Reusable Bag (Eco Bag)

Size: 38cm (l) x 30cm (w) x 13cm (d)

When you go shopping, what do you use for your shopping items? Recently some stores are starting to charge for the shopping bags. A simple handmade reusable bag (eco bag) can be personalized by choosing interesting fabrics or fabric combinations. Sewing aficionados can show off their talents! Today’s project allows you to combine your favorite fabrics in many different ways. A popular blogger Yuki Inomata, aka neige+ has returned to share her creative ideas!

Design & work: Yuki Inomata (neige+)

Fabric shown for this sample: Lighthearted HFG-105

□ Fabric: (Panels) Two designs 40cm×60cm each
(Gusset) Two designs 30cm×60cm each
(Pocket) 20cm×60cm
(Bias strip) 50cm×50cm


We interviewed Yuki about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
This fabric has a charming illustration and a bold, vivid pink color. I wanted to create something that uses these elements extensively. The fabric combined with these also have cute designs.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
I used the plastic shopping bag that I had at home as a base for the bag’s design. While you can use only two pieces of fabric to make this, I divided the bag into four parts so that you can incorporate more fabric designs. It requires lots of piping. In order to keep it minimal, the handles on the panel use a curve with matching material. This way, it shows the same fabric when turned inside out. I also used 5mm French seams to hide the seam.

KF: What are some tips for making this bag?
I recommend using a fabric with regular thickness, something not too thin. If you use a thicker material, it will be challenging to finish up the seam.

KF: How should we use this bag in everyday situations?
It fits in its own pocket when folded and fits flat in your purse. As many places are starting to charge for a shopping bag, it will be convenient to keep in your purse for a variety of purposes.

KKF: Thank you very much, Yuki! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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Putting on colors from the drawer of hues

Popular series echino is introducing a cotton sateen fabric, perfect for sewing clothing. The name is Huedrawer. It is a coined word consisting of the words hue and drawer. This new collection was created with a theme, “feeling like putting on a ‘color’ from a ‘drawer of hues.’”

“Making you want to go out and feel the nature wrapped in a nice and silky fabric – that was the image I had when I designed this fabric. Different expressions created by various combinations of colors, and the process of selecting bright colors from the “Huedrawer = the drawer of hues” are the elements incorporated in this design. With these elements, Huedrawer is the kind of textile that makes you want to pleasantly contemplate which one to use for your project.” (by Furuya)

Bearing in mind that this fabric should be versatile for clothes making, the composition is simple by not having too many animal motifs or patterns. In every design, silver and gold prints are scattered in spots, creating a subtle yet delightful optical image. While echino normally comes in cotton/linen canvas, this collection is a soft and silky cotton sateen which is perfect for sewing a one-piece dress and tunics.

stag JG99900-900 60 Sateen JG99900-900_2

“stag’s design consists of a very echino-like combination of male deer and zigzag pattern. A distinctive stag motif is the accent of this textile. With small patterns, it is a versatile fabric for making anything from small items to clothing. Depending on the combination of the colors, the design could create a unisex image.” (by Furuya)

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Stylish succession of motifs like a paper cutout

The name of this fabric, kirigami, stands for the Japanese Kirigami, the art of papercutting. The aligned animal and tree motifs remind you of mobile décor paper cutouts. Doesn’t it look lovely like a Scandinavian wooden toy? With a simple design and limited use of colors, this thicker cotton/linen canvas fabric is perfect for making bags! Since the design idea originated from the mobile, a cut out of each motif will create a chic fabric mobile as a room décor item.

zou P32000-200 Cotton/Linen Canvas P32000_200_2

The zou features an elephant design, the most popular Scandinavian motif. The elephant, which looks like a paper cutout, is adorned with flowers on the body to create a cute look. With unbleached color as a base, simple color combinations of this fabric make it more versatile.

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Inspiration file 57
Super cute! Tiny Bag


Sometimes used for keeping coins, sometimes for carrying accessories…. A palm sized tiny bag tickles girl’s hearts; and no matter how many we have, we want more. Kaori Sawa, handicraft creator aka. Caunes+KaOriRi is among the diehard fans of such cute bags.

Above is a bag made from pink linen decorated with suede flowers. It’s an extremely lovely figure! A pop-arty flower print can also be found the inner lining of the bag.
“This size is suitable for point cards and credit cards. We can also use this as a name card case.” (Kaori Sawa)

This card case is inspired by the aesthetic of presents. Pale pink cotton with a purple velvet ribbon is used, with handles added in the same ribbon. We can create various designs dependent upon season and situation.

Sawa’s creation theme is ‘simple and kawaii (cute)’. Apart from ‘the tiny bag series’, she creates quite a few other sized bags and accessories. Each creation is made from unique fabrics and materials she is fond of collecting.

The bag shown in the photo above is made from mangle cloth; German antique linen creates a gentle atmosphere by adding an old doily. The shape of this bag is the same as the mini purse with a drawstring bag we introduce in the craft and sewing column.

The photo above shows circle shaped brooches which made of gathering fabrics. Brilliant pompom flower like colors would be fashionable accent for a chic and simple dress.


You can see Sawa’s creations at:


Pumps Shaped Small Case

Size: 8cm (w) 20.5cm (l) 

What a fashionable zipper case in the shape of pumps! #11 canvas material is solid yet easy to sew with a household sewing machine. A perfect fabric for making small items.
Today’s project is by Yui Tamaki, a creator of popular small handmade items filled with her stylish ideas.

