Pattern testing — insulated lunch bag

I’m so excited to announce that my first pat­tern and kits for insu­lated lunch bags are now fin­ished and up for sale! Why am I now writ­ing pat­terns, you ask? Well, I have always won­dered if other crafters might enjoy mak­ing the zakka items I cre­ate, rather than hav­ing to buy the fin­ished items from my shops. I also feel pas­sion­ate about get­ting peo­ple to learn how to sew. So my hope was to write pat­terns that are detailed enough for begin­ners to fol­low, but are still inter­est­ing for more expe­ri­enced crafters.

I’d love to tell you more about the pat­tern and the kits in another post, but first, I’d like to tell you about the five won­der­ful women who tested my lunch bag pat­tern and kits — Erika, Bec, Su, Kristy and Sarah. At first I was hop­ing to get two or three vol­un­teer testers, but was thrilled to find five! And they’ve all done tremen­dous work get­ting the kits sewn up and giv­ing me invalu­able feedback.

Here’s the lunch bag Sarah made. She chose this “boy and ship” fab­ric that turned out to be quite cute for this bag.

Sarah's lunch bag - boy and ship

Kristy from Mon­key Mai made this lunch bag with the red bird fab­ric. Beau­ti­ful job!

Kristy's lunch bag - red linen birds

I was lucky to have two other pro­fes­sional crafters to test out my kits and pat­tern. Bec from Lit­tle Toot Cre­ations is an expe­ri­enced dress­maker. Isn’t her grey bird lunch bag beautiful?

Bec's lunch bag - grey linen bird

Su, another expe­ri­enced dress­maker from Alice Loves Hand­made, chose this pink ele­phant fab­ric for her daugh­ter. It turned out so pretty and girly. I’m also pleased that most of my testers were able to make the lunch bags with­out hav­ing to print out the 20-odd-page instruc­tion. You can see how nice the pat­tern looks on Su’s iPad in the photo. But more about the pat­tern itself later.

Su's lunch bag - Pink elephant with iPad

Last but not the least, Erika helped me out all the way from Ver­mont, US. She’s an avid crafter, and was the one who ini­tially encour­aged me to write pat­terns. She made not one but two lunch bags using her own fab­rics — because send­ing kit mate­ri­als to the US would take so long. I love both her bags! She made her own han­dles, too, which add a lot to the design, don’t you think?

Erika's lunch bag - Hello KittyErika's princess lunch bag

I really enjoyed work­ing with all the pat­tern testers, and feel that they are now part of my team. It gets lonely some­times work­ing alone in my stu­dio at home. So even though I have never met any of the testers per­son­ally or even spo­ken to them on the phone, it’s been won­der­ful to have this team­work expe­ri­ence by email. It just shows how gen­er­ous and sup­port­ive this craft­ing com­mu­nity is. Thanks a mil­lion for your help, and I look for­ward to work­ing with you again in the future!