My sewing student Sheri recently made her second reusable snack bag. We were both inspired by the book, Sewing with Oilcloth. I mentioned the book briefly at the end of a sewing lesson and showed her my first effort in cotton. Before I knew it, she had bought oilcloth, and during the next lesson I had to explain that for snack bags, laminated cotton is recommended instead to avoid over-exposure to PVCs. We also decided that my version was too big. Not kidding: If you filled that thing with the quantity of goldfish pictured in the book, no child would eat anything else in the lunch! So we made a smaller template and a prototype from leftover cotton and denim (repurposed jeans, no less). These things take no time at all to whip up.
By the next lesson, Sheri had made the bag pictured here, and the original was no longer available because it was at school with her oldest daughter! The bag pictured repurposes a reusable shopping bag that had lost its handle. The “F” is from the word “Fresh” and it closes using Velcro strips. Who knows what Sheri will use by next time!
She knows that since the needle punched holes into the reusable bag “fabric,” it’s not truly waterproof, but she plans to use it for damp snacks like carrots and dry sandwiches. She already washes her plastic sandwich bags and is looking forward to reusing her near-oilcloth substitutes. Personally I don’t plan to buy oilcloth or laminated cotton: I’m going to continue with two layers of regular cotton, interfaced, with double-wide binding and a Velcro circle or snap at the top. (The binding is needed because with cotton, unlike with oilcloth, there are raw edges.)
A local store, Nancy’s Sewing Basket, recently made an entire store display of Sewing with Oilcloth. They had on display virtually everything described in the book, along with cool props like a bicycle. I snapped the picture below through the window and I do hope they took the time to send a nice picture to the author and publisher!
Sewing with Oilcloth, Kelly McCants, Wiley Publishing