I love the weekends! But this weekend, I actually looked forward to Monday – especially lunchtime! Not that I was hungry or anything. I just wanted to try out that new lunch bag I made this weekend.
I had a lunch bag already, but hubby needed one. So I made one for…myself. 😆
OK, it started out to be for him, but he’s so picky. He didn’t want ANYTHING fun like embroidery or flowers or stuff like that on it. So I did what any loving wife would do. I gave him my old, plain bag and made a new one for myself.
The original bag (the one he now proudly uses) is made from a single layer of thin, thermal-type fabric (I don’t know what it’s called) that looks almost like paper on the outside, with a silver lining – see, I just KNEW there was one in this story somewhere!! 😆 It’s lightweight, and the design is simple – only four pieces: a front, a back, a side/bottom strip, and an outer pocket.
I felt the need to complicate it a bit, just to spice up my life. I didn’t have any of that thin thermal fabric, so I used what I had: insul-bright ®, a partial pair of jeans, a strip from an old jeans skirt (used for the side/bottom of the bag), iron-on vinyl, a strap from a defunct camera bag, and cotton broadcloth for lining. It’s a tad bit bulkier than the original bag, but it works!
For the side pocket, I used the other back pocket from the old jeans, cutting the pants around the pocket to make the piece measure 7″ X 8.” I ran a stitch down through the middle of the jeans pocket to make smaller slots, and embroidered fork and spoon to make it fun.
Is it lunchtime yet?
Abbreviations I used:
- RST – right sides together
- WST – wrong sides together
- “ – inches
- ® – registered trademark
Steps I took to make this bag:
- Cut all front & back pieces [outer fabric, lining fabric, Pellon Vinyl-Fuse® (an iron-on vinyl coating), and insul-bright® (used in oven mitts and hot pads)] to measure 8″ by 12″.
- Cut side/bottom pieces (outer fabric strip, lining fabric, vinyl, and insul-bright®) to measure 7″ by 31.5″.
- Cut handles to whatever length you prefer – I cut them 18″ and turned each end under 1/2″.
- Attach insul-bright® to wrong side of lining, using whatever quilting style you like. I just used a plain X shape. Trim the extra insul-bright® out of the seam to cut down on bulk when you’re adding the bias tape.
- Remove paper backing and put vinyl sticky-side down on back of lining pieces. Lay paper back over the vinyl to use like a pressing cloth. Press vinyl to lining pieces using a dry, medium-heat iron. Turn piece over and press from other side also – be sure to read the instructions for using this product!
- Cut outer pocket 7″ by 8″. Turn top under 1/8″ and iron down, then again at 1/2″ to form a casing for elastic. Cut elastic 4.5″ and pull through casing. Tack down on each side of casing.
- Measure 11.5″ down from top of side/bottom strip and mark – this will be the bottom of the bag. Lay pocket RST on strip, with bottom facing toward top of strip and 1/8″ above the mark. Sew a 1/8″ seam across bottom of pocket. Flip pocket back up, with top toward top of strip, and sew another seam 1/4″ on outside of pocket bottom, to encase the seam just made.
- Attach sides of pocket to the strip with 1/8″ seam. The elastic will pull the sides in, so it will be a little tricky to keep it straight while sewing the side seams.
- Put front piece and side/bottom strip WST – start with the side with the pocket on it, and about 1/2″ below front piece (to leave room for the zipper later). Clip pieces together down to the bottom of the front piece, curve side/bottom around bottom of front piece and clip, continuing on up the other side. Sew together with 3/8″ seam. Attach back side same way. Clip curves at bottom of piece, but don’t clip seam!
- Encase seam in wide, double-fold bias tape. Open tape up, clip to seam with raw edges even and sew, following fold line. Fold over to other side of seam and clip in place. I hand sewed this part using a slip-stitch.
- For the zipper, I used a 12″ and let the extra 4″ hang over the side away from the outer pocket. Lay zipper on top of front side, WST, and using a zipper foot, stitch about 1/4″ from outer edge of zipper. Open zipper and attach other side to back side in the same way. Cover edges of zipper with single-fold bias tape. Open tape, line up raw edges, and sew along fold line, all the way down the zipper.
- Cover the end of zipper. Cut a piece of fabric about 1/2″ wider than width of zipper and roughly 3″ long (you can cover more of the end than this if you want). Turn wrong side out, fold raw edges of top 1/4″ down and press. Run a 1/4″ seam up each side. Turn right side out and slip over end of zipper. I hand-stitched this down because I used a metal-tooth zipper.
Well, here’s the final product!