Stitching up a new Lunch Tote Bag

I’ve not used my sewing machine for a while now and the poor little thing has been gathering dust in the cupboard for far too long, so whilst I have had a few days off of work and due to the weather not being too good over these Christmas Holidays I decided to get a bit crafty and make something out of the oilcloth material that I bought a while back.

After searching the internet I found a pattern to follow on sewmamasew website

I cut out four pieces of square material measuring 12″ x 12″, two pieces are for the outer of the lunch bag and the other two are for the inner lining



I used the same material for both on this particular project.

At the bottom of all of the pieces cut out the corners 2″ x 2″

Put the two outer pieces together with the right sides touching each other and stitch down the sides, Do Not stitch the cut out piece! Then stitch the along the bottom.


On the inner lining put a mark along the bottom about 2″ on either side


(excuse the ruler lol)

Stitch together the sides, leave the cut out notch and then stitch from the edge to the mark and then from the second mark to the edge, the gap in the middle will be used later to pull through the bag and turn it the right way. Do this to all of the corners, your bag will start to show some shape.


Mark the corners of the notches with a dot on all of the pieces. (The square piece cut out) Pinch the dots and pull the fabric apart, line up the seams and stitch the edges together, Sorry this is hard to explain without showing you, but hopefully the photo will make sense.


Turn the outer lining the right way round and mark in 3″ on both sides from the edge, this will be where you will sew your straps on. Make a mark with a pencil at the middle of both sides, this will be where your button will go.

Cut out two strips of material, measuring about 15″ long and 2″ width, fold it twice and then stitch together all the way down the middle NB: this will only work if your material does not fray


Line the straps up with the marks on the bag and stitch them in place with the straps meeting the edge of the bag , keep the nice side of the strap facing downwards.

Place the outer of the bag inside the lining


Pin the edges together making sure that the seams line up with each other.


If you are going to apply a button to seal the bag then a thin hair bobble will work as the connector. Pin it in place at the mark that you put into the centre of the back of the bag earlier. Stitch both the bags together around the top.

Once sewn together you need to pull through the outer bag through the hole that was left at the bottom of the inner lining.


Stitch up the hole of the lining and place it all bag into place so it looks like this


To finish it off sew all around the top of the bag to give it an edging and add a button of your choice to the front of the bag.

I have made two so far using different materials, one owl and one bunting.


I have used oilcloth material for both and even for the lining as it is wipeable and strong. Depending on the type of oilcloth you use, it can become quite sticky under the foot of the sewing machine so at some points of making the bag i had to cover the material in tissue paper and stitch it together with it on, so it could go through the foot of the machine easily.

What do you think?

I am off to make a snack bag for the little one to use with his lunch bag and I have orders from my Mum and Aunt to make a shopping bag and wash bag 🙂

My instructions may not be clear