Skip to main content

craft & maker

Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Lesson 15 of 23

Building the Lunch Tote Body

Susan Beal

Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Susan Beal

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

15. Building the Lunch Tote Body

Lesson Info

Building the Lunch Tote Body

Time on the home stretch of my last box that's so I'm going to go ahead and show you how to align the body of the bag and start building it I think goes pretty quickly once you have everything lined up let's see, I somehow have a piece of blue thread from a bobbin that's tucked in the case and now I'm going to go ahead in term all these pesky threats at once there's a new seam ripper I bought that I really like that the handle is this kind of, uh flexible, pliable feeling stuff and what it does it's so cool is if anybody knows that feeling of when you've seen ripped and you take something out and it's kind of slightly frustrating that you've had to just lose a few stitches or change things around then that pliable kind of flexible handle you just rub it over all the loose threads and it's sex them right up so you don't have to do quite so much this finale picking them apart so so now I have my lunch totes ready to add sites and you can see my side they're nice and straight, which is gr...

eat I'm going to choose sort of ah front later I think I wouldn't choose the side that has the cut apples you don't have to think about that now, but just in general you'll just have a friend in the back of the lunch tote and with your side you want to see if you would orient any directional fabric like this? I like the way that this one looks um with the apple upward so the first thing you'll do for this project is mark your absolute halfway point of the bag so folder handles together at the top fold this and create kind of a hard crease there and use a pencil on the underside of this to market so that's where you weren't that then you'll want tio mark using a quote ruler foreign half inches on either side are total as your bottom because you're besides our foreign averages so you want to end one quarter inch which is half of that to be a carer so I've got my two inches of my quarter inch are on my pencil mark so I've made a mark two and a quarter inches above that now I'm going to do the same thing on the other side and I'm gonna test us with my four and a half inch side lines up pretty well that's great and would do the same thing with this one and then you're just gonna look and see for your side where you want it to hit so for the oilcloth as you can see with these the stitching is on the outside this isn't like a typical cotton or other fabric bag where the seams might be on the inside we're gonna have our seems showing so I'm going tio actually with to what we're going to dio is with our wrong sides facing and this is the way I wanted to arrange it as I mentioned it this is going to be the bottom I want to sew this here someone a pen in place so it aligns with my bag sites and I'll penned the second one in place in just a moment I'm gonna use about a three eighth seema welts this is another one that as long as you're consistent you can use a narrow or one if you perv for I wouldn't go a lot white or you'll lose quite a bit of the bag to your seamounts but it's totally again a personal preference so the edge of this also conveniently is right around just about three it's just a little narrower so that's the nice for kind of following visually if you're using a different presser foot, that guideline can help and I'm going to leave just a little about the three ts amount of space between the edge of my side and where I start stitching I'm gonna leave that open a swell and start just three it son like the same way so this I am going to back such to reinforce do the same at the other side so that's my first side joint and as you can see in a couple minutes will have the bag finished this way, but I just want to show how this stitching creates the base and then you'll end up sitting rate up the vertical sides. Now we'll do the exact same thing with our second side again. I made my apple so that's oriented correctly so it's not upside down, same with us. I like the way the one with seeds looks just kind of cute they're so in a pennant in place the same way lining up that I just really well and then I'm going to stitch this with the same three eighths and the same little gap at the just okay, so we're almost tio lunch tote I'm going to go ahead and show you this is very simple how we do our next step you're basically going tio a line on the top of this side with the top of your your friend or back to the bag and I actually like to stitch it on this side that's the front of the bag rather than this side it's just totally personal preference so one says are aligned neatly that's your priority than your pen down there from there say at the halfway points you have a neat joint and then you pin here so that you have another porn and this is where that corner is going to be for the front of the bag I'll go ahead and stitch this one and then I'll just penned in such the others the same way it's the identical process each time so one thing they're actually going to sew it on the other sects think it'll just be easier to show you after all if I were doing it at home it doesn't you know just without teaching anyone at the same time it's really up to you this is one of those things that was sewing works really well no matter which orientation you personally prefer so here I have my three inches again let me excuse me three eighths of an inch again and this time I'm going right to the top there's no need to stop before the top of the top edge of the bag in the top of the sides we're going to reverse just to hold the seam and then such all the way back down to this corner where it joins the bottom and reverse there as well I'm going to take my pen on advance and people great so that's one side joint and I'll do the next one the same way as you can see the white thread is looks but I think it looks pretty nice with the green and the white and a little less distracting than a great green might be so this is another place to just quickly mention this is why I went ahead and added the handles early because you could add them now or you could an application now but as the bags starting to come together it's a bit more complicated to do you know philly exact measurements and placements it's kind of nice to have those parts already over with I'm the other thing I was singing jake here with the uh back idea is that you could easily once you figure out your preferred kind of size and style you could make these in different sizes and well absolutely cause I was thinking as well in california and I'm sure this is true elsewhere as well you now have to bring