Go ahead and tell all your friends about the free pattern, but please don't redistribute; just have them come here for pattern. Thanks!
When I first started sewing, I was so intrigued with Kam Snaps - they looked so enticing, with their rainbows of colours. Most of the people I saw using them were making diapers though, so I wanted to find a use that would suit me. I came up with this insulated cup cozy. I had seen cup cozies before, but they were usually closed with buttons or hooks, or made out of something else entirely. My design allows the cozy, or sleeve, to be completely reversible, so you get 2 for 1!
A friend introduced me to the reusable Starbucks cups a few years back, and I use mine daily. I designed my pattern to fit these cups; if you are wanting to fit different cups, you may need to adjust the pattern. I get a lot of requests for my pattern, so I finally got around to making it in a shareable version for everyone. I'm offering it here on my site to you for free!
It's a perfect project for beginners and experienced makers alike. It's a fun, quick project and makes a great little gift.
To make the cup cozy, you'll need less than a fat quarter of 2 prints each. I like to use quilting cotton, but a linen blend could work too. You'll also need some insulated batting; I use Insult-Bright, available at Funky Monkey Fabrics, and Connecting Threads. You also need 2 complete sets of Kam-snaps and the pliers or press, and awl to install them (4 caps, 2 studs and 2 sockets). You can find Kam-snaps at Stay-Home Fabrics. You might find a point turner helpful too.
Start by downloading and printing the pattern. Make sure to print at 100%. You can check the test square to see if it measures 1" square to make sure the pattern printed at the right size. Cut out the pattern and tape together at the dotted lines to get the full piece.
Cut out a mirror image set of your exterior fabrics. You can do this by either placing fabrics right side together and cutting out the pattern piece once, or just cut out one fabric from the pattern piece, then flip over to cut the mirror image. Then cut one Insult-Bright piece.
Place fabrics right sides together and the Insult-Bright wrong side against one of the fabrics, matching the shape of the pattern, then pin or clip around the edges. Starting at the bottom of the cozy (where indicated on pattern piece with turning gap) sew around the perimeter, leaving a small turning hole, with a 3/8" seam allowance, making sure to backstitch at start and stop. Trim corners and seam allowance, except leave seam allowance intact over turning gap. Trim away Insult-Bright over turning gap.
Turn right side out, making corners nice and sharp. Tuck in seam allowance and press all over. Topstitch around cozy 1/8" away from edges, closing up turning gap.
To add the snaps, you can use the pattern placements (4 circles on the pattern piece) as a guide, but I suggest trying it out on the cup you're going to be using it with before piercing holes with your awl. I do this by wrapping the cozy around the cup, nice and snug. One end should overlap the other, it doesn't matter which one since the cozy is reversible. Once I have a placement I'm happy with, I hold the cozy where the ends overlap and quickly slip the cup out. If you aren't confident with doing this, you can pin or clip the cozy in place before you remove the cup; a bobby pin or paper clip would work well here too. Now while still holding the overlapped ends, I take my awl and pierce the top and bottom, through both ends of the cozy. Note: For this step, you need to make sure the hole you're piercing is well within topstitching on both layers, otherwise your snap may miss a layer.
Once your holes are pierced, you can let go of the overlapped ends and install the snaps. You'll want one set of caps showing on the left end of the cozy and one set of sockets on the right end for side A, and when you flip the cozy over to side B, it should have caps (the other side of the sockets from side A) on the left and studs on the right (the other side of the caps from side A).
You're done! Rinse and repeat for all those teacher/neighbour/coworker gifts. It's great for scrap busting too! I would really love to see your cup cozies! Please tag me @reecemontgomery and use #HappyOkapiCupCozy on Instagram, or share on my Facebook wall.
If you aren't a coffee drinker, they double as power cuffs!
Want to make a cozy, but don't have snaps? My friend Rachelle used Velcro on hers; check out the changes she made for it.
My youngest son got invited to a birthday party for a little girl and the first thing I thought of was "YESssss! I get to make a little girl's purse!" I really try to get my boys into liking bags, and they do like the lunch bags and other bags I make them, but they just aren't into the "pretty" stuff, so I rejoice when I get an excuse to make a fun, pretty purse. Right away I found out the birthday girl's favourite colours are yellow and blue. At the same time, I've been itching to make one of the Bag of The Month Club bags from this year. They're all now released and I hadn't made one yet because I always seem to have more urgent projects (well, as urgent as sewing bags can get, ha!)
