Make a Quick and Easy Lunch Bag

Not all bags have to be complicated. Take this Take-it-to-Go Lunch Bag by Melissa Frantz. This easy bag can be stitched up in an afternoon. Enjoy!

Take-it-to-Go Lunch Bag by Melissa Frantz.

You can make this
bag in an afternoon!

Take-it-to-Go Bag


– 1/2 yd (46 cm) of 45" (114.5 cm)-wide quilting cotton, cotton canvas, denim, or home decorator-weight cotton for shell (Main)

– 1/2 yd (46 cm) of 45" (114.5 cm)-wide coordinating quilting cotton, terry cloth, flannel, toweling, or home decorator-weight cotton for lining (Contrast A)

– 1⁄8 yd (23 cm) of 45" (114.5 cm)-wide coordinating cotton fabric (Contrast B) for pocket (optional)

Other Supplies

– Coordinating sewing thread

– 3" (7.5 cm) of ." (1.3 cm)-wide twill tape,1/2" (1.3 cm)-wide double-fold bias tape, or ribbon for loop

– 1/2 yd (46 cm) of interfacing, quilt batting, or insulated batting for interlining (optional; useful if shell or lining fabrics are lighter weight)

– 1 yd (91.5 cm) of cording or narrow twill tape

– Removable fabric marking tool

– Bodkin or safety pin

– Take-It-to-Go Lunch Bag pattern on downloadable Pattern Insert side B (see link below)


– All seam allowances are 5⁄8" (1.5 cm) unless otherwise noted.

– For explanations of terms and techniques and/or help with pattern markings, see Sewing Basics under Free Resources on

– When sewing a straight piece of fabric to a circle, use a minimum of pinning to establish quadrants, then stretch/ease the straight piece as you sew around the circle.

Cut the Fabric

1 Trace and cut out the Lunch Bag pattern pieces and then cut the following pieces from the indicated fabrics, transferring all pattern markings to the wrong side of the fabrics.

From Main fabric, cut:

– 1 Shell Panel

– 1 Shell Bottom

From Contrast A fabric, cut:

– 1 Lining Panel, using the dashed cutting line

– 1 Lining Bottom

From Contrast B, cut one 4" × 10" (10 × 25.5 cm) rectangle for pocket (optional)

From interlining (optional), cut:

– 1 Lining Panel, using the dashed cutting line

– 1 Lining Bottom

Assemble the Shell & Lining

2  For a bag with no pocket, skip to Step 3. Press 1/4" (6 mm) to the wrong side on all four pocket edges. Press an additional 1/2" (1.3 cm) to the wrong side on one short end for the top edge and topstitch near the first fold to complete the hem. Transfer the pocket-location dots (marks made through the drill holes on the pattern) from the pattern to the fabric right side with a removable marking tool. Pin the pocket to the right side of the Shell, positioning the pocket corners on the dots. Edgestitch the pocket's side and bottom edges to attach it to the shell, leaving the pocket's hemmed upper edge open.

3 If using bias tape for the loop, edge stitch the long edges together. Fold the twill or bias tape in half, bringing the raw edges together, one on top of the other, to form a loop. Baste or pin the loop to the right side of the Shell Panel at the notches, aligning the raw edges, with the loop's fold toward the center of the Shell Panel.

4 Fold the Shell Panel in half, right sides together, matching the short sides. Stitch the short sides together, leaving the indicated 3/4" (2 cm) area (see pattern) between the notches unstitched and backtacking on each side of the gap.

5 Press the seam allowances open, pressing the seam allowances to the wrong side along the gap. Carefully edge stitch around the 3/4" (2 cm) gap to create an opening for the drawstring.

6 With right sides together, pin the Shell Bottom piece to the Shell Panel. Match one notch on the Shell Bottom to the seam in the Shell Panel, then match the other notches to corresponding notches on the other piece of fabric. Ease the fabrics as necessary.Trim the bottom seam allowance to 1/4" (6 mm).

7 For a bag without interlining, skip to Step 8. Match the interlining pieces to the corresponding Contrast A pieces, wrong sides together. Quilt the two layers together, referring to the manufacturer's instructions for spacing the quilting lines. A simple allover grid or loops of free-motion quilting will hold the layers together well.

8 With right sides together, fold the Lining Panel (with optional interlining backing) in half widthwise, matching the short sides. Sew the short edges together, leaving a 4"(10 cm) gap for turning. Repeat Step 6 to attach the Lining Bottom.

Finish the Bag

9 With the lining inside out and the shell right side out, place the shell inside the lining, right sides together, matching the sideseams. Sew around the entire top edge of

the bag. Trim seam allowances to 1/4" (6 mm) and press the seam open.

10 Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the lining seam and tuck the lining into the shell. Match the bottom seams, rolling the shell fabric to the inside so the shell/lining seamline is 1/2" (1.3 cm) below the top of the bag. Press the fold.

11 Stitch in the ditch of the shell/lining seam through all layers to make a channel for the drawstring. Thread the cording through the channel, using the topstitched opening for entry and exit. Use a bodkin or safety pin to thread the cording through, attaching it to one end of the cord and working the bodkin or safety pin along the channel with your fingers until it returns to the opening. Tie the cord ends together.

For lots more bag patterns, check out the new Bag It! Premium Collection with 40+ bag patterns for just $24.99, including the new book Best of Stitch: Bags to Sew, Stitch Summer 2013 and a CraftTree booklet on bags. It's an amazing deal!

Do you have a favorite easy bag pattern? Do tell!

Happy stitching!

P.S. Download the pattern insert here.







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About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.