Kawaii means cute in Japanese, and that is just the right word to describe this vinyl bag! I knew as soon as I saw this tutorial for a bear or cat that I could adapt it to make a fox for my secret fox. The tutorial posted above is really great, and their pictures are amazing, but as usual, I tweaked a few things, so I’ll go ahead and post my own as well. It took me only about an hour to put together (minus the distractions from the kids), and I’m pretty pleased with the results!
This was my first time working with vinyl, and if it’s yours, too, I recommend testing your machine with a scrap piece before you jump into the project. I took a few tries to get the hang of my technique to keep it from sticking to the machine (tips on that later):
- 1/4 yd clear vinyl
- 1 sheet each orange, white, and other color felt (you can use 2 sheets of orange, too, but I used light pink)
- 3 black buttons
- 1 inch piece of white Velcro
- Fox Lunch Bag Pattern
- Coordinating thread
Start out by printing the pattern and cutting out the pieces as directed. I found for the vinyl, it was easiest to put the pattern under the vinyl and trace just outside with a fine Sharpie – you don’t want black marks showing in your seams! If your lines are visible after cutting, you can always trim after sewing the first 3 seams (that’s what I did).
I made the face and ears first, because they’re just so darn cute! Place the orange face piece on top of the white, and sew around the edge with orange thread (you can see I have a zigzag down the fox’s nose, that’s because I didn’t have an orange piece of felt big enough to make the nose, so I stitched 2 together). For the ears, place the white felt triangles in the center of the orange and stitch around the edge. Then sew your eyes and nose buttons on. Be sure the nose button is not all the way at the bottom, as you’ll have to sew a seam around the edge of the face in a minute. Then use the face pattern to mark where the Velcro is supposed to go, and sew the hook side on the vinyl face piece. Now you need to attach the vinyl face to the felt face. The vinyl can be a little tricky on the machine, so go forth carefully! The original tutorial suggests using Scotch Magic Tape on the machine and presser foot to allow it to slide, but we buy the dollar store stuff and it just made things worse when I tried it out. I found that on my machine, if I kept the felt side up (against the presser foot), the vinyl side down (against the feed dog), and helped keep the vinyl from sticking by pulling a little from the back side, it worked just fine. When I sewed 2 vinyl pieces together, just a little pulling on the backside also helped and I was able to sew it without problems. Also, do not use pins with the vinyl! It’s not like fabric – once it’s pierced, that hole will be there forever, and nobody wants a holey fox face. The last step is to pin the ears right side down on the face (it’s easy to not go thru the vinyl, as long as you don’t stab too hard the pin tip will just slide along it). Now set the face aside and turn your attention to the bag.
To start the bag, alternate side and front vinyl pieces and sew up the long edge with a total of 3 seams (see photo below). Turn the top edge down and sew to create a finished edge (you may need to help the machine out when there are 4 layers of vinyl – just tug gently on the back to keep it sewing). Then place your bottom felt 2 inches from the bottom edge of the bag on the right side and stitch in place (2 1/4″ from the bottom); flip the felt over to create the bottom of the bag. You may need to trim a little felt from the edge so it lines up with the vinyl on the sides. Then mark the Velcro location from the pattern onto the front panel that is sandwiched between 2 sides, and attach the loop part of the Velcro. Line the fox face up at the top of the other large panel, and stitch in place (I recommend backstitching at the beginning and end to make it extra sturdy). Be sure to leave at least 1/4″ on the right of the fox face for seam allowance to complete the bag!
You’re in the home stretch! Fold the bag in half, out-sides together, and stitch the last seam to make a vinyl tube. Flatten the felt at the bottom, kinking the sides in like a paper bag, and stitch the bottom shut (again, I recommend backstitching at the ends to keep it from coming apart). Turn the bag right side out – this is probably the hardest step! The vinyl can be a little stiff, but you’re not going to rip it. The bottom of your bag will look like the photo below.
And you’ve completed your adorable fox lunch bag!
Now I just need to stuff it with more fox goodies, and I’ll have my next secret fox gift ready to deliver!