Those of you who follow me on IG may have seen me post about these circle bags recently. I promised a tutorial so here it is! You can watch it on both my IGTV channel or Youtube channel. Here is a picture of the finished bag and I also gave it a name to make it easy to remember. Maru means round/circle in Japanese and Pochi is pouch! This started out as a pouch pattern but I added side tabs with D-rings to make it a cross body bag. The usual way of finishing a circle pouch (or as I have learned it from Japanese books) is to finish the insides with bias tape. Alternative, the lining is hand stitched on completely. My way of attaching the lining is a bit unorthodox but it makes for less hand sewing so I hope it won’t seem so outrageous to you! 😛
If you make one and post it on social media, please tag me @japanesesewingbooks or hashtag #marupochibag so that we can all see it! Looking forward to your creations!
Happy 2019! A little late into the year but I must confess I have been taking a nice relaxing time off. I took 2 weeks off in December, and when I came back everything was a mess at home and there was so much laundry to catch up. It is also a few weeks more the Chinese New Year which means more frantic sewing trying to get everyone’s new clothes ready. Anyway, I really wanted to review this book because I think this is one of the more useful Pouch making books I have bought so far. I realize the cover is not that attractive, and maybe many of you might skip it while browsing through online shops. But I saw the sneak preview and one of the set of instructions on the different ways to deal with zip ends caught my attention. So I just had to buy it to take a look. And then there was a pouch with 3 compartments that I’ve always wanted to know how to make, and it’s in there too!
You know a book is really useful if the first thing you do when you buy it is not to make 1, but 2 pouches using the patterns 😛 This book is published by Nihon-Vogue and there are 35 different projects you can make. The lessons include how to install zippers (adjusting length / end of zips / sewing), attaching lining to your pouches, attaching different types of interfacing, sewing with special materials, and how to attach metal purse frames. With this book you can literally make any pouch you want!
This was the first one – a little cosmetic case with elastic pockets inside for small items like eyeshadows or tweezers..
and the second pouch I made was this – This is actually a twin pouch sewn together, and the section in between the two pouches makes a 3rd compartment. It’s really useful for sorting things out and even my daughter has asked for one for her school devices!
And here’s the book flip-through video, you can find lots of other pouch designs in the video.
The lessons are very clear and easy to follow, so I would really recommend this book even though the cover looks rather plain! I hope you like it and make lots of useful pouches out of it!
Title :ポーチの教室 (Pouch Making Classroom)
Publisher : Nihon Vogue
ISBN No. :978-4529058438
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about Japanese fabrics, There are many new collections to introduce so I’ll do it one by one! I’ll need time to sew them up as well you see…
Today’s post is about a fabric from Kokka fabrics, from See Design by Donna Gorman.
I’m usually not really a pink person so I didn’t think very much about it. But when I actually saw the fabric real life, I was immediately struck by how Marimekko it looked! I’ve always been a big fan of Marimekko designs. Especially the geometric prints. In my younger days I used to buy their bags and even bought some fabric for my stash. The fabric was soooo expensive that I can’t bear to cut it up.
And then recently, this popped up in my Facebook feed. About a free pattern project using the latest See Design fabric on Kokka’s English blog. The project is a balloon bag and you can find this and more free patterns from Kokka’s English website here http://kokka-fabric.com/en/craft-sewing/balloon-bag/. But what really caught my attention…..
The featured project is a puffy bag in the shape of a balloon made with the seedesign series by designer Donna Gorman. Gorman, who worked at Marimekko for 24 years and is now active as a freelance textile designer, expresses her vision and contemporary design through the seedesign series with a variety of products.
So when I know that new fabric is coming in, I suddenly feel more daring about sewing up my existing stash. I even deliberately wanted to make it look more Marimekko like so I surfed around for Marimekko bag designs and found one in my Japanese sewing book. So here it is!
Presenting the tulip bag with two convenient outer pockets. A simple golden magnetic clasp enclosure. The original design didn’t come with any zips/closures but I wanted one to stop things from falling out 😂
As I wanted the bag to stand up on it’s own, I used byAnnie’s Soft and Stable foam interfacing (it’s a sew-in and not fusible). The lining is from Cotton+Steel Basics range – Counting Stars.
The pattern is called a tulip bag and it’s from this book (aff link to cdJapan)
I hope you like what I made and I’ve got lots more yummy fabrics to show you soon! Till next time!
Based on the last poll on books you would like me to read, this book came out second! The title of the book is Everyday Ruck(sacks). The characters “リュック” is literally translated to Ruck instead of the full word rucksack, but the Japanese have shortened it to Ruck and it’s understood that it means a rucksack / backpack.
Featured on the cover is the popular backpack style with the wire frame opening, which allows it to open fully and stay open while you dig through your backpack for stuff. Let’s take look at the different rucksacks / backpack sewing patterns you can make with this book.
