Happy New Year! It's been such a long time since I wrote anything here that it feels like I may have forgotten how! I rather wore myself out at the end of last year sewing (what felt like) 1000's of dress up masks for Christmas markets. So; I've been taking a well earned break to relax and enjoy the summer, enjoy a visit from my Mum and get myself physically and emotionally prepared for my big girl starting school this week! I can hardly believe she's starting school and I definitely can't believe the amount of things there are to do to get ready for it! There's uniform shopping, shoe shopping, choosing a bag, choosing a lunch box, labelling clothes, filling in forms, gathering paperwork, attending orientations, information evenings, play dates, etc etc etc... It's overwhelming and we haven't even started school yet!
Since my world is so fully consumed with this 'starting school' business at the moment, it will probably come as no surprise that my first blog post and first tutorial of this year is a school related one. I've been sewing up a big pile of these reusable fabric lunch bags to pop into Ella's lunchbox. I thought they'd work really well for carrot and cucumber sticks. cheese and crackers. biscuits, grapes, apple slices etc. I even made a couple of larger ones which will fit a sandwich so that I don't need to wrap it in cling film!
Ella was really thrilled with her new snack bags - particularly the one with the Narwhale fabric - I think it would be fair to say that the thing she's looking forward to most about school is her lunch box (just like her mama that one - always thinking about what's to eat!)
These lunch bags are super quick and easy to sew and are perfect for using up small pieces of your favourite fabrics. I lined them with some PUL which I had left over from my (failed) attempt to sew Modern Cloth Nappies - I'm glad it finally came in handy for something!
You will need: (for a medium sides snack bag)
18 x 37 cm (7 x 14.5") Cotton fabric
18 x 37 cm (7 x 14.5") Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) or similar waterproof fabric
12 cm (5") velcro
A Serger / Overlocker
How to make:
Decide on the size that you want your finished lunch bag to be. Mine is going to be 16 x 16 cm. Calculate the sizes of the rectangles that you need for you bag:
The width of your fabric will need to be Width + 2cm,
The length will be (Length x 2) + 5cm.
i.e for a 16 x 16 lunch bag: Width = 16 + 2 = 18cm, Length = (16 x 2) + 5 = 37cm
Cut one piece each of your cotton and your PUL and lay them on top of one another with the wrong side of the cotton and the right (non shiny) side of the PUL together.
Serge along each of the short ends, sewing with a 1 cm seam allowance.
Cut a piece of velcro which is 2 cm shorter than the finished width of the bag. Centre the loop (soft) side of the velcro 1 cm from the top (front) of the fabric, on the cotton side. Sew right around the velcro twice for strength.
Centre the hook (rough) side of the velcro 1 cm from the bottom of your fabric, on the PUL side. This will be folded up over the top to form the closure / flap. Sew right around the edge of the velcro twice, remembering that this stitching will be visible from the front so use a coordinating thread and try to sew as neatly as you can!
Fold the fabric so that the PUL is on the inside, and the front of the bag sits just under the velcro on the lining, like this:
Serge along both side seams, beginning at the folded edge and continuing to the edge of the fold over flap. Leave long tails on your cotton so that you can thread it into the seams to secure the ends like so:
Hopefully your bags will be a little straighter than mine. I guess that's what happens when you mix wine and sewing....!
Trim the loose threads and you're all done!
You can make these in any size at all, make them tiny for a cute little snack of sultanas or make them huge as a wet bag for swimming things. I always put one in my son's playschool bag to seal away soggy undies if he has an accident, or wet clothes after waterplay. Use them instead of plastic bags to contain wet or dirty nappies which can then be disposed of when you get home.
I hope you found this tutorial useful. What would you use your bags for?