How to Sew a Sandwich Bag

Welcome friends! As we transition back to school and work, we need to start thinking about packing lunches again. Not the most exciting thought, but we can add some fun and excitement with these reusable sandwich and snack wraps.

MTC_Sandwich Bag_01_Beauty_Shot_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1200x800px

To start, find fabric that energizes you and makes you want to shout, “This is going to be a great day!” Take it one step further and make a matching mask or even better, use your leftover mask-making fabric. Have I inspired you? Let’s go sew!

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_02_Supplies_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Sewing Machine Set-Up

Materials to Sew a Sandwich Bag

Steps to Sew a Sandwich Bag

Step 1: Prepare Fabric for Your Sandwich Bag

Following the manufacturer’s directions, fuse the stabilizer onto the backside of your cotton fabric. I am using OESD Fusible Woven because it is lightweight and adds body without making the fabric stiff. I use a medium setting on my LauraStar iron to fuse in place. Make sure the fusible is face down on the fabric to prevent a sticky mess on your iron!

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_03_Fuse_Stabilizer_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Now, turn fabric right side up. I am using a beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabric. I chose this fabric because with the large print and many colors, each wrap I make will look different from one another. The picture at the beginning of the post shows 3 wraps using this fabric. See how the middle one looks so different?

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_04_Right_Side_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Place the waterproof fabric on top. There are many options for waterproof fabric, including a variety of vinyl material. I am using Procare Food Safe Waterproof Fabric, which is both waterproof and food-safe. Two other good options are ripstop nylon and oilcloth. With right sides together, clip along the sides using Wonder Clips. We are using clips rather than pins because pins will leave holes in waterproof fabric. Place two clips side-by-side when you reach 6” from the starting point. This will help remind you to stop sewing. We need to leave an opening to turn the wrap right side out.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_05_Clip_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Step 2: Time to Sew Together

Attach Zigzag Foot with Non-Stick Sole #52/52C to your machine.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_06_Foot_52C_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Select the Needle Up/Down icon on the machine screen so that the needle will stop in the down position. I am using Mettler Silk Finish Cotton Thread 50 wt in white.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_07_Needle_Stop_Up_Down_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_750x421px

Remove the first clip and start sewing with a 1/2” seam allowance using the 1/2” mark on the stitch plate as a guide. Remember to take a few backstitches at the start and end of sewing to secure.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_08_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

When you reach 1/2” from each corner, stop with needle down and pivot. This is a good time to use your Free Hand System. If you pivot the fabric and find you’re over the 1/2” mark, pivot back and take another stitch. If you pivot and find you’re under the 1/2” mark, pivot back and take a backstitch. With the Needle Down option and the Free Hand System, making small adjustments is quick and easy. Remember to stop 6” from the starting point where you have your two clips side-by-side.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_09_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Step 3: Turn Right Side Out

Before turning right side out, trim the corners to remove bulk. Be careful you don’t cut into the stitches! I like to cut 3 times in each corner – once at a 45-degree angle and then once on each side of that cut.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_10_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_11_Trimmed_Corner_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Now it’s time to turn the wrap right side out, or what a friend of mine calls pretty side out. Use a stiletto or OESD Point and Press Tool to gently push out corners.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_12_Right_Side_Out_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Press with the cotton fabric side up to flatten the side seams. The OESD Point and Press Tool is helpful to push out the seams from the inside before ironing them flat. When you get to the opening, fold the seam allowance and press.

Tip: Do not press directly on the waterproof fabric. If you need to press the waterproof fabric, use a pressing cloth.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_13_Press_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Step 4: Topstitch Fun

Here you can add some extra color and fun! Find a contrasting thread color that works with your fabric. I am using Mettler Silk Finish Cotton Thread 40 in color 0120 – a beautiful, sunny yellow. Mettler’s 40 weight thread is a little thicker, and is my go-to when I want a stitch to show but not overpower. Another fun one to try is Mettler Cordonnet Polyester 30 wt. Attach Edgestitch Foot #10/10C. Select Straight Stitch #1, increase Stitch Length to 3 mm and adjust Needle Position to -4. If you want your thread color to really stand out, select Triple Stitch #6. With the Triple Stitch, you will need to finish the stitch pattern before turning a corner. Practice on a scrap piece first if you have not done this before. The pattern is forward, back, forward.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_14_Setup_Screen_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_750x434px

Place wrap under the foot so the center blade is butted up against the fabric edge. Use the handwheel to check needle placement. Adjust to -5 or -3 if you prefer. Start stitching!

