The Swim & Gym Bag PDF Pattern

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Quick overview:

This bag is a quick, simple sew, perfect for summer holidays when you don't have a lot of time, and don't want to be cutting and fusing and sewing all week!



12" W x 18" H x 7" D (30cm x 45cm x 18cm)






  • Now FREE (previously £8)
  • Self-bound seams for added water resistance
  • Large mesh outer pockets
  • Drawstring/strap configuration
  • Interior zipped pouch
  • No stabiliser needed
  • Bag of the Month Club pattern for August 2016


Bag Features

The Swim & Gym Bag is perfectly sized for a trip to the beach, a workout in the gym or a dip in the pool. You'll be able to fit everything you need inside, but it also folds up flat for easy storage when not in use.

The sewing pattern includes instructions for two large outer mesh pockets and one small interior zipped pouch which is perfect for small and easily lost objects such as money and keys. I have a tutorial and video about how to add fold over elastic to mesh pockets here: How to Add Fold Over Elastic to the Top of Mesh Pockets.

The Swim & Gym uses a drawstring both to close the bag and to act as straps. This bag doesn't use any stabilisers or quilting cotton, and the only hardware you need is eyelets and an optional zip.

The Swim & Gym Bag sewing pattern has been specially tested to maximise water resistance by using self-bound seams. You can read more about Mrs H's experiments in waterproofing here: Waterproofing Experiments.


Pattern Features

The Swim & Gym Bag is classified as an advanced beginner / intermediate bag sewing pattern. It is written in UK English and has been thoroughly tested by a team of expert pattern testers.

The Swim & Gym Bag sewing pattern features comprehensive instructions, pattern pieces, and colour photographs. It is currently only available as a downloadable PDF pattern, which includes a text only section to save on ink and paper costs. Find out more about how to download and print PDF sewing patterns here.


Pattern FAQs

What difficulty is this sewing pattern?

The Swim & Gym Bag is an advanced beginner / intermediate bag sewing pattern. The construction is beginner level, but working with tricky fabrics makes this a slightly more challenging pattern. However, if you get stuck, click here to visit our Facebook group for support: Facebook Support Group for Sewing Patterns by Mrs H.

You may also find these tutorials useful:

How to fit eyelets on the Swim & Gym Bag.

How to add fold over elastic to mesh pockets - a YouTube tutorial.

The Swim and Gym Pattern Hack Sew Along.


How big is the finished bag?

The Swim & Gym Bag has finished dimensions of 12" (30cm) wide, 18" (45cm) tall, and 7" (18cm) deep.


What fabrics did you use?

I used faux leather, PUL and Mesh. I also used on a different bag 1000d Cordura and mesh. I have also made a bag from faux leather, quilting cotton and linen. My mesh was from ByAnnie, available in many haberdasheries. My rope came from a hardware store. Go for the thickest that will comfortably fit through your eyelets. The rope endings are called copper couplings here in the UK, and they are also available from hardware stores.


What materials do I need?

  • 1/2 yd Faux leather or Cordura (at least 52" wide)
  • 2 x packs of Annie's Mesh or similar, or 1 yard at 52" wide
  • 1.5yd of 1/4" elastic or fold over elastic
  • 8 (or 12) x 5/8" or 3/4" eyelets
  • 2.5 yds of rope that will fit through eyelets comfortably
  • (Optional) 1 x 7" zip
  • 1/2 yd Ripstop if using faux leather
  • 2 x Straight copper couplings to match the rope diameter
  • Duct tape
  • Teflon or Walking foot
  • Wonder clips
  • Size 14 needles
  • Double sided sewing tape
  • Polyester thread
  • Masking tape


What's the tag for social media?



Where can I find more inspiration?

For more photos and information please visit my blog entries: Introducing the Swim & Gym, Swimming Jim Tester Pics!.


Is there a sew along for The Swim & Gym Bag?

Yes, there is! It's a pattern hack sew along and you'll find it on my blog. Start here: The Swim and Gym Pattern Hack Sew Along.


I've found a mistake!

Oh no! We're sorry to hear that. Please let us know by sending an email to so we can add it to our list to correct when the pattern is next updated.


I have a question not answered here

Send us an email to or pop over to the Sewing Patterns by Mrs H Facebook Support Group and we'll do our best to help!

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