Last year I picked up a set of expandable Bento boxes on a whim. They have been life changing for lunch packing- and how much my kids actually ate! The only problem was they didn’t fit very nicely in my daughter’s current lunch bag. So I promised her a new one for the start of the school year.
I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a tight squeeze so I decided to sew one up for her. I’m planning on whipping up at least one more to have an extra lunch bag on hand because someone will leave a bag at school or on the bus at some point!
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Here is what you will need:
Outer Fabric – I used a color-me fabric from IKEA. It has a canvas feel to it. Something heavier, like a bottom weight, will give your bag more structure. I had this fabric in my stash I don’t think it is available anymore.
Lining Fabric – I used a vinyl fabric, also from my stash. Something that can be wiped down will be ideal!
3-4 inches of velcro
Cut Your Pieces:
2 body of the bag pieces (1 outer and 1 lining) 8″ Wide x 30″ Long
4 bag side pieces (2 outer and 2 lining) 4″ Wide x 10″ Long
Below are my lining pieces.
A note on directional prints: Your main body piece will wrap around. If your print has a top and bottom keep in mind depending on how you lay the piece it will be upside down on one side.
Sew with 1/4″ seam allowance
Pin your side pieces right side together to the top of your main bag piece. This will become the front of your bag.
Sew from the top edge down. Stop 1/4″ from the bottom of your side piece. Clip your main bag piece where your stitching line ends, but don’t cut past your seam allowance. Repeat on the second side.
Now you are going to pull your main fabric up along the short edge of your side piece. Meeting raw edges, right sides together. The clip will help your fabric pivot.
You’re going to sew the short side from the stitching line to 1/4″ away from the raw edge, just like your first side. Make sure you overlap your stitching lines so you don’t have any holes in your bag!
Repeat with your second side. Your bag will now look like above. You are going to clip your main bag at the end of your new seam just like the first side.
Line up your main bag with the last long edge of your side. Sew from the corner (overlapping stitch lines) to the edge of the side piece. Your main bag piece will be longer than the side piece.
Your bag now looks like this! Repeat all the above steps with your lining. You now have two bags!
Flip them right side out. Grab your velcro. Sew half of your velcro to the right side your lining flap and the second half to the right side of your main bag front. Make sure they are both centered!
Flip your lining bag inside out. Put your main bag inside of your lining bag. They should be right sides together now.
Line up your flaps and bag openings. Sew all the way around leaving a 2-3″ opening in the center front. Keep in mind the stiffer the fabric the larger opening you’ll need to get your bag turned right side out.
Turn your bag right side out! Top stitch around the opening of your bag, tuck in the raw edges of your opening.
You can add a handle, adjust the size, make it your own!
These bento boxes are really handy- they’re expandable so I can shrink them in or pop them out depending on what I pack for them. These are really similar to what I have. I made sure my bag had enough room to hold a fully expanded bento box and a juice box.