gift series : lunch bags : stitching

the gift series:  every friday for as long as i can keep it going, i will be creating a post that i think would make a wonderful gift for someone you know.  this is to go along with a new year’s resolution that i made to make almost all of next year’s christmas gifts by working on random gifts throughout the year.  this way i will be spreading the spending out rather than going broke at christmas time.  i plan on having a variety of projects from sewing, knitting, stitching, and random crafts.  some posts will be diy, tutorials or just inspirational photos.  i hope that you enjoy the series and find it helpful.

this week’s gift idea is insulated lunch bags.  mine were made using old sweatshirts from the boys.  they had grown out of them but they were camo and cabelas and i just thought perfect.  their old store bought lunch bags were falling apart and they pack a lot (cause let’s face it … school lunch sucks!)

lunchbags 001

here’s what you need :

enough heavy weight material (denim or sweatshirt material would be great) for

a 8in in diameter circle [for base]

a 8in x 26in rectangle [for body]

a  4in x 24in rectangle [for handle]

a 1.25in x 25in rectangle [for binding]

enough wool for the same (i used part of an old wool blanket. the wool is the insulator. you could use batting but wool will keep things cool/warm longer!)

enough t-shirt or light weight fabric for the same [the inner lining of the bag]

a 9 in zipper

matching or coordinating thread.

now it should first be said that i hand stitched mine together. you could very easily do this on the sewing machine as well.  i also had to piece together my 26 in rectangle.

1. cut all fabric.

2. layer the heavy weight fabric and the wool together of the large rectangle and the circle.

3.  pin the large rectangle around the circle until the other end of the rectangle meets the beginning. (i like to do this before seaming the large rectangle together because my measurements and cutting never seem to match up exactly.)

4.  line up the edges of the large rectangle. trim off any excess. stitch up that side. then fold the seam over and top stitch down.  stitch around the circle.  use a 1/2in seam allowance throughout.

lunchbags 011

5.  now stitch the inner pieces together in the same manner.  for me that was the t-shirt. for you that could be any lightweight fabric that you think is pretty.

6.  turn the outer insulated piece right side out.  insert the inner piece so that the wrong sides are together.  fold binding over the top edge of the pieces and pin in place.  stitch in place.

you can see here that i should have cleaned the bag out before taking this lovely picture. at least you know they really are getting used. also for some reason my lining was super loose on this first bag.  i did a bigger seam allowance on the lining of the second bag and that worked out much better.

lunchbags 008

7.  pin zipper into the top of the bag. stitch into place. i stitched all the way through the layers of binding for this.  see this tutorial for help inserting a zipper.

lunchbags 003

8. fold material for handles in half wrong sides facing and stitch down both sides.

lunchbags 005

9.  place on end of the handle 3inches down one side of the bag and pin in place. place the other end in the same position on the opposite side and end of the bag being careful not to twist. pin in place.  stitch a rectangle around the ends to secure them to the bag.

lunchbags 007

done!  this bag is awesome. it’s washable, recycled, durable and keeps things cool/ warm from 5am to my kids’ lunch time at 11am!

also should be said that he wanted his name written on there in marker early one morning. if i had thought about it more, i would have printed their names on the bags using fabric paint for a much more permanent solution. you could also embroider names on the bag, or add fabric letters. embellish as you see fit.

3 thoughts on “gift series : lunch bags : stitching

  1. Love your resolution! I made a similar one, so your gift series answers my prayers! Nora, you’re an angel!

  2. This is a really cute idea, especially for the kid who has outgrown action hero lunch kits, but still needs a lunch bag. I don’t like to sew, but this doesn’t look too intricate. Since both of my children still like to bring lunches to school, I’ll keep this in mind.

  3. Pingback: [almost] wordless wednesday | sneezerville

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