The first pattern is the wire frame rucksack / backpack sewing pattern as featured on the front cover. See in the bottom right picture how it opens up big and wide which makes it easy to find your stuff.
This is a cute Tote style backpack with a simple zip opening on the top.
The standard backpack sewing pattern. This is available in kids size as well as adult size versions. The kids size version is 32cm(H) x 23cm(W) x 12cm (D) while the adult size is 40cm(H) x 28cm(W) x 1cm(D). This pattern comes with a detailed sewing lesson.
Who said backpacks have to look sporty or rugged, here’s a cute kisslock purse frame bag.
This is a convertible backpack / messenger bag, made using digitally printed basket weave fabric. I’m not a big fan of these digitally printed textures but it does look like a basket weave bag from far doesn’t it?
I really like this idea! and I learned a new phrase while looking this up. This back is called the レジかご リュック。 The first term レジかご (rejikago) actually means checkout while the second term means rucksack. So this is a bag designed to fit into a shopping basket, and you can carry your groceries in it after payment. There are lots of such bags available for sale online but mostly in tote bag style. This is one that converts to a rucksack/backpack that allows you to carry it on your shoulders.
Another interesting convertible bag. This converts from shoulder bag that can be carried messenger/crossbody style, or backpack style. The unique feature of this bag is how the backpack straps are zipped together to form one wider strap for the shoulder bag. Seems like a great idea for a travel or diaper bag.
This is not a rucksack / backpack sewing pattern, but rather a in-bag organizer for you to sort out all the small items that tend to disappear in the depths of your backpack. It will help to keep things upright as well!
There is a full, step by step photo tutorial for the making of the basic rucksack / backpack sewing pattern.
Here is an example for the other bag patterns’ instructions. I did feel that the instructions were a little brief for certain steps, and when it comes to bag making, so many of the parts look similar (for example rectangular pieces) and it takes a while to decipher the instructions. You may also need to translate some of the text to tell which part of the bag you are making too.
A close up of the diagrams.
Pattern sheets attached
In summary, if you want to learn how to make a standard rucksack / backpack from scratch, the detailed sewing lesson will be a great resource. However, for the rest of the patterns, they are not that simple to sew so it may not be ideal for a beginner sewist. However, if you are quite adept at sewing bags, you will love this book because I found many new creative ideas for convertible bags in here.
For the rest of the bag patterns not shown above, here’s my book flip-through review! Happy browsing!
Today’s book review is not about sewing, but of a different type of needlecraft. It is a really fun and stress relieving craft that also involves needles, but using wool instead of thread. Have you tried it before? It’s needle felting!
What is needle felting? Basically, you take some wool, and you jab at it with a needle till it combines together to form a solid wool block and while you jab at it, you shape it into the different shapes you need, then you combine them to form figures. Sounds easy?
My first encounter with needle felting was when my eldest bugged me to buy her a felting kit from Daiso before and I thought it will be cool to see how it was made, but before I got to it, she got exasperated with the fact that the wool wouldn’t stay together, broke a couple of needles and so I didn’t even get to try it. So when Tuttle sent me this book – It’s a Small World Felted Friends (and one more that I will review later). I jumped at the chance to actually learn from an expert.
Finally! Something that looks presentable! The rabbit on the left was made by me, and the donut on the right by my daughter. We didn’t follow the patterns in the book exactly because the only wool we could find was at Daiso and they were mostly in kits, which meant that the amount of wool for each color was quite limited. But we followed the techniques taught in the book and I must say that needle felting is extremely stress relieving! Until you jab your finger with the needle that is 😛
Back to the book, the theme of this book is Cute and Cuddly Needle Felted Figures from Around the World – there are so many cute figures in this book that my girls were gushing over them and happily ordering me to make them all. Here are some of my favourites!
Pandas are just so inexplicably cute! Something about the black and white combination on an animal looks so surreal. Have you seen them in action before? They are really cute in real life and these are even cuter because they are mini sized!
One of my earliest memories of my toys was a little doll wearing a Dutch costume, the only thing I remember about it is the little hat and the colorful dress. Looking at how the different wool colors were used in the dress, this looks like quite a complicated pattern but so pretty to look at! The little windmill on a base behind her is one of the detailed lessons in the book.
Another animal that is super duper cute. See the little joey peeking out from the mama kangaRoo? 🙂
Who can resist these beautiful, intricate Russian dolls? Look at the colors and details!
There are 3 detailed lessons in this book, with full step by step instructions. Most of the basic techniques are covered in these 3 lessons so you will be equipped with all the knowledge and skills you need to make all the cute figures in the book.
The lessons included are :
Castle on a Base (learning how to create a landscape on a base)
Making a Teddy Bear (learning how to attach body parts like limbs, eyes and ears etc)
Multi-purpose Dangle (how to attach thread/straps for handphone/bag charms etc)
Here is an example of the instructions.
It’s a small world after all!
More cuteness on the back cover, but you can see more here in the book flip through review. Enjoy!