How to make a beach mat

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  • 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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