Monday, 26 September 2011

The Lunch Bag Tutorial

Taaaaaa DAAAAAAHhhhh!
My very first tutorial! I hope you all like it, can follow it and if you decide to make it, end up with something vaguely resembling mine!

Lets start with the list of cutting requirements:

  • 40 x 2" squares (I used my Japanese Scraps I won in the Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge over at Pings and Needles)
  • Contrasting Fabric (I used a cream cotton calico) 8" x 12.5"
  • 2 pieces of the contrasting fabric 9" x 6.5"
  • 2 pieces of Laminated Cotton 9"x6.5"
  • Laminated Cotton 8" x 24.5
  • 2 pieces of 1" Cotton Webbing 15" long
  • 1 magnetic snap
  • 1 meter or Vilene Lamifix Fusible Gloss (optional)

You really can use whatever material you like for this cute little bag, Ive gone for lamifix over my quilting cotton as it will be wipeable and that's only a good thing when you have a toddler! I would suggest if you do not lamifix yours or use laminated cotton you will need a medium to heavy weight interfacing to give the bag some strength and allow it to hold its shape - you wont want it collapsing around your sandwiches!

First cut your 40 squares and arrange them in 2 panels, 5 wide by 4 down, making sure you have an even distribution of colour and print.


Then join the squares together using a 1/4" seam allowance, this is very important or your seams will not line up. I took a picture of my panel layout to refer to as its easy to get lost when sewing! I also chain pieced mine which saves so much time and thread, there is a good tutorial here.

Then you need to pop your rows over to the iron and make sure you iron your seams in alternate directions as shown here. This will help them to lay flat and prevent bulk.

Then we are going to join all the rows together to form our panel.

Once this is done, press the seams OPEN, you should have a block that measures 8" x 6.5". Repeat the above steps for the other block.

Take your 8" x 12.5" contrasting fabric and join it to you 2 panels, again using a 1/4" seam allowance. I sewed with the panels on top so I could make sure the seams were lying flat as I went.

Now press these seams open and this is what you should have

The next step is optional, you do not have to do this, it will make your bag wipeable and waterproof but you CAN NOT WASH IT once laminated. I choose an easy to care for wipeable finish for my 2 year old's lunch bag over washing.

Take your sheet of Lamifix and lay it GLOSSY side up over your work

Pop your iron onto the two dot setting (wool) and
gently smooth over the lamifix, holding the iron still in each spot for a few seconds to ensure it is properly bonded. You can pop your iron up to the 3 dot setting to get a really good fix but make sure you put a cloth over the lamifix or it will melt!

Can you see the lovely shininess on this baby? Its magic!

I also laminated the cotton calico side pieces so the exterior of the bag was totally protected from grub and grime.

Then take one side piece and attach it to the main panel of the bag right sides together, with the long sides together. Sew using a 1/2" seam allowance, I'm showing you this with my lining pieces because the contrast is better and its clearer to see (naw you don't believe me, OK its really because I forgot to take pictures of the outer!)

Make sure you leave a 1/2" unstitched at the bottom of the side piece so that we can sew the seam along there later.

Now sew the other side piece onto the other side like this. Again make sure you leave a 1/2" unstitched at the bottom of the side piece so that we can sew the seam along there later.

Now comes some fiddly bits! Bring up the other side of the centre piece and sew it to the other side of the side piece, making sure you leave that 1/2" at the bottom of the side unstitched.

Once you have all 4 of the side seams stitched its onto the2 bottom seams. Open your bag out and flatten it so you have your side piece facing you, find the end of your side seam and put your needles in here, sewing along the bottom and stopping at the end of the other side seam (just visible in this photo)

Repeat with the other side.

Then turn your bag around so the front (or back, just not the sides!) is facing you and flatten it again. Sew alonf the bottom again from the bottom of one side seam to the other. Repeat with the back (or front depending on how you see it)

When you are done you should have a nice little boxy number like this, keep it inside out and then repeat the above steps with the lining pieces. Make sure you leave a good 6" opening on one of the sides when sewing the lining, you'll need this to turn the bacg out later on. If you are not using lamifix or laminated cotton you can make this smaller as it will be easier to get through.

Cut your straps, two at aproximatly 15". I stamped mine with my little girls name using a versa inkpad, which you can set with the iron.

At this stage you want to put your magnetic snap onto the lining.

Slip your lining inside the outer,  then pin it into place, sandwiching your straps as you go. You'll want them about 2" in from the sides and make sure they hang down inside the bag so they're in the right place when you turn it out!

Stitch around the top of the bag with a 1/2" seam allowance, I went over the straps a few times to give added strength.

When done, turn the bag out through the opening in the lining and stitch the opening closed.

Then stand back and admire your amazingness! Then quickly fill it with sandwiches and cakes and skip off for a picnic in the park!

You'll have to excuse the creasing here, learn a lesson from me - you cannot sucessfully turn a bag the right way out made from thick calico covered in lamifix and hope to ever iron the creases out you have hence caused!!!!

But I dont care, its still darn cute!

Love this lining, reminds me of old fashioned picnic baskets and red riding hood all in one :) I do hope Juliette is happy trotting off to pre-school with her mummy made yummy's bag!

 Erm.....hello?.... anyone still there or did you all fall asleep when I started bleating on about cutting requirements?


Unknown said...

Very cute!

Cindy said...

Really cute! I had not seen that iron on plastic stuff before - good to know its out there.

pippablue said...

It's super cite! I love it. We have lamnifix at the shop and now I know what to do with it!

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Well done - the tute was great and the bag looks wonderful xx

Alli said...

That's such a neat idea -- I didn't know that you laminate fabric yourself. Great tutorial! :)

Ella said...

Great job! It looks fabulous!

Sharon said...

Great tutorial, I followed that easy and that's good believe me LOL. Cute little bag, love the polka lining.

Sheila said...

Great tutorial! I've never heard of Lamifix but I'm going to have to give it a try. I have a question, though. Why can't the bag be washed after laminating? Is it because it would destroy the bond between the fabric and the plastic, or because water would be trapped and it would never dry out? Or some other reason?

Sheila said...

Great tute - hadn't heard of lamifix, going to have to try some.Thx.

Anonymous said...

Great little bag ...... Perfect for those sandwiches.

WandaFish said...

This looks very cute - and doable!
Congrats on your first tute :)

eternalmaker said...

oh my goodness this is so cute! I'm loving all the creative uses of our scrap bags! great tutorial too - I'm off to have a play...

Sarah said...

Great tutorial and the bag is really cute!

Nicky said...

Looks like I need to go shoppping again! Very cute Emily but I wouldn't expect anything less from you!

Elly D said...

Cute bag :) and a great tutorial :))