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As promised, here is the step by step process to make my Padded Fruit and Veggie Lunch Totes!

First, you need to figure out what size you want your bag to be. I start with the rectangular base size and then see how tall I want the bag and straps. This bag is about 4″x 8″ and then 5″ to the hand hold opening. You can tweak this, and the shape all you want, try experimenting with a piece of paper by cutting and folding till you get the dimensions and shape you want.

Now, you’re going to need some supplies:

– 4 different fabrics for the outside

– fabric for lining

– insulated batting

– DOUBLE fold bias tape (that part is very important)

– and some thread.

Tools you will need, that you will ALWAYS need when you are sewing something:

– good scissors

– an iron (having a board is great, but a towel on the floor works well too)

– needle or sewing machine

– pins

– seam ripper (your best friend)

And now you’re ready to get started.

Cut out your outer fabric pieces. Make sure you have 2 right sides and 2 left. Think about what colors you want next to each other before you cut!)

Do all your cutting at the same time, it will save you time later.

When you are making your pattern pieces, you want to scale down the batting and lining patterns a little to allow for three bags to fit within each other.

If you want to ad an inner pocket, or a label, you should do it while the lining is like this, otherwise it gets a little tricky. Working on a flat surface is easiest.

Sewing Step 1: Sew both sides and handles together and then press the seams open.

The ironing step is often overlooked, and that’s a shame. It takes 2 seconds and it makes things lie flat and look pretty. You should also (almost) always press your seams open, and not to either side. It creates the least amount of bulk.

Sewing Step 2: sew the two pieces together at the bottom and press seam open.

Sewing Step 3: Fold the bag in half, right sides (the side where the print is most dominant) together, and sew the side seams together, then press open (which I apparently waited till after this photo to do).


Sewing Step 4: Close the bottom corner openings by folding like in the above photo and lining up the edges and sewing closed. Flip you bag right-side out and Voila!


Sewing Step(s) 5: Repeat steps 3 & 4 on the lining and the batting, but don’t turn the lining inside-out. You want this to fit inside the bag.

batting bag!

Time to put them all together!

Ida has to take a peek.

Next, pin your binding all the way around the opening and the hand hols, or do them separately if this is too many pins for you.

Bias tape is cut on a 45° and therefore is kind of stretchy and can be pulled and manipulated to cover curves. Warning: the hand hols are really hard!

Now, I used a zig-zag stitch on my binding, but you can also use a regular straight stitch if you want it to be more subtle. Take your time, and make sure the binding is covering all three of the bags layers.

Then guess what? You’re done!

Enjoy! And have fun playing with pattern shapes and sizes. I will try to add some pattern PDFs soon.