My sister, Sarah, is the real sewing dynamo in our family (she can make anything from costumes to baby clothes like a pro). When I decided to include sewing projects in this book, I really hoped that Sarah would share a pattern. I knew whatever she came up with would be special and she did not disappoint! This clever snack holder doubles as a placemat, granting both you and baby the freedom to snack whenever and wherever you happen to be. As someone whose child has inherited the “hangry” gene, I find that feature extremely attractive! The following is from Sarah:
This cute envelope-style pouch is a quick sew and a handy accessory in any mama’s bag! With an inner pocket and adjustable hook-and-loop closures, you can store treats galore inside. Open just the top flap to store snacks, or unfold the entire piece to reveal a handy mat (a nice bonus when you’re out and about). My favorite part of this pouch is that it’s sized generously enough to fit a sandwich — extending its usefulness past the land of puffs and cookies.
If you’re looking for water resistance, you can certainly substitute fabric, but please be sure that it is food safe. Oil cloth, for example, is waterproof and comes in very appealing prints, but is not food safe. Waxed canvas (no lining would be necessary) or Eco-PUL (used as a lining with a cotton woven outer) are both food-safe, water-resistant options.
Materials + Tools
- 1/2 yard (46cm) cotton canvas, main color
- 1/2 yard (46cm) cotton canvas, contrasting color
- 5 sets 3/4-in. (20mm) sew- on round hook-and-loop closures (3 sets plus 2 additional hook closures)
- Matching thread
- Scissors or a rotary cutter with mat
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Sewing machine
Note: The seam allowance for this project is 3/8-inch (9.5mm) unless otherwise noted.
Measure and Cut Pieces
1. Measure and cut one 11 x 11-inch (28 x 28cm) piece and one 8-1/2 x 6-1/2-inch (22 x 15cm) piece in the main color.
2. Measure and cut one 11 x 11-inch (28 x 28cm) piece from the contrasting color fabric.
Create the Envelope
3. Place the 11-inch (28cm) square pieces together, right sides facing, and pin at the edges, leaving a 2-inch (5cm) opening for turning (see figure 1).
4. Stitch together, making sure not to stitch over the opening you made.
5. Clip the corners close to the stitching and turn the piece right side out.
6. Press flat; fold the seam allowance of the opening in and press.
7. Topstitch the entire piece with a 1/4-inch (6mm) seam allowance, stitching the opening closed as you do this (see figure 2).
Make Inner Pocket
8. Cut an 8-1/2 x 6-1/2-inch (22 x 15cm) piece from main fabric for the inner pocket.
9. Fold piece in half with right sides facing and pin at edges, leaving a 2-inch (5cm) opening for turning (see figure 3).
10. Stitch the pocket together at the sides, making sure not to stitch over the opening.
11. Clip the corners and turn the piece right side out.
12. Press flat; fold the seam allowance of the opening in and press.
13. Topstitch the top edge with a 1/4-inch (6mm) seam allowance (see figure 4).
14. Position the envelope like a diamond. Fold the piece in half widthwise and mark the center either with a disappearing ink pen or by finger pressing a crease in the fabric. Repeat by folding the piece in half widthwise.
15. Mark the center of the inner pocket using the same method.
16. Position the pocket in the center of the envelope by lining up your center marks. Pin in place.
17. Stitch a 1/4-inch (6mm) seam around the three outer edges of the pocket, leaving the top edge open (see figure 5).
Attach Hook-and-Loop Tape
18. Stitch loop (fuzzy) pieces to the top, left, and right corners of the interior envelope as shown in the diagram (see figure 6). Be sure to back stitch on all hook-and- loop pieces as they will be getting a lot of wear and tear!
19. Stitch hook (scratchy) pieces to the left, right, and bottom corners of the exterior envelope as shown in the diagram (see figure 7).
Fold the corners in until they overlap. The three hook pieces on the bottom corner allow you to adjust the fit to the size of the contents. Fold and fill (and wash) often!
More from The Handmade Mama:
Cover courtesy of Spring House Press
Excerpted with permission from The Handmade Mama by Mary Helen Leonard (Spring House Press, 2018).