Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tutorial: Zippered top lunch bags

* prewash fabric before cutting
- 2 pieces of outer fabric (12 inches across and 8 inches high)
- 2 pieces denim or contrasting bottom (12 inches across and 6 inches high)
- 2 pieces of lining fabric (13 x 12 inches)
- 4 pieces of interfacing (same dimensions as lining) - I used a layer each of sew-in ultra firm and Insulbright, You can sub with fusible.
- 14 inch zipper (closed or open, it has to be wider than the width of the bag by a couple of inches)
- 24 inches of 1 inch webbing (or make your own straps with 4 x 24 piece of fabric)

- sew the outer fabric pieces together and then top stitch (with the interfacing underneath)

- pin zipper between the top sections of the outer fabric and the lining (with the interfacing/Insulbright), leaving about 1.5 inch non-sewn space on each side. This gap provides room for the shoulder straps to be sewn in later. Repeat for the other side.

- pin lining sides and outer fabric sides together with right sides facing each other (you may need to trim to make it neat and even). Make sure zipper is about 3/4 open. Also, the zipper end needs to be tucked inside. Start from the lining bottom (about 3 inches from the side edge) and go all the way around until you've sewn the matching 3 inches from the opposite side. This creates the opening to turn the bag right side out.

- cut a inch square (not including the seam allowances) at each corner, which creates a flat bottom. You can use the first one as a template for the other corners.

- open up the opening, pin in place and sew seam

- turn the bag right side out. You can press (iron or finger) the fabric around the zipper. Pin the shoulder strap in the side gaps, between the outer and lining layers. Make sure the zipper end is behind the strap (towards the center of the bag)

- top stitch all around. I did a mini zig zag (and back stitched several times) on the straps to ensure all layers were sewn together.

- pin the lining opening and sew. If you like to prevent the lining from vomiting out after machine washing, you zig zag one lining bottom side to the seam of the outer layers. Then sew them all together to close. Trim the zipper end if necessary (and add a fabric tab to enclose the end).

All done :)

I hope this is clear. Since switching to a Mac, I'm having a real hard time with loading and moving pictures on my blog posts. If anyone has any ideas please help!

12 comments: said...

Oh this is SO fantastic! I love this project! And I'm so glad I found your blog! I'll be linking to this project in the Daily DIY and adding you so I don't miss a thing!

tricia said...

Thanks for the tutorial, I love it!

Faith Wallis said...

This is a nice tutorial. How long does the bag keep the lunch cold if you use a "blue ice" thingie?

Faith Wallis

blissful said...

Faith -- I freeze their juice box and it stays cool til lunch time.

Hope that helps!

Karen said...

Love this idea! Thanks!

...t. said...

could you tell me the finished dimension of this bag?
Please and thank you.

Laurie said...

I saw a different tut for one that used a silver car windshield (sun shade) for insulation. But, that one did not have a zipper like this one does (it has a drawstring top closure).
So, I'm going to make one like this (I want a zipper on the top), but with the car shade as a lining to keep the food cold. I use the blue ice things for my lunch for work. I'll post back once I've made it & tried it out. Thanks for the inspiration & great tut :)

Anonymous said...

Loved that your bag has a zipper. Linked it to my blog, SEW that!,

Susan Cepin said...

Hi there! I used your tutorial to make lunch bags for my kids -- I really love the zipper idea (keeps everything from falling out and works better than velcro!), and they turned out beautifully. The kidlets love them. Thanks for this post!!
(BTW, pictures of my finished product + a link back to your tutorial are here:

Kelly said...

Hi! Love this bag and am excited to make it for my kids but I'm a little unclear on part of the tutorial. Specifically pinning and sewing the zipper and then the outer and lining parts of bag. Can you clarify, please? Thank you!!

Sal-my-gal said...

Are all the raw edges suppose to be visible on the inside, or did I do something wrong?

Lillie said...

Great idea.