At this point in August back to school advertising and prep is underway. I myself am not going back to school nor do I have any children that will be, however I do bring a lunch to work everyday and a lunch bag to keep things cool comes in really handy.
I didn’t make a pattern for this project, but that would be easy to draft out on to tracing paper before hand. The pattern on the material and the sizes of the remnants pretty much dictated the size of the front and back pieces and for the bottom piece I just thought about the size of the containers that I would be putting inside. That provided me with the dimensions for this project.
Fabric remnants were used for the outside fabric of the lunch bag and two different ones were used since I didn’t have enough of the monster fabric for the whole bag. At the fabric store I purchased a hot and cold insulating fabric. It came pre-packaged not by the meter and I had more than enough for this project and any future projects as well. The bonus of this material is that it doesn’t need any additional lining as one of its claims is being washable and easy to clean.
Here’s the supplies that I used:
- Sewing Machine – you’ll probably want a heavy duty needle especially when you sew on the bias binding
- Magnetic closure (optional)
- Bias binding
- Scissors and pinking shears
- Needle and thread
- Insulated lining
To get started I cut out the front, back and bottom panels, then based on those measurements I cut out two side panels. I cut the flap piece out last as I wanted to get an idea of how the bag would look before committing to a design.
Next I used all the fabric pieces as templates to cut out matching insulated pieces for everything.
Just to make everything easier to work with I sewed each fabric piece to it’s insulated counterpart. I used a 1/4 inch seam all around the outside edge to secure the fabrics wrong sides together. Since I knew I wanted a double closure before I sewed a magnet on to the right side of the insulated fabric for both the front and back pieces. I attached these by hand sewing them on.
Then I pinned and sewed on the bias binding to the flap piece.
I sewed the sides of a small piece of bias binding closed and sewed on the loop side of a piece of velcro. Unfortunately all I could get at the fabric store was the adhesive kind, I like to sew velcro on for added security but it makes a gummy mess of any needle you use. I attached this tab to the flap of the bag.
In playing around with the magnets I used I realized that they were inconvenient to open and close since each magnet could only be attached to the fabric on one side. To solve this I cut two squares of the black fabric that were big enough to enclose the magnet without the needle of the sewing machine running into them. I first made sure that the magnets were strong enough to make a connection through the material.
The last step before I started to construct the bag was I attached the flap to the back of the bag. I didn’t sew all the way to either end so I could fold those ends back while I was sewing the bias binding on to the bag.
Once that was done I lined up the front and back pieces and marked where hook side of the velcro should be sewn on, then sewed it on.
Taking the bottom piece of the bag I sewed on the front and back pieces. Then the sides. I used a seam allowance that was just bigger than the allowance I used when sewing the fabric and the insulation together.
Next I sewed the front and the side seams closed, then the back and the side seams.
Starting at the side seam on the front I sewed on bias binding down the side seam, across the bottom side seam and then up the back side seam. I then did the same for the other side. I folded back the un-sewn sides of the top flap for this step, once it was done I unfolded and sewed down the sides of the flap.
For the front and back bottom seams I cut and sewed on pieces of bias binding just big enough to fit. I made sure to leave a little room to fold under the raw edge of the bias binding so it could be hidden.
I used one piece of bias binding to finish the raw edge at the top of the bag. Once that’s done it’s time to pack a lunch and enjoy.
Have any ideas for something else I could make using the insulated material I have leftover?