My daughter has been happily using the first set of sandwich and snack bags that I made last week
. They've gone back and forth to school multiple times, containing mostly dry foods, but sometimes food with moisture such as carrot sticks. They've rinsed and dried out fine. Those are lined with recycled Mylar packaging from purchased snack foods, and have ripstop nylon on the outside.
I nearly posted this to say that nothing had torn, then I noticed one spot where the Mylar starting tearing along a line of stitching. I patched the rip with more nylon fabric. I'm not sure the Mylar is worth the effort to create a bag with if it's going to wear out. I hear that others have melted the Mylar onto another type of fabric, but I'm not sure I want to apply heat to a material and then wonder if it's safe for my food.
I wanted to improve on the construction of the bag flap, so here's what I did differently this week:
I started this time with a rectangle of fabric that was 8 inches wide by 18 inches long. For 4 of those18 inches, I measured 1/2-inch from each edge to create a narrower 7-inch section that would become the outside of the flap. I cut a small rectangle that was 7 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall that would become the inside of the flap.
On the small piece, I folded one long edge 1/4-inch, then another 1/4-inch, making a narrow machine stitch along the length of the rectangle to finish that edge. This would later be a finished edge inside the crease of the flap.
I placed the small rectangle over the 7-inch wide flap and stitched the three raw edges at 1/4-inch. I turned the flap right side out and top-stitched around all four edges of the flap.
I drew a freehand heart and used a zigzag to do a little decorative stitching. I secured a 1 1/2-inch piece of Velcro to the flap with some decorative stitching. If I had not been doing topstitching on the flap, I could have sewn on the Velcro before turning it.
I finished the raw edge left on the other short end of the fabric by turning it 1/4-inch twice and then stitching. Then I turned the large rectangular piece up 6 1/2 inches to the place where it would meet the crease and pinned the left and right edges, right sides together. I stitched what I calculated should have been 1/2-inch seam on either side, although I was little off and just eyed it to get the edges neat. What's important at this point is making the sides meet neatly with the lower part of the flap. I turned the bag right side out. A little square of decorative stitching at each lower corner of the flap would be appropriate here. I secured the second piece of the velcro to the front of the bag, making sure it lined up with the upper piece and stitching it around all four sides.
Next...I want to combine the first two versions of the bag and see what I can come up with. So far, I can't find anyone who can confirm or deny whether the nylon fabric is really food safe. It's simply an alternative to throwaway plastic bags that a lot of folks are trying. This ripstop nylon is not the coated type and is not entirely water-resistant. The only tricky part about keeping them clean is brushing crumbs off the velcro. We also make sure the bag has completely dried before using it again.