The Polaris bag is the March bag from the club, it's bySara of Sew Sweetness, and the pattern includes an oval and a rectangle bag. I chose to use the oval Polaris as my canvas for the birthday purse. I think it's a great pattern when you want to be creative and add your own elements. I was inspired by the Cat-Eye Zippered Pouches (Thread Riding Hood) I'd previously made, but couldn't really construct the bag the same way, so I came up with a different way that should work for most patterns, and the best part is you only need a scrap piece for your center focus fabric.
How to Create the Cat-Eye
Start by selecting your focus fabric. It can be relatively small as long as there is about 1/2" all the way around the area you want to display (the mermaid in my finished bag). Place the full oval pattern piece (both halves taped together) on your work surface, then place a page protector or clear quilting template over top, and line up the focus fabric so it is centered with the center of the pattern piece. Now make an additional 1/2 pattern piece (half an oval in this case) and line up with original pattern piece (on bottom of pile) and center of pattern.
Now you can draw the shape of the curve that best suits your focus fabric. Just draw on the 1/2 pattern piece. Cut out the curved section and check to see if your focus fabric is how you'd like it, flip over to other half of the pattern to make sure it looks good from that side too, which it should if your focus image is fairly symmetrical and centered properly.
Once you have the center curve how you like it, create another full oval. Place the 1/2 pattern piece (with the center curve cut out) over top of the full oval, now you'll need to continue that curve along to the edge of the oval, on both top and bottom. You can use a French Curve tool, or just freehand if you like to live on the wild side, like me! My piece ended up looking a bit like a "C" with horizontal teardrop cut out.
Cut a mirror image set of both the exterior fabric and the accent fabric, which will act as a faux piping.
Sew one set of exterior and accent pieces right sides together; repeat with remaining set. Turn right side out. Then you'll need to press each piece, but before you press, roll the accent piece toward the center of the cutout, to reveal a scant amount, this creates the faux-piping look.
Place the 2 assembled overlap pieces over the center fabric and overlap one piece on the top and one piece on the bottom, so they're intertwined. I did this step on top of the page protector again to make sure I maintained the original shape of the oval. In order to have a nice topstitch around the center, and seal off any raw edges from your focus scrap, mark where your pieces overlap (pink arrows). Now take your overlap pieces apart again and start a topstich about 1" inside the overlap point (yellow arrows) and continue to past the overlap mark (you can go all the way if you like, but it won't be seen on the finished product). Bring them back to your page protector work surface and line up again with center focus fabric. I used some double sided fabric tape to secure my pieces once I was happy with placement. Now we'll finish the topstitch around the curve, starting at each yellow arrow and continuing along to the end of the curves.
Baste all layers in place along outer seam allowance and continue with bag construction as per pattern instructions.
I really hope that helps! If there are any steps that were confusing, please ask and I'll try to clarify.
Do you have a favourite type of project when you want to just play with small amounts of fabric? I like zipper pouches for that reason. They make great gifts and they're perfect for a couple different fat quarters or even scraps. They're also a great project if you're new to sewing, or new to zippers. Daryl from Fabric Spark sent me this gorgeous bundle to play around with, and she gave me an extra set so I could share with one of my readers - she even included 3 zippers! Details on how to win after the tutorial. Fabric Spark offers such beautifully curated fabrics. There are plenty of pre-selected fat quarter bundles to choose from, but if you'd like a custom bundle, just ask and it can be set up for you!
I made these 3 different zipper pouches and I'm sharing a tutorial on how to make each one. I'll give a detailed tutorial for the reverse applique pouch (shown with Tula Pink Eden), and then show the variations to make the gathered and rounded.
Reverse Applique Zipper Pouch
This technique is a fun way to change up a simple zipper pouch.
