Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lunch bag/placemat tutorial

To make the lunch bag which doubles as a placemat you'll need:

-2 pieces 18" x 12" for the outside of the lunch bag
-2 pieces 17.75" x 11.5" for the placemat/lining of the lunch bag
-2 pieces 1.5" x 12" for the handle (the photo shows one piece 1.5" x 24")
-8 pieces of velcro 1.5" (4 'hook' sides and 4 'loop' sides)
-coordinating thread (the stitches will show on the outside)

All these measurements are pretty flexible. With larger pieces of fabric you get a slightly larger lunch bag and with smaller pieces you get a smaller one.

First, make the creases in the lunch bag. These creases will help the bag fold into the classic brown paper lunch bag shape.

  1. On one piece of the lunch bag fabric (here, it's the blue plaid), mark lines 2.5" from the sides and bottom of the lunch bag.
  2. Fold the fabric, wrong sides together, along the lines made above. Press down.
  3. Stitch as close as possible (~1/16") along the folded edges.
  4. Repeat with the other piece of lunch bag fabric. Press both pieces open.

Stitch on the pieces of velcro as shown in the diagram below.

Make the handle.
  1. Pin the handle piece(s) right sides together and stitch along the long edges with 1/4" seam allowance. Zigzag the edges.
  2. Turn the handle inside out and topstitch 1/8" from the edges.

Attach the lunch bag fabric to the placemat fabric.

  1. Pin the handle to one piece of the lunch bag fabric, about 5" from the top of the lunch bag.
  2. Pin the lunch bag fabric to the place mat fabric, right sides together with the handle sandwiched in between.
  3. Stitch the two fabrics together along the edges with 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 2" opening along the top edge (the edge without the crease across it).
  4. Clip the corners and turn the piece inside out through the 2" opening.
  5. Turn in the raw edges of the opening and topstitch two rows across the top of the bag, 1/4" and 1/8" from the edge.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 with the other piece of lunch bag fabric and placemat fabric.

Attach the two pieces together to make the bag/placemat.
  1. Pin the two pieces together, with the lunch bag fabric facing each other (placemat fabric out). If it doesn't match exactly (as is the case here), just make sure that the opening part of the lunch bag lines up as much as possible.
  2. Stitch the two pieces together along the sides and the bottom using 1/4" seam allowance.
  3. Turn inside out and fold along the creases to make a classic paper lunch bag shape.

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