Bento Bag ~ A Lunch bag Tutorial

Sew Mama Sew and Spoonflower put together a fabulous

Kitchen Linens Challenge!

The challenge was to choose a kitchen fabric from Spoonflower and make anything kitchen related… I made this fun Bento Bag!

Bento Bag ~ a lunch and snack bag tutorialI think selecting the fabrics was almost harder than making the bag!  I was deep into the fabric ‘rabbit hole’ at Spoonflower, but I couldn’t get my eyes off this Equilibrium from Scrummy’s food and drink collection!  And I’m sure you can see why!  Am I right?

equilibrium fabric by scrummy on spoonflower

I chose a coordinating fabric called Springtime Gold Spot, also by Scrummy to coordinate!

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Both fabrics are in Spoonflowers Linen Cotton Canvas.  If you are not familiar with Spoonflower, you choose your fabric design (or design your own!) and then you choose what type of fabric to print it on!  You can get Kona Cotton, Minky, Knit, Satin, Canvas and more!  If you are a quilter check out my Quilt Labels with Spoonflower Tutorial and design your own quilt labels!

Want to make this Bento Bag?

Bento bag - lunch and snack bag sewing tutorial

General Notes:

  • Always sew 1/2″ seam unless otherwise noted.
  • Backstitch at all start and stops.

Here is what you need…


  • 3/4 yard equilibrium cotton canvas fabric
  • 1/2 yard springtime gold spot cotton canvas fabric
  • (2) 14″ x 12″ pieces of insul-bright
  • 1/2 yard of ripstop nylon for lining
  • 7″ separating zipper
  • steam a seam 1/4″ tape
  • 15″ nylon strap for handle
  • optional fusible interfacing

To get started, from the equilibrium fabric cut:

  • two 10″ x 12″ for the bag exterior
  • two 2 1/4 x 5″ for the side pocket binding
  • four 3″ x 10″ pieces for the top zipper flaps

bento bag - lunch and snack bag sewing tutorial

Optional: For a more structured bag, back both of the 10″ x 12″ pieces with fusible interfacing cut to 9 1/2″ x 11 1/2″.  Center and fuse in place.

bento bag - lunch and snack bag tutorialFrom the Springtime Gold Spot fabric, cut:

  • two 5″ x 9 1/2″ for the bag sides
  • two 5″ x 6″ for the side pockets

    Bento Box ~ lunch and snack bag sewing tutorial

Optional: For a more structured bag, back both of the 5″ x 9 1/2″ pieces with fusible interfacing cut to 4 1/2″ x 9″.  Center and fuse in place.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Now sew the 2 1/4″ x 5″ binding strips to the top of the 5″ x 6″ pocket pieces.  Matching at 5″ sides and sewing a 1/2″ seam.  Press seam open.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Turn raw edge under two times to the back of the pocket piece and covering stitching. Press and pin in place.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorialBento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Turn to the front of the pocket piece and topstitch along edge of binding, catching the fold of the binding on the back side.  I topstitched twice and used this Aurifil 12 weight thread for topstitching to make it stand out and to be a little more decorative.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorialNext, place your pockets on top of the side exterior pieces ~ align at the bottom edges and baste in place with 1/4″ seam.  Align side units with the top edge of the equilibrium exterior piece and join with 1/2″ seam.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Press open.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial Join second exterior piece, aligning at the top edge again…

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

After sides are attached align bottom edges of exterior pieces and sew 1/2″ seam.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Now, box the bottom corners and sew 1/2″ seam across edge.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Turn your exterior bag right side out and set aside.  Let’s work on the top zipper now…  We will be using the four 3″ x 10″  exterior pieces (two for each zipper half) and the steam a seam for these steps.  Center the zipper, right side down, with the raw edge aligned with the 10″ edge of the fabric.  Use steam a seam or pins to secure zipper bottom and top fabrics.

bento bag - a lunch bag tutorial

Layer second fabric carefully on top (right side down) and pin or iron to secure.  Sew 1/2″ on each short end and sew along zipper (with zipper foot) on long edge.

lunch bag sewing tutorial

Repeat for second zipper side.  Clip corners and turn both pieces right side out.  Top stitch around three sides.

