A New Lunch Box

lunch bagI’m on a roll and don’t stop me now. Here is another project that has been in the sewing basket for awhile now. The new lunch box for Daisy to take to school.

The other day I finished the snack bags and deciced it was about time I finished this to complete the set. Also is a matching cloth napkin and not pictured is a padded piece of cloth that wraps around the frozen ice pack to keep it from getting the inside of the lunch box wet while it melts.

The pattern came from hereat the Lazy Seamstress and the PDF is here, and if I make another one I will enlarge the size of the bottom of the bag to fit the ice packs. This one is a bit short even though I enlarged it some first, a bit more and it should be just right.

I used cotton fabric and Insul-bright between the outer and liner fabric to help keep the cold in. The directions are easy to follow even for a beginner sewer or someone like me who tries to do 3 different things at one time. Daiys likes to put the strap over her shoulder and not use it for a wrist strap, so next time I will make the strap much wider. I might even add another one to the other side and she can wear it back pack style.

lunch bag1

Making a favorite sandwich for the new lunch bag. Peanut butter and home made strawberry jelly. For dessert home made chocolate chip cookies hiding in the white bowl.

Learning to sew is an important skill to have and this day and age it seems even more so. The simple act of putting a button back on a pair of pants instead of buying new ones will help your budget and self confidence so much. Learning to sew you should start with a simple project such as this one or even simpler like a cloth napkin or reusable produce bag.

These simple projects will give you the basic skills to move on to more complicated projects and the eagerness and confidence to try harder patterns or even make up your own.

You don’t need a fancy new machine or supplies to sew. In fact my sewing machine was my grandmother’s and is about 40 years old at this point. It doesn’t have all the fancy stitches, although it does have some and I do have several extra feet to change out depending on the project. The fact is I never have used the extra feet, straight sewing or a zig zag here or there is I need to meet my sewing needs.

lunch bag2My supplies are basic even after all these years. A good pair of scissors only for fabric, straight pins, a tape measure, and of course a seam ripper. Most of these were given to me years ago by my grandmother when she stopped sewing.

My supply of fabric and accessories grows and shrinks. Except in a very rare case I have never bought fabric for full price. I wait for the sales and constantly check the clearance bins. My zippers and buttons mostly are reused from something going into the rag bag or found at yard sales. I have lovely tins full of old buttons my grandmother and mother started to collect long ago. It is so much fun to open them and remember all the different clothes they each came from and what was going on in our lives at that time. The red buttons in this photo came from a sweater my grandmother knit for me when I started first grade and I could tell you about many more in the tin.

I have seen some lovely machines at yard sales and church rummage sales for very little money. Ask if you can plug it in and give it a try before you buy it to make sure it works or ask that if you have a problem in the next few days can you bring it back. Why even someone you know may have a good machine sitting around they are willing to part with. I know alot of people who have machines that have sat in a closet collecting dust for a very long time. They might be happy to just give it to you knowing you are going to use it. In the least they might let you borrow it until you can get your own.

lunch bag3A quick search on the internet will give you some lovely sites with instructions on basic sewing skills and even free patterns. It’s always fun to look around at those sites and wish I had time to try them all.

Ultimately it would be very nice to dedicate an area just for sewing and crafts. But many like me don’t have the space. I keep my projects in baskets and when ready pull them from their resting place, set up the machine and work away. When done every thing goes back in the basket until next time. Setting up and putting away is a bit of a hassle but worth the effort. Of course my supplies always go back into the same basket so I know where to find them easily.

This time of year not many are interested in much sewing since there is so much to do outside. But I mention it because it is a good time to watch the yard sales and start collecting your supplies for the comming season, which around here is winter.

It’s quite satisfying to sit quietly and think with a basket on my lap mending clothes and dream of things to come. Of course I take the time to slow down and think about what I am doing to really appreciate it, it turns it from a chore to a pleasurable part of the day in my simple life.


Posted on May 29, 2009, in Crafts, For Fun and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. What a beautiful little bag you have sewn up. I bet Daisy just loves being seen with it. So special because it was made by you.

    There was a time when I felt sewing was less expensive. My daughters are 23, 17 and 13 now and to make outfits for them is just a tad bit less then store bought which is frustrating.

    I have trained the girls to look at the discount bins first and sale racks before even coming to me with an idea. Also to check the patterns at home and at my mother’s house first as the pattern sometimes is the greater cost. we re-use zippers and buttons off old garments. Cheap perhaps but still gets the same results.

    The good news is I have grand daughters and I LOVE to smock. I can turn an ugly $3./m fabric into a princess dress.

    I do have to say that sewing is very enjoyable and is great bonding time with the girls…all ages.

    Thank-you for this post.


  2. lizzylanefarm

    That’s great! I can understand how their tastes change as they get older, by boys did the same thing. They ended up with t-shirts and jeans, this cut my sewing down considerably! But luck me I have Daisy and the fun is even better, for the first time I HAVE A GIRL!!! 🙂

    Patterns can be quite expensive, once I find one I like I usually make a cloth pattern from inexpensive muslin. I have also been known to take apart an old garment and use that for a pattern.

    My grandmother used to smock for us. One day I would like to learn how.

    Have a great weekend.


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