Insulated Lunch Bag – Pattern Hack!

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - Andrie Designs

Hello everyone! Well, I have been meaning to write this post up for quite a while now, however time just kept escaping me… BUT! I’ve finally got a snippet of time so thought I would throw this pattern hack post together for you to enjoy next time you are making an Insulated Lunch Bag!

This pattern hack will step you through adding both an outer and/or inner zipper pocket to your full sized insulated lunch bag. The pattern I will be referring to is my Insulated Lunch Bag pattern and can be found here.

Materials required:

  • INNER Pocket – a piece of fabric measuring 9″ x 13″ (23cm x 33cm) and a 7″ (18cm) zipper
  • OUTER Pocket – a piece of fabric measuring 8″ x 15″ (20cm x 38cm) and a 6″ (15cm) zipper

ADDING AN OUTER POCKET

First, work through steps 1 – 23 of the pattern. After step 23, follow the steps below to add an outer zipper pocket to your insulated lunch bag.

Begin by drawing three lines almost all the way across your pocket piece on the wrong side of your fabric at 1″, 1 1/4″ and 1 1/2″ (2.5cm, 3.2cm and 3.8cm) UP from the bottom edge of your fabric. NOTE: if your fabric is directional, draw these lines at the bottom of your fabric.

Mark the centre of the fabric along the first line and then measure 3″ (7.6cm) out from both sides of the centre mark, making the total distance between the two outer marks 6″ (15.2cm). Draw a vertical line at both ends to join the first and third lines together at the marks you’ve just drawn, creating a rectangle frame on the fabric.

At each end of the middle line, measure 1/2″ (1.3cm) in and make a mark. Draw diagonal lines at each end, connecting the 1/2″ marks to the outer corners of the rectangle.

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - two pretty poppets
Draw your three lines.

Place your pocket piece on top of your insulated lunch bag outer panel as shown. It should be right sides together with the right side of your outer fabric, centred between the two handles, and the top raw edge of your pocket piece should be 3 1/2″ (9cm) down from the top raw edge of your outer panel. Pin in place and stitch to secure by following the outer lines of the rectangle only.

Carefully cut the rectangle open along the middle line, between the two 1/2″ marks. At each 1/2″ mark, follow your diagonal lines out to the corners and cut as close to your stitching as you can, but be careful not to cut the stitches!

Carefully trim the Insul-bright out of the edges of the rectangle. Feed your pocket piece through this gap you’ve just created, roll the seam out and press well. Don’t worry too much if you have a couple of small creases on the inside of your pocket piece as these will be hidden shortly with your zipper. Try and press the outside of your pocket as flat as possible.

Pin/glue/tape your 6″ zipper in place on the inside of the pocket and stitch to attach using a 1/16″ (0.2cm) seam allowance, ensuring the bottom stop is sitting just inside the edge of your rectangle, and the zipper pull is also inside the rectangle. Reinforce well over the ends of the rectangle where the beginning and end of the zipper sit.

If you’ve used a longer zipper, trim the ends of the zipper down so they finish at the edges of the pocket piece and seal with heat/fray check etc.

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - two pretty poppets
Stitch around the outside of your rectangle to secure the zipper in place.

To complete your pocket, fold the lower half of your pocket piece up to meet the upper half (matching top raw edges) and pin in place. Stitch along the top and sides of the pocket using a 1/2″ (1.3cm) seam allowance, ensuring you fold the front panel out of the way so you don’t catch it in the seams.

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - two pretty poppets
Fold the lower half of the pocket up and stitch to secure.

And just like that, you have an awesome little zipper pocket on the outside of your insulated lunch bag!

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - two pretty poppets

ADDING AN INNER POCKET

Just like you did for the outer pocket, begin by drawing the three lines up from the bottom edge of your inner pocket piece at 1″, 1 1/4″ and 1 1/2″ (2.5cm, 3.2cm and 3.8cm). REMEMBER: if your fabric is directional, draw these lines at the bottom of your fabric.

Mark the centre of the fabric along the first line and then measure 3 1/2″ (9cm) out from both sides of the centre mark, making the total distance between the two outer marks 7″ (18cm). Draw a vertical line at both ends to join the first and third lines together at the marks you’ve just drawn, creating a rectangle frame on the fabric.

At each end of the middle line, measure 1/2″ (1.3cm) in and make a mark. Draw diagonal lines at each end, connecting the 1/2″ marks to the outer corners of the rectangle.

Place your pocket piece on top of your lining panel – it should be right sides together with the right side of your lining fabric, centred between the two sides, and the top raw edge of your pocket piece should be 3 1/2″ (9cm) down from the top raw edge of your lining panel. Pin in place (within the rectangle only if you’ve used laminated cotton or oil cloth etc.) and stitch to secure by following the outer lines of the rectangle only. Cut your rectangle open and turn the pocket piece through.

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - two pretty poppets
Secure your inner pocket piece to your lining and cut the rectangle open.

Roll the seams out and finger press well to flatten. Top stitch around the outside of your rectangle using a 1/16″ (0.2cm) seam allowance to flatten and hold the edge of the rectangle in place before attaching the zipper.

Attach your zipper in the same way as you did for the outer zipper pocket, ensuring the bottom stop and the zipper pull are both inside the rectangle.

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - two pretty poppets
Turn the pocket through and attach your 7″ zipper.

Fold the lower half of your pocket piece up to meet the upper half (matching top raw edges) and pin in place. Stitch along the top and sides of the pocket using a 1/2″ (1.3cm) seam allowance, ensuring you fold the lining panel out of the way so you don’t catch it in the seams.

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - two pretty poppets
Fold the lower half of your pocket up and stitch the sides and top to finish.

Ta-da! You have a handy little zipper pocket inside your lunch bag as well! Well, you will once you finish making your lunch bag! LOL! From here, continue with steps 24 – 53 of the pattern to finish off your bag and you’re done!

Insulated Lunch Bag - Pattern Hack - two pretty poppets

I hope you’ve found this pattern hack useful and give these simple zipper pockets a go one day! If you’re still in need of the Insulated Lunch Bag pattern, you can find it here. For now, tell me – do you like the idea of the outer zipper pocket or the inner zipper pocket more…? (Or both…?)

Happy sewing!

Lisa x

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