Once you have the pieces cut, fuse the interfacing to one piece of the solid fabric. On the wrong side (the interfaced side) trace a hexagon where you'd like it, keeping at least 1/2" away from the edges. Draw a second line about 1/2" inside the hexagon; this inner line will be the one we'll cut, so mark it as a dotted line or use a different colour so you don't accidentally cut the wrong line. Now cut the inner hexagon, then make notches at each corner, meeting the outer line, but don't cut through the main hexagon shape.
After the shape is cut out, press the cut edges back, so wrong sides are together. Here is where using Wondertape can come in handy. Turn over your main piece and make sure the cut opening looks nice and even, adjust as necessary. Now cut a piece of your accent fabric larger than the opening, so a 3.5" hexagaon would work here. Place the main piece over your cut piece so the (hexagon) hole is filled in with the accent fabric. You can use a bit of Wondertape here again to help hold the accent fabric in place.
Once you're happy with the placement, fuse a scrap of interfacing over the back to help secure and stabilize before you stitch in place. This step is optional but I prefer it. Now topstitch from the right side. I chose a contrasting thread and increased my stitch length.
You can go ahead with construction of the zipper pouch now, but I thought it would be fun to add another hexagon. I cut out a small hexagon, folded in the raw edges and stitched in place on top of my main fabric. If you chose to add fusible fleece, fuse it to both exterior pieces now.
Construction of Zipper Pouch
Place one lining piece right side up on work surface, then place zipper right side up centered on top of lining piece. Place your exterior front panel (the one with the applique) right side down onto zipper. So now your zipper should be sandwiched at the top of one exterior and one lining piece, with fabrics right sides together.
Using your zipper foot, sew along the top edge with 1/4" seam allowance. Now place those fabrics wrong sides together so the zipper is at the top, press and topstitch.
Now repeat these steps to attach the exterior back and remaining lining panel to the other half of the zipper. Just make sure to keep right side of zipper (top of teeth) to the right side of the exterior.
It should look something like this before you topstitch the other side along the zipper.
Open your zipper about halfway. For this step, we need to match exterior to exterior, and lining to lining, right sides together, with the zipper in the middle. Pin or clip all the way around. Your zipper teeth will need to point toward the lining. Leave a 4-5" gap at the bottom of the lining; this will be the turning gap for later. Starting at one side of the turning gap in the lining, sew all around the perimeter, back to the other end of the turning gap, making sure to backstitch at start and stop. Use a 1/2" seam allowance here. If you are using a 7" zipper, you should just miss the metal stops with this seam allowance but be careful as you sew over the zipper to avoid the metal stops. If you're using a longer zipper, just trim the zipper tape once you've sewn around.
Trim your corners, being sure not to cut your stitching. Use the turning gap to bring the pouch right side out. You'll be glad you had your zipper open at this stage. Tuck the edges of the turning gap into the lining, press and pin or clip in place and stitch with a very small seam allowance and a matching thread. You may choose to hand sew with blind stitch instead.
Tuck the lining back into the pouch and give it a final press, then fill it with goodies or give it to a friend!
Gathering is a quick, easy way to create an elegant look. Pair a busy print with a solid colour to make a fancy zippered pouch. For this pouch, you'll need
Cut out all pieces and fuse interfacing to lining pieces. Run a basting stitch (very long stitch length) 1/8" along top and bottom of each bottom exterior fabric, keeping threads long. Gently pull bobbin thread on the top of one side of the bottom exterior piece while keeping the other side in place. This will "gather" the fabric. Move the gathers as you like and match up the width to the top band fabric (8"). Repeat for the bottom, and then on the other exterior bottom piece.
Now place the top band right sides together with the top of the gathered piece and sew together with a 1/2" seam allowance; press seam up toward top band and topstitch along top band. Repeat for remaining gathered piece and top band. Put together zipper pouch following directions under "Construction of Zipper Pouch" above.
This rounded pouch comes together quickly and is so cute and fun! The size of fabric you need will depend on what you use to create your circle - two 10" x 10" squares should be big enough for the bottom. I used a plate to make a circle, then drew a line at the top of the circle that was 8" across. Cut along that line and use the bottom of the circle as your "pattern piece" and cut 2 fabric of that shape. Also cut 2 top bands (I like coordinating solids for these) 8" W x 2.5" H.
Just as directed in the gathered pouch instructions, attach the top band to the bottom round piece with a 1/2" seam allowance, press seam up toward the top and then topstitch. Use these pieces to trace your lining and optional interfacing pieces.
