Hello! I hope everyone is FANTASTIC! Can you believe it's almost the end of October? I love this time of year, in part because I look forward to Purse Palooza. I get inspired seeing all the great pattern reviews and awesome bags. I learn something new every year. Sara is a genius for creating and organizing this event. Thank you Sara!
I am Ree and I blog at Sincerely, Ree.
I began crafting with paper crafts when my children were little. It was a way for me to maintain my zen...if you will. Eventually, the fabric bug caught me and I haven't been the same since....wait. :) Oh! I'll just leave it there. Anyway, my children are now teenagers. I do still like paper crafts and I continually try to use my supplies for both sewing and paper crafts. That's how I justify my purchases anyway (ahummm.....and the waaaay too many "craft room" boxes that have moved with us over the years).
My blog has been neglected lately. It's been one of "those" kind of years. Right now, we are in the middle of a move that just won't quit. After moving in we realized that getting an Internet connection to the house would be more difficult than we thought. We'd been without an Internet connection for quite a while. Finally, we were able to have it installed a few days ago. Whoo HOO!
I'd been going through sewing withdraw when Sara asked if I'd do a pattern review for Purse Palooza. What a great excuse to dig out my sewing machine...then search through the boxes marked "garage tools" for the power cord. Oh, yaaa! Gotta love moving!
On to the point of this post--a pattern review. I stumbled across this free Japanese bag pattern online. If you are like me and don't know how to read Japanese, HAVE NO FEAR! Follow the link and it will explain how to find and download the pattern. Free Japanese Sewing Pattern
. There are illustrations included in the instructions that are pretty easy to understand. I sewed mine together a little bit differently than the pictures show. I'll attempt to explain how I put this bag together. I hope you take the time to sew this cute little bag. It is the perfect size for a little gift bag for a gift card, jewelry, candy, or even a bag for a little girl.
|This is a screen shot of what the pattern and instructions look like. It is only two pages including the pattern.|
This is a pretty quick project. I think it took me less than an hour total.
It is not a very big bag either. My finished bag is about 4.5" tall, 11" wide and 5" deep. The inner circle of the handle has about a 3" diameter.
|I re-purposed a pair of cargo pants and scrap fabric to make this bag.|
As mentioned earlier, I sewed the bag together a little different from the illustrations. I HATE having to press in seam allowances in an arch without sewing it first.
To begin, print the pattern out on regular 8.5" x 11" paper. I did not enlarge it at all before printing. However, before cutting out the bag pattern piece from the paper I drew 1/2" seam allowance around the ENTIRE bag shape (see picture below). I then cut out 2 outside pieces and 2 lining pieces on the fold. I decided not to use any interfacing. It is small enough and the material I used thick enough that it stands up on it's own without the interfacing. Even though I allowed for a 1/2" seam allowance (steps above), I sewed my bag together with a 1/4" seam allowance.
|The pattern piece with 1/2" drawn around the entire shape of the pattern piece. Then cut out two outside and two lining pieces on the fold. |
Mark and sew the darts on each corner of all four cut pieces. Take one outside piece and press the darts toward the top. Then on the other outside piece press the darts toward the bottom or center. Pin the outside front and back pieces together matching darts and bag center. Sew the outside back and front pieces together along the bottom (half circle). Repeat these steps for the lining except leave an opening for turning centered at the bottom. Press seams open. You can also clip your curves if you'd like. Shhhh....I did not.
Now it's time to sew the lining to the outside. With the outside right side out and the lining wrong side out, put the outside inside the lining matching side seams, handles and front and back centers. Pin along the top curves. Before you begin sewing, mark the handles 1" down from the top edge on each of the four handles (see pic. below). This line is where you will begin and end stitching.
Using only 1" on this step did make some steps a little challenging a little later on. If you'd like, you could make the starting and stopping mark a little further from the top edge of the handle. Sew the lining to the outer bag by sewing along the top center curves and side curves starting and stopping at the mark you made (see stitching in picture below).
Clip all your curves and turn your bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Make sure to pull all the handles completely out. Remember the top of the handle is still unsewn. Press all along the top of your bag and handles making sure to turn under and press the seam allowance on the top unsewn part of the handles.
|Sew the each side of the handle together. |
To sew the handles together, take two of the outer handles that are on the same side of the bag and pin them. Make sure that they are not twisted, right sides are together and all pressed edges are open flat (look at how I sewed this step in the pic above). Repeat this with the lining. Again make sure the lining handles are not twisted, right sides together and all pressed edges open flat. This is where leaving only 1" got a little difficult, but I was still able to sew them together. Repeat these steps on the other side of the bag. Press the handle center seams (that you just sewed) open on each side for both lining and outside.
Now, fold under the seam allowances of the outside and lining handle. Close the opening in the handle by edge stitching around the handle on the front of the bag. Repeat for the back of the bag (picture above).
Now edge stitch around the opening in the center of the bag. It is the other side of the handle and includes the sides and center of the bag.
At this point your bag could be complete, after you close the opening left in the lining.
I, however, decided to mess with my handles a little more.
I folded one side of my handle in half matching edge stitching lines. I measured and marked 2.5" on each side of the center stitching line. I followed my previous edge stitching and began sewing the handle starting at one 2.5" mark, past the center handle seam and ending at the 2.5" mark on the other side. I repeated these steps for the handle on the other side of the bag.
|Inside of bag.|
Voila! This cute little bag is complete! I think this pattern would be easy to enlarge. I love the shape of it! There are so many things that can be added such as pockets or closures that make this a fun little bag to play around and use scraps on.
Please ask if you have any questions. Thank you for your kind comments.
If you make this bag, please share. I'd love to see what you do!