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Free Pattern – The Marupochi Crossbody bag!

May 24, 2019

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!


As the Conversion to inches from cm – divide by 2.54

Finished dimensions – 22cm circle bag


Outer fabric
2 pcs 23cm diameter circles
1 pc 2.54cm x 41cm for bag base (can use co-ordinating fabric as well)
2pcs 5cm x 4cm for side tabs (can use co-ordinating fabric as well)

Lining fabric
2 pcs 23cm diameter circles
2pc 1.8cm x 32cm for zip lining
1 pc 2.54cm x 41cm for bag base

2 pcs 23cm diameter circles from intefacing (I use sew in foam interfacing from byAnnie’s Soft and Stable)
1 x 30cm zip
2pcs 15mm D-rings

For bag strap, I used a ready made light gold chain strap which already had 2 swivel hooks attached. You can also make a matching bag strap using the outer fabric, in which case you will need 2 swivel hooks for materials.

How to make

  1. Attach interfacing to outer pieces – 2 circle pieces and bag base
  2. Make side tabs by folding the shorter sides so they meet in the centre, then fold over again so that the raw edges are covered. The finished piece should measure 1.25cm x 4cm. Topstitch along the two long edges with a 0.2cm seam allowance
  3. Insert D rings into side tabs. Fold side tabs in half, then align it to the right and left edges of the bag base respectively. Baste in place (0.5cm from edge)
  4. With right sides facing, sew ends of zip to ends of bag base (with a 1cm seam allowance), sandwiching the side tabs holding the D-rings. Push the seam allowances towards the bag base. Topstitch from the right side of the bag base, 0.2cm from the seam. You will finish with a closed loop.
  5. Mark centers of zip and bag base, mark top and bottom centres of circle pieces. Align top and bottom centers, Clip in place, then proceed to align the rest of the zip+bag base loop piece all around. You might have to do a little easing, there is no mistake in the calculation but when you sew circle pieces, remember also that the seam line is 0.5cm from edge, so you are not trying to align the edge of the loop to the edge of the circle but aligning the seam lines instead. Sew the loop to the circle with a 0.5cm seam allowance.
  6. Open the zip halfway, and repeat step 5 to attach the other edge of the loop to the other circle piece.
  7. Making the lining – with the 2 zip lining straps, fold over one long edge by 0.5cm. Press.
  8. With the fold edges facing each other, align the short edges of the zip lining to the short edge of the bag base. Pin in place. Sew (with a 1cm seam allowance) only the unfolded portion down to the bag base (see video for clearer explanation!) Repeat for the other edge. You will finish with a loop.
  9. Align the loop to the circle piece, attach with a 0.5cm seam allowance. Repeat for the other side, but this time leave a gap of about 10cm unsewn – this is for turning the bag out!
  10. Pull the lining piece over the main bag piece so that the right sides are facing. Flip the zip out so that the wrong side of the zip is facing out. Align centres of zip to zip lining pieces. Sew lining to zip with a 0.5cm (or less) seam allowance.
    Note : You will not be able to sew from one end to the other because of the way the zip was twisted out. So sew as near to the edges as you can, we will finish the unsewn portions by hand sewing later on. (Again, watch the video for clearer idea of what I’m talking about ;P)
  11. From the gap left unsewn in step 9, pull out the main bag and the rest of the lining should turn inside out as you do so.
  12. Sewn up all the gaps on the left and right of the zips, and also the bag turning out gap. Attach your straps and you’re done

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