all your own bags to the grocery story centers soto have ready made bags out of washington were wiped clean as well will be fantastic absolutely and these are nice lightweight ones but you could always reinforce them with a heavier bottom I'm going to show you a little trick for making a nice structural a base for a kid's lunch bag in a minute but something happier be great too I know they sell some kind of thing that you can make your fat if you fell in love with a different fabric and you can put that you can put this plastic stuff on me have you tried that I haven't done that but I've heard about it that's a great idea then you could kind of have a lot of freedom and what fabric is very cool all right, so one side's on starting to look like a back let me just stitch up the second side the same way I did the first one and we will be good to do are finishing touches and put some cute stuff inside when a pen and I know I've mentioned this but one thing to emphasize is where you want to really exact match is the top of the side in the top of the bag the bottom corner what kind of neatly align itself as you get that one but you don't want to have it be just a fraction of an inch off it won't look as neat and cute all right, sir petting these into place so it's gonna stitch this the same way besides on looks like it kind of way the nice thing with this one is that you can always finish it just you know, if you make a few and have some cut out you can always finish them you know, next time you sit down to sell ah more great ideas coming in from online because michelle is saying, you know, this could be done for a cute trick or treat bag many of you acted with reflective tape a little that's a great idea and perfect for well, if you happen to live in portland where it often is that it rains on halloween so he made end up with it being an all weather events all right I've got my fourth side I always really love during the last one it's kind of fun tow b on the home stretch of these little projects so for this final side you also it just the same way but one thing to just take a minute with and just be a little more careful than you might be for the first one for example is you know have the whole body of the bag that's very compact whereas before it was kind of flattened and easy to maneuver so you want to take I care not to accidentally stitch over a different area of the bag and catch it at the same time someone huh and these little corners could be a little trickier is so but as long as you get a good back stench in there when you finish the bottoms it'll be a structurally much sounder bag so here you go I'm going to quickly show you guys how to do this front seem and back seam you may not even need to pen it goes so quickly so what you'll do is flattened this front and based together drop your presser foot and still it's just a neat clean seem forward here that is if your threads season in which case it won't be so quick if it doesn't so I will just read you this real quick sewing live is full of surprises yeah it's very uh it's very really because I think a lot of times is sewing or with anything like this it's very process oriented you'll see uh read for example read a sewing book and it never says if your threat pops out, you'll do this but because there's just the luxury of editing it and kind of just saving on lee the parts that work well and so it's good though with this to just have these real time moments where we can fix our threat glitches or whatever works so this is my first side stitch it's just our times of threats hanging up on both sides it's just a very basic reinforcing stretch here then I'm going to do the same thing on the back this is going to just create a stronger bag base and make sure it works well for, you know, months and years instead of just, you know, coming undone more easily see that stitching looking perfect all right, great, so I'm gonna go ahead and trim all these threats. Another thing that you never seen a sewing book is the project with, you know, sixteen or twenty threads hanging off in every corner and direction, but we all have to take that minute and get rid of them one by one to make your own oilcloth if you had a fabric that you really liked and that wasn't necessarily coated yes, as she was mentioning they actually have a product now I don't know the exact details, but you could certainly look it up and find out some good info where you can actually do something really cool and cover and existing I think medium weight woven like a cotton and really come up with something great, very customized, so like a thicker threat, like a more like a top stitching thread, I haven't that's a great idea to those something like, you know, just like a almost like a you know, a boat boat bag like a canvas back that certainty and we're twelve would be great. I'm so I'll just show you thiss went, um for this bag, you have two options, you can leave it just like this and it's totally just ready to go with an open top or this is one example of it like this that's just doesn't have a closure or my favorite, we can add a little pearl snap, so I'll show you how to do that, and it looks like the session is winding down so I can show that at the top of the next one and finish this project. But in the meantime, I do have something fun to show, which is very simple, just one of those things that makes, ah project really special and cool with your bag it's perfect tio two store flat because it's just got a simple easy bottom there's no step parts or hard parts but one thing that's really nice is that you can laminate simple card stock you could also if you wanted to make something cute and matching, you could use straight stitch and so a piece of foil plot to the front of this after before or after it's laminated but laminated card stock rates of perfect reinforced bottom and each of you guys will see at your sewing stations here in the studio that there's one cut for each of you to the correct size. So as you can see on the overhead camp there's this really great pretty orange card stock that's kind of ideal for keeping it reinforce but also what's great is you can slip it right out when you wash thus and wipe it clean. Another thing I love to dio is right my daughter little notes when she has her lunch at school so a little laminated card in a solid color that you could write little notes on and that wipes clean is perfect to tuck inside along with lunch so cute thank you. Well, I'm super excited I am I'm looking forward to finishing this one up and the other projects will be working on in the second such a session of this segment is this cute little change purse so we'll be learning how to do not on ly setting snaps, but setting islets like rivets, which is really fun. And I'm sure you'll use on lots of other projects besides these two.

