Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review – Kurai Muki’s Basic Bag Making

July 21, 2012

This post was due yesterday but I was caught up with a little project. Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen a youtube bag making video that I posted a few days ago. That project is from this book, and after watching the video I was inspired to actually get started on it!

This book is called Kurai Muki’s Basic Bag Making. I bought this book while on holiday in Japan from the fabric shop Kanariya. It was sitting on the Top 10 Ranking table at the craft book section. I love Kurai Muki’s books. She has written many books on sewing, including clothes for adults and children. You can see the whole list of books written by her on her website. (The website is in frames so you need to click on the third link on the left hand navigation bar.) I have also reviewed one of her books on girls dresses called Simple+One here.

Let’s have a look at what’s covered in this book. 

The cover of the book looked deceptively simple, with all the bags in plain canvas/linen, but the contents page shows you all the different variations of the basic bag shapes. There are multiple sizes included for each bag, which also demonstrates all the different possible uses from one simple pattern.

Being a basic bag making book, the book begins with basic tools and methods for bag making. There is also a page on suitable fabrics for bag making.

Basic sewing techniques are covered too, in step-by-step photographs. The attention to details will really help in the precision of the sewing process. Which matters quite a bit for certain bags (as I discovered ;P)

The projects are lined up in order of complexity. The first project is a simple straight line sewing, no lining required, “Simple Bag”. Very quick and satisfying project for a first bag.

The second is a foldable Eco bag. In 3 sizes, and look they even show you how to fold it up neatly! Tuck it in your bag for those impromptu shopping trips.

Cute Japanese Azuma-Bukuro bag.

Marche bag in small and large sizes. Learn how to attach leather handles with this bag.

Rucksack (the project shown in the youtube video that I posted ) The interesting thing about this project is that it deals with three different types of fabric. The smallest one is in knit, the second one in a quilted fabric, and the last in artificial leather. The smallest and largest bag are lined whereas the medium one is not, so the instructions show you how to finish off the interior in two options, with or without lining.

Another interesting case of application of a simple pattern depending on size. The drum bag is basically a cylindrical bag. Apply the pattern in the smallest size and you get a pencil case! Size it up to the max and it makes a great gym bag. the medium size is a good day to day bag.

The Oval Tote bag looks simple but it shows you how to a tote with a zippered top.

Most of the instructions are in diagrams, like the one above.

Some of the more complex steps are shown in photos.

There are also “Point Lessons” included for some of the projects for special techniques.

There are no large size pattern sheets attached. The patterns are included within the pages of the book. Note that some of the patterns will need to be enlarged for the larger bags.

This book is a really awesome book for anyone who wants to start making their own bags. It covers almost all the techniques for bags and purse making. Once you’ve learnt the techniques, you can apply it to your own designs! I’ve already made two bags out of this book. Photos will be added soon of the finished bags! 

Book Title : クライムキ。バッグ作 りの超基本
Buy it here : Kurai Muki’s Basic Bag Making
ISBN No : 978-4-07-275352-1
Publisher : 主婦の友社


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  • Reply texmex July 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Hello, I love making bags but I feel I reached a little boredom with techniques used, I need to improove now to get past the basic level, this book look very interesting, your presentation has gotten me very interested. I finally found the Amazon link,
    Do you have a page on how to order japanese books from USA or Europe (my case)?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books July 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Hi! You can try They sell alot of Japanese books there too. Key in the ISBN number without dashes, you should be able to find it. They offer international shipping with many shipping options. You can also try Etsy, and search for Kurai Muki’s books.

      • Reply texmex July 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm

        Thanks a lot for the advice, this site is great.

  • Reply Reversible Messenger Bag » Japanese Sewing Books July 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

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