A bag, and a bonus basket

Sometimes a project happens when circumstances collide in just the right way.

  • Nosing around for fabric online, I came across the delightful Lakehouse Tea Labels fabric. Lovely, but I couldn’t think of anything I’d use it for.
  • I also stumbled across Ayumi’s cute lunch bag tutorial. I use a backpack for work, so I don’t need a lunch bag, so I filed it away for ‘maybe for someone else’.
  • A few months ago, I got some fancy French macarons as a treat for my mum. She loved them, but she also loved the sturdy paper carrier bag they came in – she’s been using it as a lunch bag ever since. Alas, it’s made from paper, and when I last visited she told me it was falling apart.

… aha! One plus one plus one = the cutest thing I have ever made!


I didn’t add the drawstring top, because mum’s got arthritis and I thought she might find it fiddly. It’s cute without it, and there’s plenty of room for lunch:

Now, the path to cuteness wasn’t smooth. Ayumi suggests a firm interfacing, so I duly ordered some firm Vilene. Firm? You could build a house with this stuff! I was dubious when I ironed it on, but carried on regardless. When I had to really struggle to turn the bag right-side out, I knew it wouldn’t work out. I set it aside, and made a new outer for my bag (it turns out that ‘medium’ Vilene was just fine). I kept the firm interfacing for the handles (but just used a single layer).

I didn’t want to waste that pretty fabric, though, so I came back to my rigid ‘bag’. I made a second liner to go inside, and some binding for the top, and voila! A useful basket!

It will likely end up in the kitchen, holding spare tea towels.

How firm is ‘firm’ Vilene? This is a glass bowl:

Project stats:

Ayumi’s lunch bag tutorial (for the bag) and improvisation (for the basket). Lakehouse Dry Goods Penelope Tea Labels in Tea for the outer; a Thimbleberries Subtle Solid in a mustardy gold crosshatch for the lining.

I learned that making a bag isn’t difficult or complicated at all! I whipped the bag up in about an hour, ignoring the diversion with the interfacing. The basket took a similar amount of time. The bag, in particular, has a very high cute-to-effort ratio. I’ll be making this again – I might make one for me with the drawstring top for a knitting bag.

And I learned to follow my first instinct about interfacing. If I struggle to fold it in half when it’s fused to fabric, it’s too firm for a bag!

5 thoughts on “A bag, and a bonus basket

  1. Pingback: Captain ProductivePants! | Captain StitchyPants

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