Straps from some kind of old car seat (I have a bag of useful straps I've saved off broken bags etc over the years)
Black fabric remnant also from the charity shop
Velcro and cord
I wanted to personalise the bags, so if you want to do this, print out initials (or whatever you like) on paper
Then trace upside-down onto Vlisoflex
(also known as Bondaweb in the UK - iron on sticky stuff for applique, if it's not called either of those where you are!)
Iron this onto the wrong side of the pretty fabric
And cut out the letters / your design. This now has a peel off backing with the sticky stuff you can iron onto the fabric.
So here are the cut out fabrics ready to start. You need:
1 piece silver car shade material 45cm x 26cm
1 piece fleece batting material, also 45cm x 26cm
2 pieces pretty fabric 15cm x 26cm
1 piece plain fabric (for base) 18cm x 26cm
2 pieces plain fabric (for flap) 18cm x 20cm
1 piece black fabric for top of bag 52cm x 14cm
1 piece cord 62cm long
1 piece stitch-in hook and loop velcro 6cm long
1 plastic toggle to secure cording
Strap 75cm long
Applique design ready to iron on
OK, now we're ready to start sewing
Place the applique and one side of the velcro on the right sides of your plain flap material. Then iron and stitch on securely.
Zig-zag around the edges of your applique to secure. Although the instructions of the iron on paper often say you don't need to stitch, I find that after time it does peel off if you don't stitch it!
Pin and stitch the 2 flap pieces right sides together, around 3 sides.
Trim the seams and corners
Turn out and top stitch close to edge.
(I topstitch 1/8" from edge, and my seams are all 3/8" here)
Next comes the black fabric used for the drawstring cover under the flap of the bag.
Double turn the long edge over to make the casing for the cord. Pin securely.
Make sure you turn the final edges under when you pin, as these edges will be exposed when the bag is finished.
Stitch casing closed - making sure it's wide enough for your cord to be threaded through it.
Then fold the fabric lengthways, right sides together and pin up to cord casing.
Then stitch along the pin line - but only as far as the cord casing - that needs to be left open to get the cord in at the end!
I also recommend stitching across the top of the seam juut under the casing for a little extra strength on that seam.
Now it's time for the main part of the bag:
Lay your pretty fabric and plain base fabric out like so. (try not to notice how wonky my cutting is!!)
Then pin right sides together and join
Once you've joined all 3 pieces together, then baste along long edges to fleece batting.
Lay your second piece of velcro centrally on the pretty fabric like this (7.5 cm from base fabric): and stitch.
Now you have your inner and outer fabric ready.
Fold both pieces over, right sides together
And stitch along edges to form two separate pockets
Next you need to box out the corners to make the base of the bag flat. Put your hand inside the pocket up to the corner and flatten it like so:
Try to get the seam as central as possible in your little triangle. You may like to draw a line with a ruler on the fabric where you're going to stitch. Here are the measurements I used:
Stitch along this 7cm ruler line. I go over my line of stitching 3 times for extra strength in the bag.
Then cut the corner off.
Repeat with the silver pocket
Your inner and outer bag are almost ready to be joined together!!
First though, the black drawstring part needs to be joined to the silver part. Push it inside this way:
And pin the raw edges together all around, then stitch together.
Once you're done, pull the black part to the outside of the silver and fold the top at the seam. This will make it easier when you join the inner and outer bag together later.
Now you need to pin the flap to the back of the outer bag, right sides together.
And then pin the straps to the sides. Stitch the flap and straps securely in place.
Now you're ready for the final join!!
Push the silver inner part inside the pretty outer part.
Now comes what I found to be the trickiest part of all!
Folding the raw edges down inside the bag to get a neat top edge. Then pin securely.
Don't forget to lift the flap, and the black part out of the way when you pin!
Then carefully topstitch around the top of the bag. I'd recommend a large needle in your sewing machine for this, as it has to go through quite a few layers. (I broke my little skinny needle sewing this part!!)
Now all you need to do is push the cord through the drawstring casing in the black fabric, using a safety pin.
Then push the two ends through your toggle and tie securely.
One finished insulated lunch bag! Made from recycled materials!!
This is about what I could fit into one of mine:
So now I can pack off two little packed lunches and send my girls off to the secret garden!! I hope they like them!!
Hope you found that tutorial easy enough to follow. Do let me know if you try making one, and send a picture! I'd love to see different versions!
For the PDF version of this tutorial with measurements in both cm and inches- click here