Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

This diverse, reusable lunch sack can be used as either a full sized lunch bag or a shorter "snack" sack. The zipper strap can be zipped to carry over one shoulder, or opened up to wear as a backpack.

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

You can zip it completely to make it a handle, partially zip it and wear it over one shoulder, or unzip completely and wear it as a backpack! 

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

And finally, I took some advice from comments here and on Craftster that suggested using a piece of plastic embroidery canvas to stiffen up the bottom.

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

The result is a very diverse, reusable lunch bag and/or snack sack.

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Cut (2) each, 11" x 14" pieces of outer fabric, lining fabric and iron-on interfacing.

Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the outer fabric.

Additional supplies::
1 1/4" x 5" scrap fabric for the button flap
two buttons
2 1/2" x 4" scrap of fabric for name tag
15" zipper
extra stiff plastic embroidery canvas

rotary cutter
cutting mat
sewing machine
temporary fabric marker or chalk

To make the button flap, cut a 1 1/4" wide x 5" long piece of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise. You should have a 1 1/4" x 2 1/2" piece.

Round off the raw edges.

Starting a little bit below the folded edge, sew as close as possible around the raw edges. Finish and backstitch just below the folded edge.

Cut off the folded edge.
Turn inside out and press flat with an iron.

Mark your button hole.

Sew all around the right side of the flap and make your button hole.

To make the name tag, cut a 2 1/2" x 4" piece of fabric that coordinates with your outer fabric. In a cursive font, print out the name so that it will fit onto the fabric piece.

I used the font "CrayonE", from the "Crayon, Plume, Seyes" font family, available for free on dafont.

Using a lighbox (or tape the paper with the printed name to a sunny window and use that as a makeshift lightbox) trace the name onto your fabric.

Using a short stitch length, slowly and carefully "embroider" the name onto the fabric. It will not be a totally clean line, but I like that look.

Alternately, you could write the name using fabric marker or paint. you could also try freezer-paper printing or even make your own iron-on transfer.

Pin the name tag 5" from the top of the outer fabric, centered.

Sew the name tag on using a zig-zag stitch. I like to go around twice. The edges will be raw and will fray a little after some use.

If you don't like the frayed edge look, you can either iron on an interfacing or Lite Steam-a-Seam, or you can fold over and iron the edges before sewing it to the outer fabric.

This is how you make both the lining and the outer sack. I'll show all of the steps for making the lining, and you can repeat it with the outer fabric.

With right sides together (2 pieces of 11" x 14" fabric), sew three sides with a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave one short side (11") raw.

Cut off the bottom two corners, taking care not to cut through your stitches.

Now you are going to make the bottom of the bag.

Open up your bag and re-flatten it so that the seam you just stitched is at the center. It should make a house shape with two triangle flaps at the top. If you "open" the triangles, it will look like this picture.

Make sure all of your seams are facing the same direction and press with an iron.

Take a ruler and adjust it until you have a triangle with a 4" bottom-taking care that the ruler is parallel to the bottom edge. Mark your 4" line on both triangle flaps.

Sew each flap separately on your marked lines. You are NOT sewing the flaps together! You should still have two separate triangle flaps, each one sewn of with a 4" line.

Cut off the tops of the triangles.

Repeat with your outer fabric. Right sides together.

Re-fold, press, mark a 4" line, sew and cut triangle flaps.

Turn the outer fabric right-side out.
Don't wake up the napping baby with your loud, clicky camera

Leave the lining right-side in, and insert the lining into the outer bag. The seams should line up.

Your lining should fit snugly inside the outer bag. The raw seams should not be visible.

Now it's time to press your edges. This part can be a little tricky.

Make sure your lining is snugly inside the outer bag. Push into the corners and line up the seams as neatly as possible.

Make a fold that goes up from a corner. Your folded edge should be parallel to the side seam and perpendicular to the bottom seam. Press flat with an iron. repeat with the other three corners.

All four edges should be neatly pressed. Also press the four bottom edges. All of your folded edges should now be crisp and neat, and the bag should be much more sturdy now.

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Now time to hide the raw top edges.

Fold in the top raw edge of the outer fabric by 1/4" and press all the way around.

Fold the lining in toward the outer fabric so the raw edges are hidden and then press.

The outer fabric and lining should now look like this. you can re-press the folded edges, if necessary.

Add buttons 1 1/2" above and, if desired, below the name tag. This will give you two options for bag sizes-a full lunch sack size, and a "snak" size.

Make the zipper strap.
Take a 15" zipper and double fold the raw edges and press.

double fold and press bottom raw edges of the zipper.

pin the bottom of the zipper to the bottom center of the bag.

open the zipper a bit at the top and pin to each side, 4 1/2" from the top.

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Place the button flap in between the outer fabric and the lining on the back side of the sack. Center and pin in place.

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Sew along the top of the bag-sewing the lining to the outer fabric. Then sew down each folded edge.

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

This is a closer view of the back of the bag and the sewn folded edges. You can backstitch and re-sew over the zipper ends to make them a little more secure.

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

To sew along the bottom edges, first pull the sides out to avoid sewing through them. The bottom pic shows what it should look like when you flip the top flap down. This is the bottom of your bag.

You will sew one edge at a time-sew, remove from the machine, re-position the next side to look like the picture above and repeat until all four edges are sewn.

This is a close-up view of a bottom edge once it has been sewn.

Cut a piece of plastic embroidery canvas to fit inside the bottom of your bag. It should be approximately 4" x 6", but measure the bottom of your bag and cut to fit.

Completed lunch sack, full size

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Zipper Strap Lunch Sack - all views

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

Zipper Strap Lunch Bag Tutorial

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