Thank you for encouraging me to write up a tute on
this lunch (bento box) bag! I really like this bag
pattern because this bag, measuring approximately
9"(width) x 7 1/2"(hight w/o handles) x 5 1/2" (depth),
can be used not only for bento boxes of any kind but
also for carrying little crafty projects like yarn +
needles. It has a cover inside that can give nice privacy
for whatever in there and the cover can also prevent
it from getting dusty in a windy day. It is much
sturdier and larger than the fabric basket, so if you
found that your fabric basket was too small or too
floppy as a gift bag, this might be a good alternative..?!
As usual, I have tons of images to share each
step with you, so bare with me! There you go!!
We'll need these pieces of fabric,
I think the best type of fabric to be used
for the outer bag, rim and outer handles are
duck fabric, but if you'd rather use pretty
quilting-weight cotton fabric like I do,
remember to also get 1/2 yard of sturdy fusible
interfacing like Pellon 809 Decor Bond.
I used vinyl-coated fabric for the lining
just so that when some food spills in the bag
from the bento box, I can still smile ;)
(Hart's Fabrics has lots of cute vinyl-coated
fabrics FYI ;) ) Oh and you'll need 1 1/2 yard
of craft cord too.
As usual, all the measurement includes
1/4" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.
First, let's sew the two pieces for the outer bags
together by sewing the bottom edges. I used two
different fabrics for the outer bag just to make it
interesting. Well, in other words, I simply didn't
have enough of the Anna Griffin kitchen fabric
left over to get two pieces. Improvising works!
Then press seam open.
Since I am using cotton fabric for the
outer bag, I need to make it sturdier,
so I am using this interfacing measuring
17 1/2" x 12 1/2" here.
I am fusing it onto the wrong side
of the outer bag piece.
Then I fold it in half with right sides
together and sew these two short edges.
Boxing corners. We want to draw a line
where it's 5" from one side to the other.
Then cut off the corner. Just like you did
for the fabric basket, do this for the other
And repeat the same process for the
lining. For the lining we don't need
Remember how you had to leave an opening
when you sewed the lining for the fabric
basket? This time we can omit the step!
Isn't that nice?
Now let's move onto the handles.
This is again just like the handles you
made for your fabric basket, except..
the fact you need interfacing here,
if you are using cotton fabric for the
outer handles. Each piece of interfacing
measures 12" x 1 3/4".
Now we need to fuse each interfacing
onto the middle of the wrong side of the
Fold and press the long edges toward the middle,
fold in half, and top-stitch the long edges.
Repeat this for the other handle too,
so you'll have two handles.
Let's now make the rim that you'll
attach the handles onto. Since I am
using cotton fabric, once again I need
interfacing - this time each piece
measures 12" x 2 1/4".
We'll fuse the interfacing onto two
pieces of the rim like this.
Take one of them and mark at where
it's 4" from one side on the top
edge. Do this from the other side too.
Making sure that you place one side of
a handle at the mark (the mark will be
in the middle underneath the handle),
sew very close to the edge. Repeat
the same process for the other side
Then we'll sew the top edges of these
pieces together with right sides together.
Repeating the same process for the
rest of the rim pieces will
create the other side of the rim!
Press seam open.
And now we'll sew these two
together like that.
And then sew the other short edges
together to create this loopy thing.
Top stitch the top edge.
And sewing very close to the bottom
edge will save you some time later on.
Aha! Now we have the rim + handles complete!
Lastly, let's make the cover.
Sew the short edges of the two pieces
with right sides together. Remember to
leave 2" unsewn at the top like this.
Added Note: This raw edges at the side edges of this
cover piece will be left unfinished in the lunch bag.
If you'd like no exposed raw edges at all, you could make
each cover piece 0.5" wider so that you'll be able to
double-fold the seams. (In this case, your seam allowance
will be 1/2" wide, and you'll press the iron to create
a double fold at each side edge seam.)
Press seams open as if the top
part were also sewn.
Now we'll sew onto the seams all the way
from the top to the bottom.
Then we will fold and press where it's 1/4"
from the top edge.
Fold and press it again - this time it's
3/4" from the top edge.
Now sew very close to the folded line
so that you have a casing for the cord.
Coming back to the main bag,
let's place the lining inside the
outer bag with wrong sides together.
Sew very close to the top edge.
It looks pretty nice; in fact, we could
just turn it into a big fabric basket by
sewing a bing tape at the top edge, huh?
But let me continue with the lunch bag
because that's what I started off with.
Now sew the rim to the main bag like this,
sewing very close to the edge again.
Now we'll sew the cover onto the main bag.
You can't see this in this image, but there
is a bag inside the cover. We are sewing
the top edges of the cover and the bag
together. This time though, we sew where
it's 1/4" from the edge.
Everything is connected at the top edge now.
It will look like this if you bring
the cover inside the bag. Fun!
Top-stitch here between the rim and the bag.
Added Note: If you do your top stitching more than 1/4" below the seam,
the raw edges will be completely encased under this top stitching.
Therefore, you'll have no exposed raw edges below the cover inside.
We're almost there; we just need to
Thread one cord through casing and knot ends
together. Thread second cord from a different
casing opening and do the same, just like
you did for the patchwork drawstring bag!
Yay, that's it!
Your lunch bag is complete!!
I can't wait to see your lunch bag
that you make from this tutorial,
so please post your completed lunch
bag picture in this flickr pool :D
As usual, feel free to use this image
of finished lunch bag in your blog
and link to my blog (thanks!) but
please do not make sales off of any
projects made based on any of my
tutorials.. thank you ;)