It is the week before school starts and I am having the same exact thoughts I have every year right about now – How am I going to pack my kid’s lunches without using throw away bags or plastic? My daughter sometimes eats out of a tiffin, which is also great, but has similar limitations. We have some other stainless steel containers – sandwich and thermoses – but sometimes you just want to pack a bag with snacks or a sandwich because everything is getting too heavy. So, here I am with the majority of the summer behind me and feeling that rise in the simple maternal need to organize so we get off to a smooth start.
If you own a sewing machine, these cloth bags are very quick to whip up. I love plain canvas because it always inspires me to “draw” with my thread and that little bit of creativity feels good. If you are worried that there will be something damp near the bag that might make the snack stale, then you might want to make the bag 2 layers – the inside layer being canvas or muslin, and the outside being something waterproof, like oilcloth.
If you have seen Improv Sewing, you’ll know how much I like to draw with thread. This project only requires straight lines, but if you want to doodle and scribble stitches, just release the pressure of your presser foot and you can manipulate the fabric any which way – just make the needle move fast and the fabric movement slow for nice stitches.
What you’ll need:
– unbleached muslin or canvas
– contrasting thread
– sew-on Velcro
1. Decide how big you want to make your sack(s). Make a range. Mine measured 6”x 8”, so I cut a strip of canvas 6×16 since it will be folded.
2. Draw your design to stitch. Use a vanishing ink pen or pencil (make light marks) and draw your design on what will be the outside of the sack.
3. Set your machine to a straight stretch stitch for a nice bold line. If you have never used your utility stitches before, I hope this opens up a whole new world. Look in your manual if this is a mystery to you, though most machines have a clear way to select these stitches.
4. Start stitching! This straight stretch stitch goes like this: 2 stitches forward and one stitch back, so pay attention to the backstitch if you want your lines to start and stop in exact places. It is always good to practice first if you have never drawn with thread, but be ready for a slight addiction!
5. Sew on velcro. Fold the canvas so it is 6×8, with the right side of the design on the inside. Fold over the top raw edge about a ½” (press if you want to) and place a length of one side of the Velcro atop the edge of this fold like this:
I used a zig zag stitch to sew down the Velcro because I thought it would look cute against the fabric – and it did. Any stitch will do.
Repeat with other side of sack and the other side of the Velcro – you know one side is soft and one side has loops so they lock together.
6. Sew up the side seams. With the wrong side of the sack still facing out, stitch from the top edge (backstitch too) to the bottom fold (backstitch here as well). You can see that I used an overlock stitch so the raw edge of the canvas wouldn’t fray too much. You could also use a straight stitch and then just zig zag over the edge afterward (or use pinking shears) Repeat on the other side and turn your sack right side out.
Like I said, I will just use this for dry snack and packing utensils and napkins and love notes and stuff like that. They are handy and wicked cute and can be personalized any which way you want. Of course you could also label them with a name bubbles sticker too! Do show off what you make by commenting and sending a link- we’d all love to see!