Bento Bag - A lunch bag sewing tutorialZip parts together, center zipper and cut to 5″ width.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Unzip and pin one zipper part, right side together with each side of bag.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorialPin handle ends in place right sides together with bag.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorialSet aside bag exterior while we work on the lining… Cut two 12″ x 14″  lining pieces from your nylon ripstop fabric and two from the Insul-bright.  Layer and cut two 2 1/2″ corners out along the bottom 14″ edge.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Now place the two ripstop pieces right sides together, sandwiched in between two pieces of Insul-bright.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Sew along two sides and a couple inches along the bottom edge at each corner.  Leave the corners open and the center of the bottom open (for turning bag later). Trim away excess Insul-bright in the seam to reduce bulk.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Box two corners and sew with 1/2″ seam.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Keep lining wrong side out and place your exterior bag inside the lining.  This step is a bit tricky with the bulk and the handle inside but just go slow and match up sides at center points and pin well.  Sew around top edge with 1/2″ seam.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Turn bag right side out and sew lining opening shut.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Enjoy your new Bento Lunch Bag!

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Plenty of room inside to pack a good lunch!
Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

If you like this post… Please share it!

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial from rebeccamaedesigns

Thank You Sew Mama Sew and Spoonflower for offering this challenge!

Check out the participants!

Michelle from Falafel and the Bee
Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog
Mary from See Mary Quilt
Trina from Will Cook for Shoes
Daisy from Ants to Sugar


See More Tutorials ~


Black Friday Sale!!

Sewing Patterns will be on sale this week on Black Friday!! 

I’ll be having the sale in my Craftsy Store!  Most of my patterns will be  30-50% off all day (EST) on November 29th ~ Black Friday!

If you’re not in a turkey induced coma ~ come back Friday!  These patterns will all be part of the sale…

coupon bag tutorial
coupon holder bag
quilt block patterns
quilt block patterns
cloud 9 geocentric tote bag
Victoria tote pattern

Christmas Mug Rug
Christmas Mug Rug
ipad case sewing pattern
iPad cover
DSCN1544 logo 2
iPad sleeve pattern

DSCN1570 logo

Enjoy the Sale!

Go to my Craftsy Store.



Tiny Prints Cyber Monday


Countdown to Christmas ~ Hostess Gift

Ok the Countdown to Christmas has begun!   First off the checklist is a Hostess gift!  Today I have a Wine Bottle Gift Bag and a Mug Rug tutorial to share with you! Image If you steppin’ out for the holidays you can’t just show up empty handed!   How about a bottle of your favorite holiday ‘spirits’ in a cute gift bag and a mug rug!  I’m imagining a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream or maybe some espresso vodka?  YUM!  Couple it with your favorite creamy drink recipe and some sweets?  Wouldn’t that be a super sweet gift?


This quilted Bottle Gift Bag Tutorial is easy enough to whip up… and it’s so cute in this ‘in from the cold’ fabric by Kate Spain… remember I used this fabric in my Merry KrisMoose Pillow?  I told you I was hooked (confessions of a fabric hoarder!)  I ordered a fat quarter bundle of it (merry Christmas to me) and it came with some stocking panels… who knew? happy surprise bonus!


The mug rug is made from a 9″ eight pointed star and measures 11.5″ square when finished with border and binding.


I printed the cutting directions in EQ7 – you can also print most block cutting instructions with the FREE ‘Block Fab’ App right on your phone/ipad/tablet.  First cut your star pieces using the mug rug star cutting instructions.  You should have the following pieces cut:

100_6659 white

100_6661 white

Now piece your blocks.

100_6674 white

100_6684 white

Make your rows.


Piece rows together and add a 1.5″ border.  Make a batting sandwich with fabric right sides out.

100_6697 whiteI hand quilted mine with DMC size 8 Pearl Cotton in Dark Steele Gray 414 – LOVE!


Add binding to finish.


Easy as Pie!  sherri

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Countdown to Christmas ~ Hostess Gift

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Coupon Holder – in Cloud Nine

The Extreme Coupon Holder ~ Organizer sewing Pattern!

I still had some Cloud 9 fabric from the Geocentric Bag Challenge so I made this Coupon Holder!  Want to make one? Here is the Coupon Bag Pattern.

Coupon organizer sewing pattern

This Coupon Bag has all the bells and whistles…

2″ of space for coupons!
a front pocket for grocery list, store cards and TODAY’s coupons!
a back pocket for checkbook and calculator!
a pen holder!
a clasp for keys and store cards!
it even hangs on the seat of your shopping cart!

