Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekend Sewing - A Lunch Tote, Headband, and NYB

It's always a good weekend when the commitments are minimal and the majority of my time can be spent in the sewing room. My big project for the weekend is this insulated lunch tote.

It is adapted from this tutorial. I'm happy I made it, but if I did it again, I'd do so many things differently. I put clear vinyl on the inside to keep any condensation from soaking through. It was very difficult to sew with. Since it stuck to my sewing machine, I had to add a layer of paper underneath so it would slide through my machine, then tear the paper away after each seam.

Then, the inside edges aren't finished. I know how to make a finished lining for a bag, and I should have adjusted the instructions so I could do so with this project, but the lazy in me took over and just went with the basic instructions.

The insulator fabric I use is Therma-Flec and it is just fabric; there is no batting attached to it. What that means is that every surface of this lunch tote has outer-fabric-insulation-batting-insulation-inside-fabric-vinyl. That is six layers, so when sides are being sewn together, it is TWELVE layers. I used my walking foot so that helped some, but wow, what a workout it was getting this put together.

On the positive side, the color combo is perfect. The tutorial called for a buckle but I didn't have one. I like the button and ponytail holder alternative. I like that it is insulated. It's pretty roomy, too. It should easily hold several food containers and a couple of ice packs. It is seven inches across the front, six inches deep, and nine inches tall.

Because this project was a bit challenging for me, I worked on a couple of smaller things in between. This headband was made using this tutorial.

The tutorial called for 5 1/2" of elastic for the base, but I ended up needing 7 1/2". Either I have a big head or I like my headbands to have a more relaxed fit. This was fast, easy, and a great way to use up scraps. I plan to make some more of these and may play around with using orphan blocks and other pieced scraps for them.

I'll also play around with the width. I like this width for showing off the fabric, but something narrower might suit my taste a little better.

My college son came home for the weekend and asked me to do some repair work to his favorite blue jeans. Some of the holes were starting to become more revealing than he liked.

It's hard to see here but those holes around the back pockets are big enough to easily stick a finger through, and they are becoming thread bare all over. They won't last much longer no matter what I do, but I did add a panel behind the holes so they would see him through a few more weeks of wear.

Not glamorous, but definitely functional. I also had to resew one of the belt loops. It's funny how I will spend hours happily sewing small pieces of fabric together, but the second it is called "mending", it isn't fun anymore.

Last but not least, my Saturday New York Beauty block. Sunday's is cut out and I hope to get it sewn before the day is done.

The sewing room is in need of some tidying up after all this weekend sewing. There are a few threads, scraps, and sewing tools scattered about the room. Time to clean it up so we can start again.


  1. Love your new lunch bag, Deb! I'll check out those directions. Glad to see you sewing.

  2. Love the lunch bag...but I must make these headbands for the girls...makes me want to let my hair grow out so I could wear em...they are so cute!

  3. Made the first headband today out of Dawg fabric...the girls will love these..I do agree about the width and imthink I will make the next ones narrower...will let youmknow how they turn out! Thanks form the idea!

  4. Wish I could type on this IPad!


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