you go. Top stitch close to the folded
edge. Remove all tacking and press to finish.

Step 9) When
using, undo one of the bolster ties and stuff bolster section with a
towel to form a cushion. Re-tie to hold in place. Lay beach roll on top
of another towel for extra comfort.

Illustration Michael A Hill

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