Coupon Holder Organizer Sewing Pattern

Organize your coupons with space for up to 25 dividers… and a handy pen holder to cross things off your shopping list!  Use the front pocket for TODAYs Coupons, your phone and shopping list!
coupon organizer bag / holderThe other end of your coupon bag has a handy clasp for all those store cards… you’re ready for checkout!  And a second pocket on the back is a great spot for a calculator!

Check out the Geocentric Bag Challenge post


make your own coupon holder with the

Coupon Bag Pattern.

If you like this post,
Please share it…

Extreme Coupon Holder Sewing Pattern.  Bag by



Cloud 9 Geocentric II Bag Challenge @ Sew Mama Sew

Challenge, Giveaway AND Tutorial!

It was a little bit hard to contain my excitement when the gals over at SewMamaSew  chose me to participate in the GeoCentric II Bag Challenge!

Cloud 9 Fabric is launching their amazing line of organic cotton canvas (YUM!),  GeoCentric II!  The new line has 3 new fabulous colors and 3 new prints to choose from and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some!  Patiently I waited, stalking  the mailman checking the mail each day… until… it… arrived! (alright, it waaaas in an envelope…)

cloud 9 geocentric fabric

I planned on resisting the Cloud 9 references… I wasn’t going to say anything silly like ‘I was on cloud 9’ but I WAS thinking it!  The quality of this fabric is SO NICE!  Seriously, Cloud 9 Organic Cotton Canvas just sounds Fabulous!   No one else in my house was allowed to touch it (mine all mine) but I couldn’t stop!  It’s very soft and not at all like the canvas I’ve worked with before… I only put it up to my cheek once… don’t be a hater!

I decided to make a Victoria Tote and although the pattern doesn’t call for leather I had some that matched PERFECT!  So I swapped out the canvas bottom in the original pattern and top stitched the leather on instead.  And added leather straps… Could it get any better?  I’m super pleased with how it came out…

cloud 9 geocentric tote bag

I’m in love with the daffodil and metal colors together…

geocentric cloud 9 canvas tote bag

This fabric is really a dream to work with, it presses so nicely and is just crisp and soft and not as heavy and stiff as regular canvas / duck cloth.  And I really think it looks great with the leather accents… check out the bag bottom…

cloud 9 geocentric tote bag

love it!

cloud 9 geocentric tote bag

The pattern has an exterior and interior d-ring and an interior pocket –

cloud 9 geocentric tote bag

All you need is some GeoCentric Fabric! How will you choose what color with so many to choose from?  Really… I don’t know!  I love the interlock/sprout color in this next photo but I also love the diamonds/sky and the interlock/coral…


I had so much fun working with this organic canvas,  I couldn’t stop, so I made a little zipper pouch!

cloud 9 geocentric tote bag

check out the daffodil lining…

cloud 9 geocentric tote bag

GIVEAWAY – Like me on Facebook and and I’ll randomly choose someone August 10th to win a free Vicotoria Tote Pattern!  Please be sure to comment below that you liked me on Facebook so you’ll be officially entered.

cloud 9 geocentric tote bag

Make your own Zipper Pouch using this TUTORIAL.

You can find the pattern for the Victoria Tote here!

Go check out Cloud 9 and SewMamaSew!


Robin August 5, 2013 at 8:53 am

I am following you on Facebook.  Love the bag, love the fabric.  thank you!

sherrips – I haven’t forgotten about the gorgeous Blueberry Cotton!  I made a Coupon Bag!  Find the pattern here… Coupon Organizer Pattern

coupon organizer bag / holder

geocentric fabric cloud 9



I hope everyone had a nice Valentines Day!  I just wanted to pass on another Craftsy Deal to you…

For Valentines day (through the 17th) Craftsy is offering classes at up to 75% off!  Craftsy is really great about offering deals and promotions – so when a class comes up that I want to take I watch for a discount!  And here it is!!!
Craftsy Valentine's Day Sale

Here are some of the classes I have taken…..

