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!
It’s been a long while since I have posted a bag tutorial! Today I am posting a new reversible bag tutorial for the cube tote bag that I made for the Le Depart by Koizumi fabric Giveaway a few months ago.
This is the first bag I made. I call it the cube bag because it’s actually in a shape of a cube! If you read the previous post, you will know that I was inspired by a video by Diy Soho I saw online, about making a bag in this shape. However, the instructions were for drafting only, and there was no instructions on how to actually make the bag. So with due credit to the original designer, I am only sharing the size I made here. If you want to custom your own bag size, please refer to the original video (link to the tutorial here)
It’s really roomy and easy to make, and I actually do use this everyday because it’s so easy to find my stuff in it.
The finished dimensions of this bag is 25cm x 25cm x 25cm (when standing upright as a cube)
When the top is closed the width becomes 50cm wide, and the base is still a 25x25cm square.
Materials List Fabric A (Cotton + Steel Poolside Towels Blue) – 55cm x 45cm
Fabric B – (Navy blue soft canvas) 55cm x 45cm
Fabric C (Cotton + Steel Poolside Palms Canvas Pink) – 110cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Medium weight interfacing / Fusible fleece interfacing -110cm (W) x 45cm (H)
depending on how slouchy or stiff you want your bag to be.
2 Leather straps – 1cm wide by 50cm length x 2pcs
I used Fabric A and B as contrasting panels on the outer bag, and Fabric C referred to as Lining in the tutorial. But as it is a reversible bag, you can always flip the inside out and have the cute Poolside Palms fabric out. So just mix and match anyway you wish.
First you will need a template (click here to download) The pattern is spread over two pieces of paper so just trim off the excess on the bottom of page 1 and match and stick page 2 on top of it
Lay the pattern on the fold, and cut the following pieces
2 pieces of Fabric A, 2 pieces of Fabric B, 4 pieces of Fabric C, 4 pieces of medium weight interfacing.
Apply interfacing to the outer pieces (in my case i applied it on Fabric A and Fabric B because they were softer and needed more structure.Then it’s time to sew! Follow the sewing video tutorial below.ETA : I went back to Youtube to check that the link to the drafting video works, and was shown a suggested link to the making video by the same designer that showed you how to make it! I must have missed it the first time or I wouldn’t have spent time making my own video. In any case, I already made the video, so I’ll just put it up and you can choose to view either one to learn how to make it. Watch the version by Diy Soho here, or watch mine below. It’s up to you.
Every year just before Chinese New Year, I see a renewed flurry of activity in our local sewing community -The Sewing Network, from mothers/aunts/crafters sewing and making Qipaos /Cheongsams for their little ones. This year I’ve decided to compile some of them to show you all the amazing things that they have done with my simple template as a base. From adding sleeves, to tulle sleeves, going collarless for comfort, adding gathered skirts, romper style, matching doll sets. All you need to give your little girl a wide smile for Chinese New Year is a simple and free pattern, plus lots of love and creativity. 🙂
This pattern had its roots 9 years ago, when I first made attempted to make a mash up dress+chinese collar for my then 3 year old daughter. Being inexperienced, I created a front flap opening, but sewed up the gathered skirt at the waist line. Needless to say, it was a struggle getting in and out of it, haha… That idea was revisited a few years later, you can imagine how traumatized I was at my failure, but I was determined to get it right, by copying the side opening from a store bought Qipao my husband bought for us from his business trip to China. I finally understood how it worked and so created a free pattern (click here for the free pattern) and launched it in January 2014, plus sewing video tutorials (click here to watch the videos on youtube) to make it easier to understand.
Anyway, this year, Chinese New Year falls on 28th Jan which is rather early. It seems like Christmas just came and went and I just got settled in the new school routine. But it’s based on the lunar calendar so it’s not up to us to decide ;P I am still struggling to spring-clean, and am still sewing our new outfits for CNY2017. I have lowered my personal expectations for this year and I’m probably only going to make one outfit per person instead of 2. I just hope I can make it in time!
In the meantime, have a look through and get inspired by these creative ladies from our local sewing group – The Sewing Network. Click on the arrows to see the next slide. The copyright of photos belong to the owners as stated in each picture. If you wish to be included in the gallery, just message me on Facebook or email me with your photos. Enjoy and be inspired!
In the previous post, I covered steps 1-3. In the following video, you will see the rest of the steps – 4-8. Even if you don’t have time to sew it now, bookmark this page and you can follow along any time you want.
You will noticed that I used snap buttons instead of buttonholes and buttons as stated in the pattern. But this is for a good reason. I needed to add some color to the shirt since it is for Chinese New Year, so I chose snaps in colors that will go with the pants I am making to complete the outfit. More on the pants soon!
I also wanted to make a note about the instructions in the book. The terms upper and lower collar were used for this pattern. Even though I’m not entirely sure of the correct terminology, it seems that the terms switched in some of the diagrams, which was quite confusing. In my video, I used inner and outer collar instead. With inner referring to the inside of the shirt and outer referring to the outside of the shirt. The interfacing for the collar should be applied on the outer collar (I think!). The other mistake I made, which I only realized later, was that I added seam allowances to my collar interfacing. The collar interfacing should be traced without seam allowances. This is to prevent bulk in the seam. Luckily the interfacing I used was quite thin, as I didn’t want a stiff collar since it was a for a toddler, and it I think it turned out quite alright.
I hope you learned from my mistakes too and make a great shirt of your own. Happy sewing!
Well, somehow I did it! I always wanted to get back to making sewing videos because it is just so much easier to explain using videos instead of words or even still pictures. I managed to clear out some table space and used a clamp instead of tripods to take the videos. However, you will notice I did not film some of the simpler sewing steps. This is because I would have needed a second clamp and make multiple adjustments to the settings everytime I moved the camera. So for the easy sewing bits like shoulder seams, side seams or serging, I did not show every single step, but I hope everything else is quite self-explanatory.
So in the last post – we traced the pattern pieces and got the fabric and interfacing cut out. Today we start sewing! So without further ado, here is the video for steps 1-3. Steps 4-8 will be covered in the next video which I am still filming and editing. I am following the steps and descriptions in the book as much as I can so that it will not be confusing for you.
Happy sewing! Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.
For those of you who want to sew along, here is a link to purchase the book on amazon (affiliate link)