Friday, February 18, 2011

Japanese style bag

How's everyone today? After a short break, I've finally did some sewing last night. It was nice to be able to complete a project and hear the sound of my sewing machine. I didn't get to do any sewing the whole week so it's good to sew pretty things again.

I always wanted to sew this style of bag but had put it off for sometime. One of my colleagues will be retiring next month and I was thinking of making her a little gift. She loves to see my sewing projects and always lament that she wish she could also sew. Hence, I thought that this pretty bag would really make her day.

I've made it from the Japanese small cloth that I bought. If you all remember, I've used another similar one for my fabric organiser project. It was a nice size and would really look so pretty and 'kawaii' (japanese word for cute)! The pattern actually came from a book that I bought from Taiwan but the instruction was far and between and in mandarin. I'm not very good in chinese term used in sewing so reading the instruction took me a very longest time.

1 medium weight fabric (at least 45cm X 38cm included seam allowance of 0.5cm)
1 lining fabric of same size
medium interfacing

Fold your fabric with right side facing along the 45cm side before you place the pattern pieces on top. This will ease the hassle of you having to cut twice.

My pattern piece measure 37cm in height and 22cm in width. Handle portion is 16cm in length and bottom piece is 21cm.  You need to clip off 4cm square from the 2 corners. Trace over your fabric with 0.5cm seam allowance.

Do the same for the lining pieces. For the interfacing, I cut individually since it's kinda stiff for me to fold over.

Place the shiny side of the interfacing on the wrong side of the lining piece and iron on low heat. My interfacing is the exact size as the pattern piece without the seam allowance as we don't need the seam to be too stiff and bulky.

Take the 2 pieces of external pieces and sew them together at the top (handle) with right side facing each other. Do not sew on the seam allowance.

Do the same for the lining pieces.

Open up the seam that you have sewn and iron flat for both pieces.

Place both pieces together with right side facing and pin around the seam allowance of the handle.

Sew along the seam allowance of the handle.  Start from the end of the handle (the slope) and all the way to the other side. Do the same for the other side of the handle.

Clip the corners of the seam along the curve. Do it for all the 4 curves. This greatly help reduce the bulkiness of your handle when you turn it right side out.

You are now ready to turn it right side out at the handle. It's abit tricky here so I hope my instruction is clear. First, pull the bottom of the outer fabric inwards towards the handle tunnel. Bring it all the way through so that it will end up on the other side of the handle. You got to try this hands on to know what I mean. Here's how it looks when you bring it through.

Next, you need to sew the side and bottom. To do this, you got to first flip both of your outer fabric upwards so that they face each other with right side facing and the handle is sandwiched inbetween them. Pin them together along the seam allowance as you will need to sew them together.

Starting sewing from the lining piece.  I started sewing at 3/4 from the top of the lining piece, sew along the seam. When you are at the junction between the lining and outer fabric, make sure that the seam is open up. Remember to leave about 5cm gap at the lining piece unsew so that later you can flip the bag over.

Do not sew the 2 bottom corners. Your stitches should end just before the L-shaped seam for both sides.

After you have sewn all the sides, leaving the 5cm gap, you are ready to sew the bottom of the bag. Pull open the corner as shown.

Match the sewn seams so that they are back to back, right side facing, as shown. Pull the fabric tight and pin along the seam. Do the same for the other corner.

this is the view from the bottom of the bag with 2 sides pinned
Now, sew along the seam that you have just pin.

You are almost done. Flip the bag over throug the 5cm gap that you have left at the lining.

Sew the gap close with straight stitch and you are done!

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