Continue making pouch as per instructions in "Construction of Zipper Pouch." Sewing up the turning gap is a bit tricky on this one because you'll be tucking in the lining on a curve.
Now for the Giveaway!
Good luck everyone! If you enjoyed the tutorial, I'd love to hear about it and see pictures of your finished projects. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Every year I want to make fun Valentine's crafts, but sometimes the nice ones take too long to make lots of, and I don't like leaving anyone out. So I decided to make up some key fobs: they're quick, and pretty, and useful too. I made this cute free printable to turn this quick sew into a gift for your Valentine!
It's super cheesy, I know, but hey, isn't Valentine's Day the perfect time to be cheesy? You'll find download links toward the bottom of this post.
Key Fob Tutorial
For this project, you'll need
My key fob hardware is 1.25" wide, if your hardware is a different size, just adjust the measurements accordingly (cotton will be 4 times the width of the hardware).
Now insert the foam or fleece into one of the folds, and bring folded edges together; press in place
Insert into key fob hardware and clamp closed with pliers or a vice. If you're using metal pliers, make sure to cover the key fob hardware with something like a tea towel or scrap fleece, to prevent scratching from the pliers. You may also choose to add a small amount of glue before squeezing the hardware shut.
Once your key fob is done, print and cut out your Valentine, punch a hole and take a pretty ribbon to attach it. Voila! A unique and useful Valentine!
I'm including 3 downloads: 1 with pink text, 1 with black text and 1 blank, so you can fill in your own sentiment. The ones with text are PDFs and include 2 keys, side by side. The blank is a jpg, so you can plop it into a Word doc and add your own text or print as is. The PDFs should be printed in landscape.
I'm happy for you to use these files! Please do not distribute or claim as your own; a link back to my site instead would be awesome, thank you!
I recently tested the newBlue Calla Freesia Foldover purse, and realized I needed some "invisible magnets." They're not really invisible of course, but they're sewn into the interfacing and not seen from the right side of the bag. I could have used traditional magnetic snaps, but decided to try and make my own invisible magnets.
It ended up being really easy, and significantly cheaper than buying them. So, I figured I'd share with you how to make them.
I bought a pack of ceramic magnets from Michael's and used a coupon to get the pack of 4 pairs for about $2. Then I pulled out my vacuum sealer and a small piece of vacuum bag material.
Start by making a small bag about 2 1/2" wide.
Insert a magnet and seal it up as close to the magnet as possible.
Repeat for second magnet.
I recommend marking the matching sides so you know which way to sew them into the bag
I don't recommend trimming too much off the edges, so you have some plastic to sew into.
There you have it. I told you it was simple! Plus, for only a fraction of the pricey store bought ones. From here on, it depends on the pattern how the magnets are sewn in.
You know what I love? Fabric, friends, and coffee (plus my kids and all that good stuff, of course). So when my sewing friend Kelsey, a volunteer for Ryan's Case for Smiles, suggested we meet up for coffee to discuss this blog post, I thought it was a great idea. Kelsey shared with me her favourite quick method of making a pillowcase, and she talked about her experience with Ryan's Case for Smiles, formerly Conkerr Cancer. She told me about the heartfelt letters she receives, thanking the organization for the cheerful pillowcase that really made a difference. She also told me about the trips her and her mother took to the hospital, bringing fabric and machines along, and allowing the kids choose their own pillowcases to make with them. I want to help this great cause, so I'm going to show you a really quick way to make a case to donate. I'm also happy to report that one of my amazing sponsors, Daryl at Fabric Spark, has set up some specially priced kits to purchase and is offering a giveaway of a Tula Pink pillowcase kit!
Here's some info Kelsey has shared with me to pass along:
"Ryan’s Case for Smiles (formerly ConKerr Cancer) started when Cindy Kerr’s son was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and she began making pillowcases to brighten up his hospital room and to put a smile on his face. He loved it and so she began making pillowcases for other children on the Oncology Unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Quick Pillowcase Tutorial
This super quick tutorial may be a new fave! Use it to make some for charity, but for your own kids too! You can make each pillowcase with just one yard total of fabric! You'll need 26" x width of fabric for the main part of the pillowcase, and 10" x width of fabric for the side band of the pillowcase. I don't have a serger, so I used my overcast foot for this project. If you don't have either of those, a zigzag stitch will work in a pinch.
