In an attempt to save a bit of money and eat a bit better, I’ve been trying to pack more lunches to work. This attempt has been running for nearly four years to various degrees of success (mostly hindered by having children in those four years.). Originally the deal when I got my shiny new job and TacoMa’am got to quit her unrewarding phone-support job was that she would make my lunches. Two kids later it seems a little unfair to include that she should have to deal with those two all day and still have to make me lunch. So, I’ve taken back the role of making lunch for myself… and promptly sucked at it and spent the last three months primarily buying lunch at work or eating out.

Recently, I tabulated the cost difference of eating at work vs. packing a lunch in, and it motivated me to get back on the brown-bag wagon (FYI, cost difference for me is about $4 per day). However, with the recent inclusion of salad in my lunches, I’ve noticed that the brown bags aren’t big enough for my needs. There are several possibilities at this point:

1) Buy bigger bags.

2) Use plastic grocery bags.

3) Make a custom lunch bag.

Since I’d rather not have to deal with buying more brown bags (as it is I re-use the brown bags several times until they fall apart and have to be discarded) and we typically try to use the re-usable grocery bags thus making our supply of the plastic ones spotty, it looks like the custom lunch bag is the way to go.

We can all take a few moments right now to let TacoMa’am have her “I told you so” moment. You see, I’ve fought against a cloth lunch bag for a while. Why? Because they’re totally not cool. That’s it. That’s my argument. I didn’t want a re-usable lunch bag because it would make me uncool. As a dude with a crocheted lemming on his desk at work, I may have been overestimating how cool I might actually be. Why do I think they’re uncool? Well, the patterns can mostly be blamed with that. Most of them come with pictures like this:

Picture totally stolen from Melanie Dramatic.  Check out her review of this pattern on her blog.

Picture totally stolen from Melanie Dramatic. Check out her review of this pattern on her blog.

Now, I’m not a guy who typically puts a lot of stock in gender labels. Hell, I crochet and am not shy about it. Even so, those are pretty freaking girly looking. If you put “lunch bags” into Google image search you’ll get a huge array of extremely flowery and cute looking lunch bags. This is what I’ve been trained to picture when I think about a lunch bag, and so increased my resistance to owning and operating one. But then, I got to thinking (a dangerous past-time, I know) that beyond the dubious fabric choices of the average sewing-machine warrior, I don’t have all that much against the concept of a lunch bag.

So I thought some more and remembered the Batman bag that Ghostcat made. My savior from a flowery lunch bag may actually lie with quilting. If there’s one thing that quilting is good at, it’s sewing small squares into patterns. And if there’s one thing that uses lots of little squares, it’s 8-bit game sprites. Granted, it’ll be a lot of work, since I’ll probably need to work with 1/4″ quilting squares in order to fit a decent sprite in the area allowance of a lunch bag.

So now I’ve got a different problem: Which sprite do I want forever on my lunch bag? I’m leaning toward Bionic Commando or maybe Sophia III. A lot of what I pick will probably come back to what fabrics we have in our giant stash-o-cloth.

The other issue is that I’m very not good at sewing. That’ll make quilting very interesting.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?