11 October 2010

How to Make a Fabric "Paper Lunch Bag"

I stared at a paper lunch bag and mentally used it for a template.  This will yield a slightly larger bag - gotta have room for dessert!  I used Ikea upholstery fabric for the two bags on the right.  They stand up on their own as opposed to the cotton bag on the left whom I've stuffed with apples for this photo.

Cut the following twice (once of inner lining fabric and once of outer fabric):

Back (including the fold-over flap) 7 x 12 inches
Front  7 x 8 inches
2 Sides  5 x 8 inches
Bottom  7 x 5 inches

Here are your cut pieces.  Lay the outer fabric facing down and the inner fabric facing up (both wrong sides are together).  I used the same fabric for both the lining and the outside.

Take the back piece and put bias tape around the top three edges (this will be the fold down flap).  Stitch into place.

Sew each piece to the bottom.  Your lunch bag will look like a cross laying flat.

Good sides together, sew the sides to the front at each edge.  It will look like this from the inside:

Take the top edge and sew bias tape over the raw edge.  You will be sewing across side one, the front, and side two.

Now attach the back by sewing the back to the sides.
(Wrong side view)

Lookin' like a lunch bag, huh?
Add some velcro to close.

I found the sides gaped a bit, so I added a pleat in each one.  Here's a good photo from another lunch bag:
You can do this before or after the bias tape step, or not at all.
Mmmmm... lunch time.

(I forgot to say to serge or zigzag all the inner raw edges as you go so that you don't have threads in your lunch.)


Popbabe7 said...

I have this black and white fabric from IKEA and was thinking about making a dress or a skirt with it! Maybe I'll look like a giant lunch bag (lol)?

Giulia Viggiani said...

I was waiting for your post, thanks!

Anne said...

Awesome! I love the fun prints you used! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


Stacey said...

I keep getting harassed by my mother to make her a lunch sack for her to take to work - this one's perfect! Thank you!

Adrienne said...

You could add an insulating layer to this quite easily, just sandwhich it in between your pretty fabrics. I'm thinking on adding a handle to the top behind the flap to make it easier for the little ones to tote around.

Farah said...

Very practical project and lovely as well, I am going make one for my daughter... I dont have a follower list? Love to be in touch with you with you new projects..
Hope you would like to visit me at
hope you enjoyed your visit

Haylee said...

I'm totally going to make this. It would definitely come in handy for me! Thanks so much for posting the tutorial. Yours looks great by the way!

Anonymous said...

Just browsing your blog and found this old post. I couldn't resist commenting on it because I have a skirt I made out of that b&w IKEA fabric! Now I need to make myself a matching lunch bag. LOL. I love your blog, by the way. Lots of great ideas and very real. :-)