Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books

Book Review – Pouches of various shapes and sizes

February 24, 2014

I haven’t been buying many books lately, as most books during the winter season are devoted to knitting and crochet. So I turned my attention to sewing books for bags and purses. I kind of stopped looking for a while because I had too many books on bags already, then I spotted this book with a really cute cover! Look at all these metal frame purses!


The full title is いろんな形&サイズが作れる がま口がいっぱい which loosely translates to Making pouches of all shapes and sizes. There are 35 projects to be made in all, with 3 lessons covered in full with step by step photos. There are also basic technical lessons ranging from pattern tracing, tools, even embroidery stitching. I thought it would be really useful to have pictorial instructions because I have tried making one of these before but failed terribly. Well, at least in my opinion because my finishing was not perfect and there were dents in the metal frame (which was probably due to using the wrong tools). So I wanted to learn how to do it properly.

Here’s a look at the contents page.



For each design, there are a few variations, which totals up to 35 different purse designs in all.


The book starts off with the basic metal frame pouch, in two variations.


Followed immediately by a detailed lesson on making the basic pouch.


Close up of the photo instructions.


Full page view of the step by step instructions.

Now that you know how to make a basic metal frame purse, you can move on to make the following…


A mobile phone case (with darts at the base)


Card case, Lip balm/Lipstick case


Pencil case, Spectacles case


Gathered pouch


If you can find these large handbag metal frames, you can make this too! This is so pretty!  I actually saw many of these handbag frames being sold in Japan but as I’m not the type to carry dainty purses, I didn’t buy any. 😛


Plump purse (the title says that literally!)


Close up of the base of the “plump” purse.


There are some very interesting designs, like this box purse, where the clasps meet at the side and the purse is in a box shape. Perfect for storing earrings and rings.


Or make a larger one like this – Vanity purse


Long wallets/purses. This pattern includes a zipped coin compartment in the middle which also acts as a divider.


This purse is cute both inside and out! It uses a mother-daughter type of metal frame. I don’t know what this type of clasp is called in English, but the book says it’s a mother and daughter metal frame.


A more unique type of frame – the L-shape frame, where the clasps are located in the top corner instead of the middle.


Another interesting way of applying a simple metal clasp on a handbag.

Other than the 3 fully detailed lessons with step by step photos, the book includes basic technical knowledge lessons such as this one – tracing, cutting and marking the patterns. There are also lessons on embroidery, fabric treatment and even special tools that will help you create a better result when making a metal frame purse.


The how-to-make pages are located after the lessons, and they look like this.


Personally, I feel that the layout is a little cramped. See the close up below, the size/materals and pattern info are listed with the 4 lines of text, there are no steps written down in point form as everything is in diagrams. On some pages, they’ve even managed to squeeze two patterns in one page. But I guess this is because most of the projects are constructed in similar ways so there is no need to repeat some of the information.


1 sheet of actual size patterns attached.


and for those of you who are wondering where to buy the different metal frames, especially the really pretty ones with colored beads on the clasps, look no further! Website is in Japanese though.



Title : がま口がいっぱい いろんな形&サイズが作れる (Heart Warming Life Serires)
Publisher : Nihon Vogue
ISBN : 978-4529052344 

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  • Reply lixie February 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    You can get purse frames of every sort on etsy too. I’ve used a shop called “bagpurseframes” several times.

  • Reply Beatriz Marín March 26, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Hi! I´m interested to buy this book いろんな形&サイズが作れる がま口がいっぱい . it´s really cute! I´m from spain and i don´t know where to buy. Could you help me please?

    Thanks and have a nice day!

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books March 27, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Beatriz,
      you can try – link to book here
      or yesasia – link to book here

      I usually post the ISBN number of the books (except for magazines because they do not have ISBN numbers) at the end of each book review. You can key it in to any of these online bookstores to find the books. Remove the dashes if the search turns up empty. Most of the time will have it.

  • Reply Pipi April 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for the review. I saw this on etsy too so whoever is interested buying it can head over there and buy it. My problem with this book that out of the 35 pouches I like only ONE so not gonna spend £30 on the book just to get one pattern. The one on the cover in the top right corner with the gathered lilac fabric is very very cute. No idea how to make so I might ask my mom to help me come up with the pattern for it. 🙂

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