Class Description

Are you intimidated by your sewing machine? Don't be! Join experienced sewist Susan Beal as she guides you through the basics of sewing, including using straight stitches, zigzag stitches, simple appliqué, and easy binding.

Using simple projects in kid's sizes, Susan will teach you to customize t-shirts, create simple tote bags, reusable napkins, and more! You'll learn tricks that the experts use to create their own contrasting binding tape, how to sew on a variety of fabrics, and how to incorporate snaps and eyelets into your projects.

If you're a beginning sewer this course will give you clear, easy-to-follow ideas and inspiration for projects that tap into your family’s creative spirit.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Susan Beal Back to School Craft Ideas and Projects.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



What a great class! Susan does a fabulous job explaining each project and is great at giving you a heads up on what issues you might face with each project. I've now made two applique projects with another in the works. I've also made two of the girls skirts. Susan gave me the confidence to try and I am really happy with the results. Hope to try the binding tape soon. Thanks for offering this video.

Amanda Siska

Susan's projects were the best introduction to sewing I could have hoped for! I wasn't able to watch every project, but the ones I saw were simple, VERY clearly explained, and perfect for a beginning seamstress like myself. I'd never used binding tape before, or elastic, but now I'm confident about making my own binding tape and adding elastic waistbands to pretty much anything. I was immediately inspired to make a few skirts for myself after watching the simple children's skirt in this course, and I'm planning to make cloth napkins and an oilcloth lunch sack as well. I wish I'd gotten to see the applique portion, so I think I'll have to purchase the course in order to see that part. I'm positive that it will be just what I need to learn the process! I see that the previous reviewer was disappointed by the lack of diversity of crafts for this course, but I find that the name "Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners" was completely accurate for what it was. Perhaps it was categorized in a craft category, which would still seem applicable. I think it was advertised as having back to school projects to make for your kids, which is an even more detailed description of the course, since it includes clothing for boys and girls, as well as a lunch tote, cloth napkin, cape, and maybe more things I missed. Overall, this was my first Creative Live experience, and I was blown away by how informative and fun it was to watch!


Fun projects to make for your little one. Susan explains things so clearly. Very nice that she also offers patterns and written instructions for free