{Eco Tutorials} Cloth Lunch Bag and Utensil Pouch

If you read last Sunday’s post, you already know that Eco Etsy’s indomitable co-captain, Karen Lee, had quite an adventure on 6 March, giving her presentation on “How to Green Your Business and Save Money” at Martha Stewart’s Dreamer Into Doers event. Nice going Karen – we know you rocked the show!

A few of us Team Eco Etsy seamsters turned our work spaces into mini-sweatshops for the weeks leading up to the big event, in order to knock out 100 lunch bags, 100 utensil pouches, and 100 cloth napkins for inclusion in Karen’s swag bags to be handed out at the event. In my case, I recruited my sister Cath (who, conveniently, lives in my building) and I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for putting up with my whip-cracking. She knows me so well and volunteered anyway – what an angel!

Clockwise from top-left: Cloth napkins by Picnic Basket Crafts and Johnson Family Zoo, lunch bags and utensil pouches by HerbanLuxe and LindaEve. Lunch bags and pouches by Karen Meyers appear above.

A pattern for the lunch bag and utensil pouch, drafted by yours truly, is available here and you can follow this simple tutorial to make a set for yourself or for someone lucky enough to be your friend. Note: both patterns allow for 1/2” seam allowance.

Lunch Bag

  1. Cut 4 pieces – 2 for outside, 2 for lining.
  2. Mark the outside pieces for placement of velcro – one on the front, one on the back, as noted on the pattern. Sew the velcro on where marked.
  3. Starting with outside pieces, with right sides together, stitch side and bottom seams (leave cut out corners unstitched).
  4. Next, bring the corners together, matching seams, and stitch across, as diagrammed at the left. You now have one “box bag”.
  5. Follow same procedure with the lining.
  6. Then, with right sides together and seams matching, nest the lining into the outer bag and stitch all around, leaving a two inch gap unstitched.
  7. Turn the whole construction right side out and re-nest the lining into the outer piece. Turn under and press and pin the opening, then top stitch all around, staying close to the edge (this will close the turning gap as well as top-stitch).

Utensil Pouch

  1. Cut two pieces – 1 for outside, one for lining.
  2. Mark lining piece for placement of velcro at the rounded top and mark outer piece for placement of velcro at other end.
  3. Mark fold line 2 on outer piece.
  4. Sew on velcro where indicated.
  5. With right sides together, stitch the lining to the outer piece, leaving a two inch unstitched gap on one side.
  6. Turn the construction right side out , press.
  7. Fold up on fold line 2, with lining to the inside. Pin and stitch sides close to the edge (this will close the turning gap as well as top-stitch).

Suggestion – For both bag and utensil pouch you can use a botton and loop instead of velco.

Special thanks to the fabulous seamster volunteers who donated their time, materials, and talent for the effort:

Please let us know, in the comments below, what you think of this tutorial.

All the best,
Linda

This post was written by

LindaEve – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.
I'm an ex-hippie, eco-friendly, vegetarian mom of one grown daughter and three (OK, four) cats. By day I work at a university research lab, but my true passion is sewing - given the choice, I would sew all day and night, making beautiful, useful things out of discarded clothing and remnants. I am grateful for the opportunity to share some green crafting madness with the Eco Etsy team and all our blog readers.

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Comments

  1. Hi Linda!

    What type of fabric do you recommend for these bags? Thanks for the patterns!

    Beckie

  2. Linda,

    I can’t thank you enough for whipping up this tute in less than 6 hours for the members to use. Without the standard pattern, it would have been harder for everyone.

    And again, thanks to all the seamsters who came to the rescue in such a short time.

    You guys ROCK!

  3. Hey Linda;

    This pattern was so easy to use. I made 5 lunch bag and 5 utensil holders and I was able to make them in a day which was awesome. You totally rock for making this pattern.

    Myra