Sewing ideas

Thermal Lunch Tote

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The sewing instructions

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Introduction: This thermal lunch tote is perfect for the student on the go. The laminated outer and outdoor lining make for easy cleaning and thermal batting will keep food the right temperature till the lunch bell rings. Jennifer Davey of BeStillMyCraftingHeart has created this fun and functional tote especially for Elna!

1 hour


Approximate Size: 11" tall x 7" wide x 6" deep


Elna Supplies Required:

  • Elna eXcellence 760 Sewing Machine
  • ZigZag foot A
  • Zipper Foot E
  • Ultra Glide foot
  • Bobbin
  • Blue Tip Needles

Other Supplies Required:

  • 1/2 yard laminated cotton
  • 1/2 yard outdoor
  • 1/2 yard thermal batting


  • 33-inches belted webbing (1" wide)
  • (1) 1" slide release buckle
  • Clips or binder clips (to hold laminate in place without puncturing it)


Sewing Instructions:

  1. Cut out the following pieces:
       - (1) laminate on fold
       - (1) lining on fold
       -(1) thermal batting on fold to length of blue line
  2. Match thermal batting to wrong side of laminated cotton. Clip right sides together down long sides. Sew the length of sides with 5/8-inch seam. Finger press seam open.
  3. Match corner lines and clip in place. Stitch corner closed with 5/8-inch seam.

    Repeat step 2 and 3 with lining fabric (minus the thermal batting), turn right side out.
  4. Slide lining inside bag base with right sides facing, matching seams. Sew together with 5/8-inch seam leave 3-inch opening to turn. Turn right side out and finger press edge.
  5. Insert Ultra Glide Foot. Turn bag inside out (laminate to the inside) smooth to match corners. Stitch along thermal batting line to secure layers together.

    (NOTE: In illustration I left the laminate fabric to the outside with caused the plastic to stick to the face plate and left me with an irregular stitch. Flipping the bag inside out and using the Ultra Glide foot will eliminate the drag and irregular stitch).
  6. Thread both sides of open buckle on belting. Fold belting in half to create loop overlap ends 1-inch, make sure buckle ends are both pointing out at sides of loop. Set machine to zigzag stitch and stitch along raw edges of belting.
  7. Install zipper foot. Flatten loop by pulling buckle ends to opposite sides of loop. Sew with straight stitch close to buckle.
  8. Clip finished loop to around top edge of bag.
  9. Stitch along edge of belting when you reach end of stitchable side drop needle at side, lift presser foot and pivot to sew along edge. Repeat at each corner to completely secure belting to bag.
  10. With bag complete holding the buckles toll belting down twice and clasp buckles together to close bag.