Finished Projects Giveaways Japanese Fabrics

Liberty Art Fabric – Shoulder and Clutch Bag

October 2, 2016

As promised here are more photos of the bag I made with Liberty fabric. I followed the dimensions of the bag as given in the book, but with some adaptations of my own. In the book, the bag didn’t look quilted, or at least you can’t see it because the fabric was a dark colored one, but in the instructions, all of the bags in the same series needed to be quilted, so then I decided to make some variations to make it look like THAT famous quilted bag? 😛




The original pattern called for a silver chain and used magnetic clasps which can’t be seen from the front of the bag. I thought it made the bag look a little plain, so I decided to use sparkly gold hardware instead. These were the ones I used. 2 screw on grommets a twist lock (some call it a turn lock), and a chain for the bag strap. All in light gold, which went perfectly with the colors of the Liberty fabric.



Here’s what the grommet looks like from inside the bag. You need to cut through the bag to make a circle that fits nicely within the hole, then the grommet encases the opening and you screw it on tight. Same goes for the frame of the twist lock (the rectangular frame that I propped the grommet on in the picture above). The twist part of the lock (shown in the background, is attached on like a magnetic clasp, with two prongs bent over a metal plate, so that was much easier to attach as I only needed to make two slits.

The light gold hardware took me hours to assemble, as it was quite hard to cut through all the layers of fabric and interfacing. I used one layer of fabric, over batting to give it the quilted appearance, followed by a layer of fusible foam to give the back structure. Then there was another of lining fabric. My fingers were in pain after I was done.But the results are so worth it!


The bag chain is attached to the bag with T-bars at the end. From the outside of the bag it looks like this (pic above), and from the inside of the bag (pic below) you can see the T-bars. You can also see the mint blue cotton sateen that I used for the lining.


I made a strap of matching fabric to weave through the chain, inspired by THAT famous quilted bag.


So now I have a Limited edition, one-of-a-kind quilted bag with sparkly gold hardware, perfect for both casual or even dress-up days! What do you think? Isn’t it gorgeous? 🙂

I still have quite a decent amount to make a couple of pouches and maybe even another bag. But I will keep it till inspiration strikes, and in the meantime, nothing ever goes to waste with Liberty fabrics. There was very little wastage when cutting out fabrics for bags since they are usually rectangular in shape, but around the odd corners or near the selvedge you always get little strips of fabric left over. Luckily, I have lots of Japanese sewing books that use small Liberty scraps for sewing projects. So I made the scraps into this hair tie + hair clip ensemble.


This was the book that the pattern came from. I will post a book flip-through on my instagram feed soon so do follow me on instagram to see more of this and other books!


Liberty Print Bags by Minakawa Akemi (affiliate link)

After sewing with Liberty fabric, I truly understand the hype now. One interesting observation – I had the finished bag sans chain, sitting on my machine for about 2 weeks as I was waiting for my bag chain to arrive in the mail. I noticed when I looked at the bag from afar, the print looks like a beautiful peach shade with light florals, but when I looked at it closed up, you can see all the colors and details that go into the print and it does not look like a peach colored fabric at all. It’s as if my eyes were playing tricks on me, but it’s a really interesting effect. And the best part is, the fabric feels really lightweight and cool to touch, but it is also really hardwearing. With the amount of manhandling that goes into making a bag, some other fabrics would have shown signs of wear and maybe even start pilling. But the Liberty fabric was so tightly  and finely woven, you can hardly see the weave and even the fraying was minimal.The fabric also came nicely folded in a tiny package and that’s how I’ve been storing it, but surprisingly there were no hard creases when you unfold it, the fabric is easy to iron and smooth as silk, but cool to touch. What is this sorcery??? I can understand why so many Japanese love to use it for their garments. It’s really luxurious to touch and yet it feels like it will last forever.

I know I was sponsored this 1m of fabric, but the opinions and raves are entirely my own. I’m already plotting to buy more, enough to make MYSELF a nice top. Sure it will be more expensive than your regular fabrics, but it will not cost more than a factory-made mass-produced store-bought garment. And I know it will really last me for a long time provided I don’t upsize in the future 😛 If you are intimidated by the price, you can start with a small amount. The fabrics are sold from a minimum size of fat quarter, enough for making a small tote or a few small accessories.  Or, you can try your luck, take part in this giveaway sponsored by Elizabeth Little , win 1m of this amazing fabric and fall in love with it!



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  • Reply Wenyin October 3, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips with regards to making this really lovely bag. Such a great inspiration! Would you be able to recommend where you got your bag hardware from? I have always had problems finding good quality hardware that matches and doesn’t tarnish. I have not had much luck with this particular type of grommet.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 6, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Hi Wenyin,
      I’m crossing my fingers that it doesn’t tarnish! 🙂 I’ve only had them for a couple of weeks so we’ll see. I do like the colors though, it’s light gold and not as yellow as the usual gold hardware. I bought them from an Etsy seller based in China, but I also found the same on for a lot less but that site is a lot harder to navigate. So depends on your shopping preference I guess.

  • Reply Craft Captive (Jules) October 13, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Oh this is beautiful! I love the weaving through the chain. Lovely.

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