Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Use-What's-On-Hand Lunch Pails

The lunch pails are done.  And the only thing I purchased to make them was the pattern and piping cord.  I could feel stubbornness rising up in me as I contemplated everything I "should" buy to get my kids started off in school.  How do retailers turn every event, every feeling, every breath, into a reason to buy something?  They are geniuses.


I wanted to use dark colors for the pails because I'm not sure how washable they are (I used an old vinyl tablecloth for the inside, not oilcloth as LiEr prefers; this is the red-striped tablecloth that I used to put under the children's highchair - let's pause and contemplate the rapidity of childhood and the nostalgic touchstones that pop up).


So.  I had blue, orange and brown twill to work with.  I scoured my stash for prints that looked fun and reflected my kids' personalities, but were not too juvenile - what if these pails actually last a few years?  Plus, Genevieve wanted to help choose the fabrics for hers.

 
I had ribbon to use for Ben's drawstring, but nothing sturdy enough that looked good with Genevieve's pail.  So I made tubes and topstitched them (she requested one of each fabric which I think is a lighthearted touch).  I have done this before for pencil rolls with excellent results and many more options than my ribbon stash.


And following LiEr's excellent, clear pattern, I successfully sewed piping!  Behold.


It required the zipper foot, but nothing too taxing.



On the whole, these pails went together quickly.  LiEr included nice touches like pressing templates (which I skipped and it's obvious if you know where to look) and explanations for techniques.  I like that.  I feel like I was taught by LiEr's pattern, a new experience for me since I've only used commercial patterns before.

I'm afraid these pails leaned more towards the Grandma Weaver side of my sewing, however, because school was breathing down my neck. 

Seams don't match so I hid it under the strap; the world is still extant.
 
But they are done, and the children love them. Next I want to show you Ben's first-day-of-school shirt.

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17 comments:

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Wow, I really love these! Almost makes me wish I hadn't bought one for my son on clearance last year.

Mary Ann said...

Those are super cute! I love the red and aqua one!

Jacinta said...

Cute!! I actually saw this pattern on her blog when she released it and saved it for future reference and emailed the link to a few friends... were you one of them that I emailed it to? I can't remember. Anyway, so glad to see someone tried it as I am keen but not sure if I should purchase it yet... no kids at school yet but eldest starts kinder next year but I don't think they need lunch...? ok have no clue and I'm just rambling here. LOVE YOURS. Maybe after I've finished a ton of things on my sewing to do list I'll make a few too. Hope you're well! xo

beth said...

Great job MOM!!! I try to say NO to retail as OFTEN as I can!

jenny_o said...

No wonder your children love them! They're attractive, fun and unique.

jodi said...

I love them! You are so creative and I completely agree with you...those retailers are such geniuses! :)

Deanna Beth said...

I just LOVE them. If their friends' moms see them, you will have orders to fill!

Anonymous said...

Those are great! I made a lunch bag last year for my 'big' girl. The item I need to complete before school starts here is a pencil case (I have a week and a half, guess I better get on it). I have many scraps to choose from, but better check my zipper collection before I start as it may need to be designed around whatever zipper I choose, as I live very far from town. Thanks for sharing! I love seeing what you make! Shauna

LiEr said...

Margo! They're gorgeous! And you made them in time for school (unlike me, who never makes anything in time for anything). High-fives for getting the piping so perfect! Tablecloth is great for the lining, too. Never thought of that! Very smart. We don't use tablecloths much in our house, which is evident from the state of our table tops. Ugh. Thank you so much for the kind words. I am glad you enjoyed the extra explanations - I often wonder if people get info overload from all the extra "why"s and would just prefer the "how"s, so it's good to know that they've been useful in this pattern.

BLD in MT said...

Fabulous! Way to reuse and make do...and hide seams...and get it done in time!!! What a great mama!

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Margo, the lunch pails are darling! I love them.

I've just spent some time getting caught up on your blog. I always come away more content with what I have and more inspired toward simple, thrifty living... and I mean that as a sincere compliment! Please forgive my lack of comments lately... a few more weeks and then I believe our life will be a little less crazy!

Margo said...

Christian, thank you for your kind words. And please don't worry - I think moving house trumps everything and I totally understand. Blessings to you as live through this move.

nancy said...

How cute! Noce job sewing. Is there a larger, flatter adult version? I take a lot of big containers to lunch and am sick of using plastic grocery bags...

Margo said...

DB, I can't do that - the pattern is copyrighted for personal use only, not selling.

Nancy, this is the only size LiEr offers. It's generous enough for an adult lunch, I think, although it would not be hard to add a few inches if you're an experienced sewer. However, I know there are other lunch bag patterns out there - hit google and see what you find! My friend is making one with a zipper top.

nancy said...

Thanks....

Tracy said...

Grandma Weaver, or no, these look great!

Polly said...

These are darling and so much nicer than the plastic-y, run-of-the-mill lunch boxes that seem to cost a FORTUNE. They are beautiful! You have lucky children.

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