In a way to reduce the amount of plastic we use around the home I have been looking at ways to swap from the plastic zip lock lunch bags to a more environmentally friendly option. Our first step was to reuse the plastic bags where possible by washing them, not always a fun task. Another option was switching to the humble brown paper bag, however this was still a disposable alternative. I was wanting a reuseable product that was easy to use. I had my eye on the Biome sandwich wraps and have popped a few on my wish list.
I then stumbled across Frugal and Thriving’s two posts (here and here) on free bag making tutorials. I spotted the Sandwich bag tutorial and thought to myself I can do that. Mum had some fabric I could use including some rubber backed upholstery fabric swatches. Over the next two hours I whipped up a very impressive DIY lunch bag.
You will need cotton fabric for the outer material, nylon fabric for the lining, and a sewing machine plus sewing accessories.
1. Cut a rectangle from both the cotton and the nylon fabric.
2. Fold cotton fabric right sides together. On one side mark from the top approx. of third of the way down. Sew from this mark down towards the middle fold. Repeat for the other side. Repeat process on nylon fabric.
3. Create a box corners on both the cotton and nylon fabric by folding each corner into a 90 degree triangle and sewing across the tip. Cut off the excess leaving a seam allowance.
4. Turn the nylon bag now right side out and insert into the cotton bag so that right sides are together.
5. Sew around one one flap starting from divide around to the other divide, leaving an opening in one spot.
6. Turn the bags right side out ensuring the nylon fabric is turned to the inside as the lining.
7. Top stitch around both flaps.
8. Fold one flap down and sew this down through the side seams, reinforcing at the join points (areas of stress).
9. To close the bag, flip the folded flap over the upper flap
I did not follow the dimensions in the tutorial as my size was dictated by the size of the pre-cut swatches I had for the inner lining. Note to self: rubber backed fabric is difficult to work with, especially if you are new to using a sewing machine. Husband was so keen to use them after they were made I had not even had a chance to pre-wash them (don’t worry I didn’t let him use it till it was washed). Please remember these bags are not watertight or waterproof.
Now all I have to do is make a few more lunch bags and perhaps play around with the dimensions to create different sizes. I still have some rubber backed swatches so I may go looking for the Green Lifestyle Magazine I have somewhere with the bowl covers tutorial. Keep you posted if I find it!