Saturday 7 July 2012

Lovely Lunches!

Well, little Hannah is now 6 months old (wow, that's flown), and is well and truly into her solid food - OK, to be totally truthful most of it is very-mushed-up-food so far. Fun that it is, it does mean that Mummy now needs to be organised enough to pack snacks and meals to take out with us to each day's activities. 

I initially used Bethany's little butterfly lunch pack that Nanna bought for her when she was a bub, but she very quickly made it clear that Hannah could "borrow" her butterfly bag, but definitely needed one of her own very soon. So off I went in search of a cute lunch bag for Hannah. This was harder than I thought. Being that school has been back for two terms so far this year, there didn't seem to be much in the way of cute lunch bags left at the shops. I was beginning to think I would just have to convince Bethany to share hers, when the thought of maybe trying to make one popped into my head. I had thoughts of a square box-shaped soft bag with a zipper right round the edge, and thoughts of paper-bag style fabric bags with folded tops and velcro, but I didn't love either of those ideas, and I really wanted it to be waterproof. 

I went to spotlight to see what fabrics I could find. They didn't have a whole lot, but I did find this red gingham vinyl table-cloth fabric, and bought half a meter in case I could work out how to use it, then went home to my computer and google to get the creative juices flowing. Eventually I found this pattern, and I loved it. It's exactly the style I wanted, uses cute fabric as well as water-proof oilcloth to line it, and has handles so I can loop it over the pram to carry it around. Love it. 

Here's what Hannah ended up with ...

I did tweak this pattern a little to better suit me...of course, it  wouldn't be a Wen-Craft without some tweaking (I never can manage to finish a project exactly as the pattern says).  So, this is what I changed:

- I used a piece of fleece instead of the batting mentioned.  It's not as insulated this way, but I still think it works, and was easier to sew.
- My fabric is not canvas, but just general quilters cotton ('cause it's what I had on hand, it was cute and it matched my red gingham table-cloth fabric).
- I used a piece of velcro along the top edge to keep it closed, instead of a's what I had on hand.
- Instead of using cotton webbing for the handles, I just made handles out of my off-cuts (Cut strips, fold in half and tuck the edges in, then top-stitch both sides)
- Also, when assembling it, the pattern says to sew the inside and outside together, then turn it through so you have right sides out.  I couldn't see how I was going to manage this with the thickness of the vinyl table-cloth fabric, so I simply sewed the outside, then the inside, then slid the inside into the outside with the right sides out, folded the top edges in and top-stitched all around.  It was a little fiddly to catch all the layers, and get the handles in the right places, but was so much easier than trying to turn that fabric through.

Then of course, being me, I couldn't stop at 1 lunch-bag, and had to make another for Bethany.  I asked her what she wanted and she said "Pink".  So I had a look through the fabrics I already had at home, and found a fat-quarter of this Babushka fabric....and off to spotlight we went to find some Oilcloth.  This time, the sales assistant did direct me to some new oilcloths that had come in.  There were lots of different colours and patterns, but none that I loved, none that were pink enough, and none that matched my Babushka fabric.  But I did find this cute pink and white spotted raincoat fabric.  Well that's kinda similar, isn't it?

I sewed up Bethany's lunch bag, using the raincoat fabric, and it looked fine, but was a little soft and droopy, 'cause the raincoat fabric isn't at all stiff like the vinyl I used on Hannah's.  So I pondered, and pondered.  Then, on a trip to Daiso, I found some foil backed insulating stuff (like the cold-bags at Coles and Woolies are made of).  It was a little roll, and of course it was $2.80.  Perfect!!  All I did was unpick the stitching around the top of the bag, unpick and dismantle the lining, then reassemble with this insulating stuff joined on to each piece of the lining.  Awesome, and now it's insulated and stands up much nicer.

Now of course, you can't have a new lunch bag without some cute little boxes and utensils to use in them, so I picked up these ones at Daiso (did I mention I love that place?).


  1. Nice bags. It helped me pick out a gift for my daughter who is in nursery school. Regards, Ritika

    1. Awesome ... Thanks for reading. My girls got so much use out of these bags, and they're still going strong!