You’re headed somewhere on your bike and you want to bring your lunch along. Maybe you’re commuting or just headed to the park. Backpacks get warm, so you’d rather not wear one, and you don’t have a rack on your bike to pack your lunch on. Here’s a solution: a bike frame lunch bag you can make that will perfectly hold a box of leftovers or a sandwich. This one is designed for a standard “entree” sized plastic container, which is reasonably waterproof and acts as a structural integrity field for your sandwich.
The bag is made from three pieces of fabric: an 8″ x 8″ square, an 8″ x 13″ rectangle, and a 3″ x 22″ strip. Canvas (shown here) is a nice material to use, but any sturdy fabric like oilcloth or vinyl would work as well. Seam allowances are 1/2″ throughout, so the finished dimensions are about 7″ x 7″ x 2″. You can adapt the pattern to fit your preferred leftover box or sandwich bread. Also needed is velcro, but more on that later.
The first step is to sew the strip around the outside of the front of the bag. Put your sewing machine needle down and pivot at the corners to turn the strip and the square in the next direction.
Fold over 1/4″ and 1/4″ again across the top of the front and the top of the sides of the bag to form a rolled hem and sew it down. This canvas held a finger crease well, which made the rolled hem fairly easy.
Sew the back on, rotating at the corners again.
Next, hem your flap. If you fold in the tips of the corners before rolling the sides, you can form a neat point.
It’s velcro time! Velcro cable ties can be found at hardware and electronic stores and are the perfect thing for mounting the bag to the bike. They have an ultra-thin profile and are extremely easy to sew to. The loop side is soft like felt and the hook side feels remarkably smooth, but when stuck back onto itself, it holds extremely well. They’re thin enough not to interfere with the cabling on your bicycle.
Sew two straps to the top of the flap to use for connecting to the top tube of your bike.
Sew one more strap to the bottom of one of the sides to connect to the seat tube. You can see the rectangles of stitches where the top ones are sewn on here. Also sew some additional velcro (conventional velcro will work fine) onto the front and flap to keep the flap closed. You won’t figure this out until you get going fast, but you’ll want that extra little bit on the side of the flap that points to the front of the bicycle to keep it from flapping as you zoom along.
Slide your lunch in, strap the bag on and you’re ready to go!