Designing A Lunch Bag – NSM 9-18-15

Sewing Room Supervisor - ChesterDespite the fact that I have more than enough projects on my plate, I’ve decided to add one more. As you can tell, Chester doesn’t have any faith that I’ll actually get to it.

The lunch bag that I use for work is falling apart. By “falling apart” I mean that the vinyl liner has cracked and the foam “insulation” (I use that term loosely) is falling out. I need to do something soon.

I thought about just patching it somehow. Yet, there have been many times that I wished it was a little bigger so that I could fit both my salad container and a slightly bigger container of fruit in it without spilling juice all over. I’ve looked all over, but I’m really picky about my lunch bag so I refuse to buy just any ol’ lunch bag. I don’t want to waste my money on something that I won’t use. The bag that I’m using now didn’t cost me anything as it was a gift from my previous employer. Our company won supplier of the year from a fairly large customer and I guess that our company decided to get morale up by giving us lunch bags. They were actually nice bags as I think that they were Koozie brand. Anyway, mine is now falling apart. I decided I have nothing left to do but design and sew my own. HA! Now you see why Chester is ignoring me…

Here’s what I expect from a lunch bag:

  1. Ample room for both food containers AND ice packs
  2. It will zip so that I don’t have to worry about anything falling out when I toss it into my car at the end of the day.
  3. It will be easy to wash out if something spills.
  4. It will keep the chilliness from the ice packs INSIDE the bag.
  5. It will be a Goldilocks size: not too big and not too small
  6. It won’t be pink

That’s not really asking for much, is it? So I started looking around for patterns…

Over on Craftsy I found this pattern. This is pretty close to the shape and design that I’m looking for, but in a much larger size. And with a handle.

I like the boxy lunch bags. My square lunch containers fit in them a lot better than the lunch sacks that you see in stores and such.



Then as I was looking around, again on Craftsy, I came across a pattern for an ice pack. I read how easy they are to make and it gave me an idea…

Currently I use the blue igloo ice packs in my lunch bag, but after a while they develop cracks and leak. Also, there’s not enough room in my bag to accommodate two so I either keep the top or the bottom of my lunch cold. This was my thought… what if I designed a lunch bag that had pockets in the inside for the custom-fit ice packs to fit into? Then I could surround my lunch on all sides with coldness. Plus, if one of these leak it’s easy enough to make another one.

So while I was shopping at Wal-Mart one day I ran across their summer clearance. There was a vinyl tablecloth for $1. I grabbed it thinking that maybe I could use that to line the inside of the bag. I would then use the thermal batting that you can buy to help keep the cold in, but I was undecided what I wanted to use for the outside material. After all, it needs to be durable and washable.

That’s when I ran across this fabric. This is waterproof Oxford fabric that looks like it could work quite nicely. I was reading a blog called Sew Can Do and the woman had made a toy storage bin out of it. I went to the website where you can purchase this material and I’ve been drooling over it ever since. And instead of using the vinyl tablecloth that I bought I might actually buy some PUL fabric from the same place as the waterproof Oxford fabric. Technically the PUL was first developed for cloth diapers, but I think that it would work great as the lunch bag liner.

As I can find more time I will do more planning on this. Until then I will have to make my current lunch bag last.

What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions for me?



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