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Insulated Lunch Sack Tutorial {Velcro version}

2014 June 12

UPDATE 2020-07-17: Sew Mama Sew is unavailable. Please use the links to access the original tutorial and pattern.


Click to ACCESS THE LUNCH SACK TUTORIAL on the Wayback Machine


I’ve been busy working with Warp & Weft and Sew Mama Sew to make another tutorial! This time around, it is for a flat-folding lunch bag tutorial, and I got to work with the new Anna Maria Horner collection – Pretty Potent! (Woot Woot!)

When I thought up the idea of making this lunch bag a few months ago I was thinking about how amazing it would be to make this type of lunch bag. You’ve likely seen similar ones at for sale… they fold flat with a zippered closure and lovely oval shaped handle cut-out? Unfortunately for me, some of the details on this bag were stupid complicated extra fun to figure out! Especially if your aim is not to use bias tape because you can never sew it on around curves (or is that just me?) Lucky you – because I’ve done all of the hard work, you can make it the easy way the first time around! (And I get to have extra workable-but-not-quite-right lunch bags around for… umm… using… for stuff… hooray for stuff!)

All kidding aside – I LOVE this tutorial and will likely use it to make my kids’ lunch bags from now until they are finished University. They are insulated with Insul-Bright, and water resistant because they are lined with ripstop nylon. Of course, all of the materials are washable – so they are kid-proof as well! They are very simply constructed, especially the Velcro closure version – since you can omit the longer zipper insertion instructions. I’ve listed a few ideas for how to use them on the main Sew Mama Sew tutorial, and here are a few more. Teacher gifts? or maybe the bus driver, piano teacher, swim instructor or a coach. Maybe you could even make some to use on picnics – everyone packs their favorite meal in their own bag!

Can I talk about the Anna Maria Horner fabric for a while? To be honest, I haven’t been a long-time fan of her work. I have always considered her work interesting, but not interesting enough to buy. But… this collection changed everything, I think I’m now officially hooked and may soon become one of “those people” who are geekily showing off their knowledge of and devotion to AMH! The deep bold colours are beautiful. And somehow she’s managed to mix varying types and styles of art into a cohesive collection. I can think of so many ways to use these individually, but I think my favorite would be an amazing quilt with blocks made of a mix of each print – all together. No solids added. Is that crazy?! (If you want some, you can get the fabrics I used in this tutorial from Warp & Weft!)

Are you ready to make one? This tutorial is a short supplement to the main tutorial posted on Sew Mama Sew and only covers how to use a Velcro closure instead of a zipper closure for the lunch bag. Please be sure to read the directions posted on their site and the instructions below before you begin.

In addition to the main tutorial’s materials you will need:

  • one 13” piece of ¾” Velcro – with hook and loop sides together (omit the 12″ separating zipper from the main tutorial’s materials list)
Here we go:
Follow all directions in the main tutorial on Sew Mama Sew until you reach the end of Step 3. Then continue as noted below.
Step 1: Align and pin straight edge of lower lining and straight edge of upper lining, right sides together. Stitch with a ¼” seam. Repeat for other lining side.
Step 2: Finger press the seam allowance to the lower lining side. Align one half of the Velcro to the lining, centering it over the seam. Pin the top only. (Do not iron, the nylon lower lining may melt!)
Step 3: Stitch the Velcro close to the top edge. Pin the bottom edge of the Velcro, making sure that the seam is flat underneath the Velcro.
Step 4: Stitch the Velcro close to the bottom edge. Trim any extra to the width of the bag.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 2-4 of this tutorial to attach the Velcro to the other lining side.
Step 6: Place one side of the lower lining right side up on your work surface. Align one side of lining base right sides together with the base on top and pin. Stitch with a 3/8” seam allowance. Start stitching at one marked dot and stop your seam at the other marked dot.
Step 7: Fold stitched side of base up out of the way and align and stitch the other side of the lower lining to the other side of the base. Start and stop your seam at the marked dots, as in the last step.
Step 8: Fold the base pieces together and align and pin both sides of the lining. Pin and stitch with a 3/8” seam. Begin stitching where the base stitches meet and finish stitching at the top of the bag.
Step 9: Stitch outer base and sides together (with attached Insul-Bright) in the same way as the lining (Steps 6-8 of this tutorial). Trim away half of all 4 outer base and side seam allowances to reduce bulk.
Return to the main tutorial on Sew Mama Sew to complete your Velcro closure lunch bag. Continue on starting with Step 17 and follow all further steps to the end of the main tutorial.
I hope you love your new lunch bag! Please share your photos on the Thread Riding Hood Facebook page, or hashtag #alongforthreadride or #threadridinghood on Instagram or Twitter. And don’t forget to get your Anna Maria Horner fix from Warp & Weft!
** Please note: This is a sponsored post and the fabric was provided to me at no cost by Warp & Weft, through Sew Mama Sew. However, as always, all opinions are my own and I will not promote a business that I do not love myself!
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19 Responses leave one →
  1. June 13, 2014

    These are seriously cool!
    Jenya recently posted… You & Me – at a glanceMy Profile

  2. Bekk permalink
    June 13, 2014

    I love these bags. Cool and useful! They’re a great design, thanks for doing the hard work for us and writing the pattern. :)

    • June 14, 2014

      Thank you Bekk! I’m glad :) I know I will be using this pattern a lot so I’m glad I took the time to make it.

  3. Amy permalink
    June 13, 2014

    This sack lunch bag is so lovely. Since this pattern is free is it intended only for personal use? Would you be willing to have a version that you sell so home sewists could sew them and sell them?

  4. June 13, 2014

    Another great tutorial Sherri, pinning this for later reference!
    Lisa in Port Hope recently posted… Being a Modern Quilter – The Continuing SagaMy Profile

  5. June 17, 2014

    Great lunch bag. Another great pattern from you.

  6. Lucy permalink
    August 5, 2020

    Hi! This is great, thank you. I made a zippered version years ago. However, the sew mama sew website doesn’t seem to work anymore. Please could you share the main tutorial and pattern here?

    • August 12, 2020

      Hi Lucy. I’ll do my best to update this site – for now you can find the original tutorial on the WayBack Machine here:

      • Lucy permalink
        August 16, 2020

        Hi! Thanks so much for sharing the link to the tutorial. Unfortunately the link to the pattern pieces pdf doesn’t work though

        • Debbie permalink
          August 20, 2020

          I’m interested in this PDF too, unfortunately it is giving it an error on the archive :(

          • September 17, 2020

            Hi Debbie – I think I’ve emailed it to you, but I’ve also updated this post to include a download (check the top of the post) if you still need it.

        • September 17, 2020

          Hi Lucy – I think I’ve emailed it to you, but I’ve also updated this post to include a download (check the top of the post) if you still need it.

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