I have a pet peeve about portable lunch boxes...I can't stand the insulated ones because they are not machine washable. The plastic ones (if you can find them) or metal ones are too boxy and uncomfortable in a filled back pack (we walk to school). So we decided on mini fabric totes. Here are the original ones my girls use (btw, my first attempts at a lined bag)...limpy after many washings.
The girls created a list of most desired features for their new ones:
- top closure
- pocket for utensils, snacks, napkin (like they actually use them!)
- shoulder strap
- sturdy enough to stand alone
Mom added a few more:
- machine washable and dryable
- dark colored bottom
- roomy enough (and adjustable) for plastic containers
- easy construction
After several pattern drafts and numerous changes in fabric selection, here they are:
Basically it's an oversized fabric lunch bag with an elastic loop closure -- basic construction and made adjustable by adding another fabric covered button (isn't Mr. Pig too cute?).
There's enough room for their juice container (usually half frozen to double as an ice pack) and a plastic container. Note the small pocket for treats and etc. Since it's adjustable, it's tall enough for their thermos for hot meals.The girls (and their friends) are impressed, but I'm crossing my fingers about their durability after many washings!