Start by folding the 10" wide piece in half, wrong sides together, matching the long edges, and press.
Now place the folded (narrower) strip, on top of the wider piece of fabric, matching the long edges, right sides together. Pin or clip in place and sew along that edge.
Now fold in half, right sides together, matching selvage ends. You probably need to trim a small amount at this point, otherwise your selvage will show through. Leaving the folded end open (yellow in my example) sew up bottom and remaining side.
Turn right side out, and you're done!
Kelsey tells me each and every case is appreciated, so if you can send 5, 10, or 1, they all count, and truly make a difference. Do you have friends that sew? Why not get together and challenge yourselves to see how many you can make? My personal goal is for this post to generate 100 cases. Can we do it?!
Kelsey may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can mail your completed cases to:
19467 67A AVE
If you're joining me from Mrs. H's blog for the Companion Carpet Bag sew-along, welcome! As mentioned over there, here's my tutorial to make your own vinyl handles. I've found a few tutorials on Pinterest, but none of them were exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to experiment a bit and come up with something on my own. I'm really pleased with how they turned out, and I think you'll be pleased with your own pair too! They came together quite quickly and easily too! Please read all the way through before you try it yourself. If you have any questions, I'm happy to help as best I can, just send me a message through my contact page.
You'll need vinyl of course. I used marine vinyl, but this same method should work with other vinyls. You'll also need:
This sounds like a big list, but don't let it intimidate you, many items you'll already have, and others you can use with other projects.
Note: The size I'm using is just a personal preference. Please feel free to experiment with what you like best. I found that cutting the vinyl 6" longer than the cording yields the best result.
Cut 2 12" pieces of cording and wrap up each end with scotch tape.
Cut 2 strips of vinyl measuring 4" x 18" and place a strip of wonder tape about 1/4" away from one long edge of vinyl, then fold vinyl, matching long edges, with cording centred vertically inside. Use wonder clips to secure edges together. Repeat with remaining vinyl and cording for second handle.
Now bring your handles over to the machine, and, using your zipper foot with the needle position to the left, sew along the vinyl lengthwise as close to the cording as possible, starting at one end of the cording and stopping at the other end. Don't forget to backstitch a bit and start and stop too. Also, a longer stitch length is better with vinyl; I used 3.4 for for mine. Depending on your vinyl, you may have troubles with your foot sticking to the vinyl. My regular zipper foot had no problem, but if yours sticks, try laying wax paper over top of the vinyl and rip it away when you're finished. I'm not sure if you can get a teflon zipper foot, but if you can, it should work too!
It should look like this now, with loose, unsewn ends beyond the cording.
Now you can trim the excess long edges, leaving a scant 1/4" beyond the stitching. You may want to trim more, this part is just personal preference.
This part is tricky to explain so I hope I do an ok job: You will need to trim the loose ends of the handles, along a tapered curve for about 1.5", then straight for the last part of the loose end. I found it easier to put a wonder clip at the very end, to keep my pieces folded nicely and so my cutting was symmetrical. If you're using 1.5" rectangle rings, you'll want the folded end to be just under 3/4" wide (folded). It may be easier to cut 3/4" away from fold, for 1.5", then curve out toward the cording. Once you have that cut out, make the end slightly curved. Your piece should look like this pictured below. Repeat for remaining 3 ends (other end of this handle, and 2 on the other handle).
Now we feed the end through the ring, fold down and fit into open end at cording, this step is just a practice, to see if it fits, or needs additional trimming. The end should now look like this:
Once you have a good fit, lift up the end and stick some glue under there, and fold it back and secure with a wonder clip until the glue dries. Repeat until both ends are done on each handle. At this point, you can add your rivets if you choose to use them. Once the glue dries, bring the handle back to the machine, with the zipper foot still in place and continue the line of stitching as far as you can to the end, being careful not to hit the ring with your needle.
