Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Completed: Waste Free Lunch Bag

School starts next week! Our last couple of books are arriving this week, and the daily schedule is all planned. The kids range from excited to despairing depending on the day. Ha. They've had a great summer.

This year we're attending two co-ops: Classical Conversations and a fine arts program where they'll take Intro to Art and Intro to Violin.

Eliza and I will accompany the boys and hang out with the other families and young ones during class. Snacks are a requirement to keep both of us happy!

Enter the Waste Free Lunch Bag by Gingercake.

When Virginia invited me to sew up a bag, I chose this one because of the divider and interior pocket for napkins, wipes, utensils, etc. Now that we've outgrown diaper bags I hardly every carry a purse, and the little pocket will be perfect for my wallet.

The interior holds a couple of small plastic containers and a sippy cup. If I get around to sewing some snack bags, it would probably hold six of those.

The original pattern closes with a flap and velcro, but Virginia added a tutorial for finishing the bag with a zipper, which I prefer.

Lunches and snacks stay cold/warm because of a layer of thinsulate. There's lots of interfacing, too, for stability in the handles and divider panel.

The bottom of the bag is finished with a wide box pleat. One of the bags on Virginia's site had a contrasting panel along the bottom, so I decided to try that and added piping between the seams. Next time I'll add a larger contrasting panel, but I ran out of fabric.

This is the third Gingercake pattern I've sewn. The Crayon Folio for Eliza is still a favorite of hers, and I gave our niece a crash course in sewing this summer using the Modern Folksy Bunny. Virginia's pattern instructions are thorough, and her designs are practical and attractive. 

Some notes about my experience with this pattern:
  • The walking foot was so helpful when sewing through all the layers of interfacing. Also, a heavy-duty needle was a must.
  • I goofed up the zipper and sewed too close to the teeth. (Blame it on all those invisible zippers I've gotten used to sewing.) After taking these photos, I had to rip apart the whole bag and re-sew the zipper so it would open and close properly.
  • The crayon folio pattern and this one involve cutting one long rectangle for the main body of the bag. If you're using a directional print, be aware of the direction of your pattern. I messed up again on this one, but fortunately I had enough fabric and wanted to add that contrasting panel along the bottom. Either you'll need to buy more fabric so you can lay it out properly, or you'll need to seam things a little differently than the pattern instructs.
  • All my fabric came from JoAnn. I didn't have major coupons, and together things cost around $15 for all the fabric and interfacing. The thinsulate is expensive, so one way to keep costs down would be to exclude that part.
Until August 9th Gingercake's lunch box patterns are only $5! Virginia's generously offering a free lunch bag pattern to one of our readers -- just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for an opportunity to win. (Enter up until August 10th at midnight.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Lovely, and practical - thanks for your tips (and I love those sippy cups!) ;)

    1. Thank you!! Those IKEA sippy cups are amazing. :)

  2. Love this lunch bag. I always want to make something like thus but my motivation end when j walk into my sewing room 😕


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