This homemade satchel has quite a few tricks up its sleeves -- er, pockets. For one thing, it's not simply a tote bag; it's also a beach towel. Plus, it has pockets inside for holding goodies and supplies.
Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 8 2003
Sew pockets into both ends of the towel: Turn the ends up 7 inches, and stitch sides. Stitch seams perpendicular to fold to make pockets; we made four on each end.
Make pocket ties to hold pockets closed: Cut two 7-inch lengths of cotton tape for each pocket. Hand-stitch ties to either side of the inside of each pocket, and tie.
To add a handle, turn towel over so the side without pockets is up. Mark two parallel lines lengthwise on the towel, each 12 inches in from the sides, and beginning and ending 12 inches from the folded ends. Overlap the two ends of a 94-inch length of 1-inch-wide webbing to create a continuous loop, and sew. Pin opposite sides of the loop to the towel along the marked lines, leaving equal amounts of webbing free at either end to create the handles. Topstitch in place with two parallel seams.
To fold the towel into a tote, lay it out with the pockets facing up. Fold the two long sides inward so they meet in the middle. Then fold up the short sides so they meet in the middle. Fold crosswise again, and the tote is ready to accompany kids to the pool or beach.