The final step is painting the raw edges of the cut vinyl. It doesn't fray, but most of the vinyls have a backing that shows when it's cut. If you look closely at store bought vinyl handles, you'll notice they're painted too! I used Tulip matte finish fabric paint. I couldn't find a colour to match, so I mixed some and I'm pretty pleased with how well my first attempt matches! I bought the cheapest set of paint brushes I could find and they worked just fine for this job. The trickiest part to paint is around the ring, so you may actually decide to paint that part before you glue and sew it up. I didn't want to risk it because I knew my mixed colour would dry up, and I didn't think I'd get a perfect match a second time! If you get it on the vinyl, just wipe it while it's wet. If you choose to do a second coat, make sure the first coat is fully dry first.
Once the paint is dry, curve your handles and store them that way to help form the curve of how they'll be on your completed bag. Now you're done!
If you follow this tutorial, I'd love to see your handles! Upload your picture at my contact form, and I'll share them here!
I get a lot of questions from other bag makers about my zippers. I often match my zipper pulls to the fabric I'm using, giving the bag an extra special touch. Today I'm sharing exactly how I make my zippers. I start with a #4.5 or #5 zipper tape, then choose the correct size zipper pull of whichever colour I want to match with my fabrics. I really love the By Annie Zipper By the Yard available at Stitch in the Ditch, and I also use the zipper tape and pulls from Paccana.
I've created a quick video to show the rest. I also include directions for creating a double-pull zipper.
Not only do I prefer this method, because of the endless possibilities of custom sizes and colours of zippers, but it's much cheaper than buying these specialty zippers individually. I was able to make a custom coloured 36" double pull zipper for 50 cents! Go forth and make zippers! I'd love to hear what you think.
I showed my first Snappy Wallet a while back as a new go-to gift for birthday parties for my six year old son, and now I have a tutorial for it. It's a simple design, and you can add to it, I've really just done the math for you! I think it's great for little kids as their first wallet, just enough room for a library card, a gift card, and some cash. You could easily add a zippered pocket on the back.
I'm also happy to share that Melissa at Funky Monkey Fabrics has agreed to sponsor a giveaway. This kit includes everything you need to make a couple kid friendly Snappy Wallets. The prize pack includes: 4FQs, enough fusible fleece, Craft Fuse, and Peltex to make 2 wallets, and even a few coordinating snaps! Details at the end of the post for how to win.
Fuse fleece to exterior fabric and set aside. Take both snap tab pieces and place right sides together. Cut one short end of the tab to create rounded corners. Fuse 1" x 3.5" fleece to wrong side of one snap tab. Sew snap tabs right sides together with 1/4" seam allowance, making sure to backstitch at start and stop. Here's the trickiest part of the whole wallet: turn right side out, using a chop stick or similar object. Topstitch with a 1/8" seam allowance and set aside.
Take interior fabric, fold and press one 8" edge up by 2.25", then fold and press again, accordion style, so the folded edge is 2.25" from raw edges of piece. Then repeat these steps, but create a 2.75" crease behind the 2.25" crease. So you should have a piece like in this diagram.
Now insert the craft fuse pieces in the corresponding creases and fuse.
Then flip over and fold the 4" high piece down and out of the way and draw a line 2.25" up from bottom edge and 4" from side edges. Stitch along this line, starting 2.25" from edge and going toward bottom, backstitching at start. Only sew through most of the height of the bill slot and the entire height of the card slot, leaving the interior back out of the way. This creates the card slots.
Place snap tab on one side (4") edge of right side of interior assembly, tab facing inside, and place exterior piece right side down on top of snap tab and interior piece. Pin/clip edges, leaving a turning hole at the top of the wallet. Make sure to backstitch at start and stop.
Trim seam allowances to reduce the bulk, especially at the corners. Turn wallet right side out, using a turning tool to make corners as crisp as possible. Install the stud/cap snap on the snap tab. Fold the wallet to mark where the other half (socket) of the snap should go.
Use awl to make snap hole through exterior fabric and fleece only. This part is a bit tricky too: place cap and pliers inside wallet through turning hole and install socket/cap.
It should now look like this.
Now insert the peltex in the turning hole and smooth out evenly inside the wallet. Fold in edges of turning hole and press entire wallet well. Pin/clip turning hole closed and topstitch all the way around wallet.