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_15_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Same as we did earlier, stop near the corner with Needle Down and pivot. This time you want the center blade of the foot up against the fabric when you pivot and start on the next side. This topstitch is not only for decorative purposes but also encloses the 6” opening.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_16_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Step 5: Hook and Loop Tape Time

Find your 2” hook and loop tape. The rough side is the hook side and the soft side is the loop side. For this project, it doesn’t matter which side goes where. Separate the two pieces and apply temporary glue onto the backsides. I am using Roxanne Glue-Baste-It.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_17_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Place one piece in a corner on the cotton fabric. Place the other piece in the opposite corner, but on the waterproof fabric side. In the picture below, I folded my wrap to give me a visual but you don’t need to do this. Wait a couple of minutes for the glue to dry.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_18_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Attach Piping Foot #38, sometimes known as the “uneven foot”. If you have been sewing hook and loop tape with your Reverse Pattern Foot #1/1C or an all-purpose foot, you are going to love this! You’ll notice the foot has two toes – the left toe is much thicker than the right toe. The foot is designed this way to level uneven surfaces, such as when sewing piping. The thin, right toe is placed on the thick fabric creating an even sewing surface. This will make sense when you sew the hook and loop tape.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_19_Bottom_Foot_#38_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_200x215px

Select Straight Stitch #1 and press the “clr” tab on your machine screen. We want to reset everything back to the defaults.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_20_Hook_Loop_Tape_Screen_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_750x375px

Change upper thread back to white to match hook and loop tape color. Place tape under foot so that it is under the right toe and butted up against the left toe. Stitch!

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_21_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

At corners, pivot with the needle down and use your Free Hand System.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_22_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Do the same for the other piece. Sewing hook and loop tape is so easy with this foot! When you create an even sewing surface, you prevent those wonky stitches that make your project look amateur.

My last tip is for those who are bothered by the stitching on the outside corner where you sewed the hook and loop tape. If you’re like me, you think, “How can I conceal the stitching around the hook and loop tape?” One way is to change your bobbin thread and use a matching thread or an invisible thread. I tried stitching with my Sulky Invisible Polyester Thread in the bobbin. It worked great! Remember the bobbin thread is what will show here.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_23_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_24_Stitches_on_Front_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Another way is to add something, such as ribbon, a label, or a large button.  Some fabric lines now carry coordinating jacquard ribbon. Also, leather and woven tags are very popular right now. You can have custom ones made at etsy.com for a reasonable price.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_25_Labels_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1200x800px

It’s a wrap! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) Now the chore of packing lunches just got a little brighter with these fun sandwich bags. Place the sandwich diagonally on the inside of the fabric. Fold the two non-hook and loop tape corners over the sandwich, and then fold the secure the two ends with the hoop and loop tape.

MTC_Sandwich_Bag_26_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1080x1080px

Find fabric that puts a smile on your face, and start sewing and enjoy the process!

9 thoughts on “How to Sew a Sandwich Bag

  1. I would love to do these but am concerned about the waterproof fabric and food safety. What product(s) do you recommend that are certified food safe?

      1. Thank you or the referenced site. Just before the pandemic set in my daughter asked if I would make her some wraps and zippered snack bags. I could find PUL but none that was food safe. Now I can fulfill her request just in tune for school lunches!

  2. This is such a great idea and one that will save on using plastic sandwich bags. Good for people and good for the planet. Thanks for this tutorial!

  3. Hi Julie, This is great. It looks pretty simple and being both pretty and reusable is a plus!! How are these bags/wraps cleaned? Also I presume the fabric should be washed 1st so no worries about shrinkage? Thanks! Missy

Leave a Reply