I just finished Design Your own Handbag – I will do a full review of this class but I’ll just say it’s fantastic.  You WILL be able to design your own bag after taking this class… I’m thinking of designing a messenger/laptop bag.  Just saying!
Online Sewing Class

If you like to quilt – Quilts from Small Scraps is a fun class!  Check out my REVIEW.  I really enjoyed this class – and what I really love is that I can go back and watch any lesson again – which is great if your memory challenged like me!
Online Quilting Class

If you are not familiar with Craftsy  – there are a bunch of FREEEEEEEEE classes!   Sewing, knitting, quilting, cooking, cake decorating – it’s endless fun!

This Free course on Creative Quilt Backs is FANTASTIC!

Online Quilting Class

I haven’t taken this Quick Easy Bags one yet – but looks good and it’s FREE!

Online Sewing Class

Another FREE one on my watch list!  Making Perfect Pizza at home!  Who doesn’t LOVE pizza?  Can’t wait to watch it!







Enjoy the deals!!!



Happy New Year! ~ & 2012 Review

It’s been an amazing 2012 with so much to be thankful for.  After a mitten making frenzy in the winter of 2011-2012 I decided I wanted to write my first pattern for my ‘Madawaska Mittens’.  I had so much fun I went on to write 23 more!  As I counted up the number of patterns I wrote I actually surprised myself!  Here is a highlight of some of my 2012 patterns…

If you write patterns too, you know what hard work goes into putting a pattern together… and getting it to ‘market’.  You don’t just sew, that’s the easy part!  When I began I had no idea how to use Illustrator or what the heck a widget was???

I had to learn, and  learn fast…  illustrator, photoshop, wordpress, how to write a listing, design a pattern template, use light room, photo editing, and the list goes on!  It was a bit of information overload with a dash of crazy ~ but it was never dull and always fun.  A big THANKS to Etsy, Craftsy, You can make this and Patterns Only for allowing an avenue for designers to sell!

Also a Shout Out to a couple of my favorite sites ~

Craft Buds ~ Offers SO MUCH great information on starting a business and featured my needle case in their Craft Buds Book Month Round up for Stash Books!  Craft Book Month, by the way, is Great Fun!

Craft Buds – Craft Book Month

Sew Mama Sew ~ a fantastic resource for fabric, sewing advice & tutorials.  Thanks for having me guest post on your Holiday Craft Fair Series and thanks for offering the annual Giveaway Day!

Marketing Supplies
Sew Mama Sew – Craft Fair Series

Here is a look at some other crafty things I made this year…

It’s been a great year and I’m looking forward to learning more in 2013, writing more patterns & free tutorials and kicking off my new SCRAP HAPPY Block of the Month in 2013! Please come back and join in the fun!  First Free Block Pattern coming this month! Here is a sneek peek:


January – Scrappy Lone Star

Also excited about participating in a 2013 Row Robin with my quilt guild.  My first row is complete…

Row Robin – Row 1 (v & co fabric and inspiration)

And lastly, I closed out the year with a morning ‘coffee walk’ on the beach in Rhode Island with my family and one of my doggies…


Live in the Sunshine

Swim the Sea

Drink the Wild Air  ~Emmerson


Craft Buds





Giveaway Day is Here!

Yippee!!  December 3rd is the start of Giveaway Day!  Thanks to Sew Mama Sew for hosting this giveaway!  I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last one already???  Giveaway Day is so much fun with so much to see that it now lasts a WEEK!   All giveaways start today at 6 a.m. PST and close December 7 at 5 p.m. PST, and winners will be announced by email no later than Sunday, December 9

This year I’m giving away any pattern of your choice from my shop!  I just love giveaways!  I can’t wait to see all the fun giveaways myself!

Here are just some of the patterns the winner can pick from:

Cool coupon bag…

coupon organizer bag / holder


or a nice cover for your ipad…

or maybe a fun quilted hot water bottle cover… I love this!

maybe a pattern for a cosmetic case?

or a mug rug…

or some fun mittens..


 subscribe to rebeccamaedesigns at the bottom of this post 

comment that you did and tell me what pattern shown here is your favorite?


Additional entries for following on facebook,twitter or pinterest.

Thanks so much for looking and Good Luck!  I know I’ll be checking out all the other fabulous prizes!

Winner will be chosen with the plug-in ‘And the Winner Is’ and notified via email.

You can also  enter to win a wool wreath from me ~ Enter Here

When you’re done, click here to link back to the giveaways @ Sew Mama Sew…

Thanks for stopping by!


I like the mug rug!