You're finished! Put a gift card and/or some cash in there and you have a wonderful gift that is sure to be well received.
To enter to win the prize pack, simply comment with who you'd make a Snappy Wallet for. Giveaway open until 11:59pm PST Saturday June 6, 2015. A random winner will be announced after June 7. Open to US and Canadian residents.
Bonus entries for following me onInstagram or Pinterest, or following Funky Monkey on Instagram, just make sure to leave a separate comment for each bonus entry
Today I'd like to share with you my very first tutorial. It's for an insulated lunch bag, with a zippered top. If you're a beginner, don't let the zipper scare you. It's actually quite simple, but the finished product looks great! I started making these because I found all the store bought lunch bags were too small to fit all my reusable containers, so this bag is bigger than the average lunch bag, but I think it's the perfect size (about 12" tall, by 10" wide and 5" across/deep).
All the materials in this bag can be found at Funky Monkey Fabrics, including this adorable superkids cotton. My youngest son picked it out and he's thrilled to have his new "super" lunch bag. Melissa, of Funky Monkey Fabrics strives to carry fun fabric at competitive prices, and I think she hits the mark. She's even offering kits that include everything you need to make this lunch bag, how great is that?!
Pin one end of webbing 3 1/2" from side of one cotton panel onto the right side of the top 13" edge, then pin other end of webbing 3 1/2" from other side of panel, so the inner edges of the webbing are 4" away from each other. Machine baste in place with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Repeat with other cotton panel and piece of webbing.
Place zipper with teeth up, and line up top 13" edge of cotton, right side down onto zipper, sandwiching the handle between the outer cotton panel and the zipper, clip/pin and machine baste in place using zipper foot at a small seam allowance.
Now with zipper teeth down and cotton right side up, layer PUL (shiny side touching zipper) and insulbright onto back side of zipper, clip/pin in place, flip over (so you see your basting stitch) and sew together right over basting stitch.
Now fold back, so wrong side of cotton is touching insulbright, and materials are out of the way, and repeat above steps to attach remaining panels to other half of zipper, making sure to match up sides of panels.
This part is almost like sewing 2 bags. Line up cotton right sides together, and align insulbright and PUL, with PUL right sides together, the zipper will act as a divider between both bags.
Pin in place all around and make sure zipper teeth are facing in to the lining side (PUL). At this point, you'll want to make sure your zipper pull is inside the seam allowance and that the zipper is opened at least half way.
Starting along one side of the lining (PUL/insulbright), using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew down toward the bottom of the lining, around the perimeter, leaving a 4" hole for turning, making sure to backstitch at start and end. Trim seam allowances and zipper if applicable, but leave seam allowance over turning hole intact.
Tip: try using a 5/8" seam allowance while sewing the lining, but taper to 1/2" toward zipper and use 1/2" throughout cotton, then taper back to 5/8" for remaining lining stitching, this will make the lining fit better inside the exterior of the bag.
To make boxed corners, while wrong sides still facing out, pinch a corner seam, matching the side seam and bottom seam, mark a line 2" in from corner point, and stitch along that line. Repeat for remaining 3 corners. Trim corners
Turn bag right side out through turning hole. It may help to reach in and undo the zipper all the way. At this point, you might be questioning whether you left the turning hole big enough...hang in there! Just go slow, and you'll get there!
Tuck seam allowance in at turning hole and finger press the edge, clip in place and sew with a very small seam allowance, or hand stitch using blind stitch if you prefer.
Tip: you'll need a Teflon foot or walking foot for this step, as you'll be sewing the shiny side of the PUL, or you could use freezer paper, wax paper, or even tissue paper over the seam with your regular presser foot, and tear away after you've sewn the hole shut. I've heard putting scotch tape on the bottom of the presser foot works well too.
Push the lining into the outer bag, and voila: your bag is done!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email. I'd love to hear if you end up making your own!
Sponsors and Affiliates
Save 10% with code OKAPI10
Hi! I'm Reece and I love to sew! I'm also a mom and a wife. I love being crafty and sharing tips.
Disclaimer: This website contains affiliate links. Purchases made through those links provide me with a portion of those sales. Proceeds earned through these links help pay to continue running this site. Thank you for your support!