Design & work:Yui Tamaki

Fabric shown for this sample: P30100-100 (A)

□ Fabric: (Front outer fabric, back fabric) 25cm×30cm
(Lining fabric) 15cm×30cm
(Toe outer fabric) 15cm×10cm
□ Coiled fastener (zipper): over 16cm in length – one piece
□ Ribbon of your choice


We interviewed Yui about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
It feels modern with a crisp look, so I thought of something cool in mind: a pair of pumps.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
I was selective as to which part of the fabric to cut since I wanted to include as many colors as possible. It does not take a long time to make this piece as the edges are finished with a faster process using French seams.

KF: What are some tips for making this case?
Please be careful and sew slowly as most edges are curved. The design is asymmetrical, and please pay attention to sewing the correct sides of the fabric and pattern.

KF: How should we use this case in everyday situations?
It is flat and does not take up a lot of room in your purse. It is perfect as a pen case with a couple of pens inside.

KF: Thank you very much, Yui! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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Lighthearted 2

Enjoying a variety of color combinations

Continued from last week, today’s column features a retro and bright print fabric, Lighthearted. This series consists of various designs including culinary-themed illustrations, small flowers, polka dots, alphabet letters, biased check and small dots. These designs are then put into three groups based on their colors, and not by their patterns. Following last week’s tangerine orange fabrics, the color groups of mint green and tricolor are featured today!

Mint Green HFG_105 B Cotton Broadcloth

This group uses mint green as a base color with the opposite color, rose pink as an accent. The idea behind these color selections is to propose that it can be interesting to incorporate contrasting colors. With either mint green or pink featured in each fabric, it looks pleasing when matched even with other fabrics in the same group.

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Retro and bright print like the designs from 1930s

“Lighthearted” means fun, cheerful and interesting. As the name depicts, this happy and fun print fabric reminds you of the thirties in the US with its retro design and crisp color tones. Based on the tones, the series consists of three color groups – orange, mint green and tricolor. Using fabrics of the same color group creates a consistent look. Border designs with English alphabets and lace motifs are suited for handles and design transitions. The possibilities are endless. Today’s columns features the first group, orange toned fabrics.

 HFG_105 Cotton Broadcloth ts70_LH2

Alphabet letter ornaments are created using three groups of the Lighthearted series of fabric.

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Inspiration file56
 Large Pouch with a Hedgehog print in56_komihinata_1

Few month ago We introduced a lunch bag by Mioko Sugino at the craft & sewing page. Soon after that, I found the same pouch in a different color on her blog. It could be thought of as ‘a bag’ rather than ‘a pouch’ due to its size. The lunch bag at the craft & sewing page was pink but this pouch is a balmy blue. I was eager to introduce this pouch in this column, so I asked Sugino to send me some photos.

As hedgehogs are depicted in etching-like illustrations, it avoids being too cute in spite of the animal motif. That’s why this fabric is so charming. Sugino incorporates an ocean blue polka dot with a blue hedgehog print.

The inside features yellow dot on a solid blue. in56_komihinata_2

The gusset is comfortably wide and the handle is a powder blue tape. in56_komihinata_3

“This pouch is perfect size for travel. The handle comes in useful at the hot spring.”(Sugino) in56_komihinata_4

This hedgehog print is available in natural, mustard yellow, and also comes in pink and blue.

When Sugino introduced this fabric to her blog. She was so pleased to hear her readers commenting, ‘I want this fabric!’. We regret to tell you that our site doesn’t provide a mail order service. But you can find web shops who deal in this fabric. Recommended key words are ‘hedgehog’, ‘hedgehog animal’, ‘cotton-linen canvas’ etc. Have a try….!

Joielinne2 Autumn

Perfect fabric for clothing to small items!

Familiar to the readers of this column, Joielinne is a series created to feature “fabrics that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family.” Continued from our July introduction of the gauze fabric, new lineup is featured today. This includes a brushed cotton flannel perfect for the upcoming season, a corduroy fabric suited for making a shirt or a skirt, and a #11 canvas, popular for making bags and small items.

Owl  P29800-800  Brushed Cotton Flannel P29800_800_2

This nice and smooth brushed cotton flannel fabric will softly wrap your body in chilly fall weather. With a quilt batting in the back, a vest made with this fabric will have a cute finish. A pair of half pants and pantskirt (culotte) will also look lovely. Why not go on an outing dressed in this fabric covered with mushrooms, nuts and lovely owls, motifs that remind you of the forest in the fall? Of course, this warm material is perfect for household items like pajamas, pillow cases and throw pillow covers.

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Sheep Shaped Throw Pillow

Size (excluding legs and tail): 32cm (l) x 56cm (w)

Today’s project is a cuddly sheep shaped throw pillow. Hiromi Niikura, a designer from the “Ichi Nino San” clothing brand, is sharing her creative idea. These pillows in various colors will add charming accents to your interior decor.

Design & work Hiromi Niikura (Ichi Nino San)

Fabric shown for this sample: P29400-400 (A)

Materials (for red sheep):
□ Fabric : (Body) 65cm×80cm
(Face) 40cm×30cm
(Legs and Tail) 40cm×20cm
□ Button: Two pieces (1.5cm diameter)
□ #25 Embroidery Thread
□ Batting for stuffing cs70_hitsuji_cushion

We interviewed Hiromi about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
This brushed fabric has a nice texture and softness. The gentle looking pattern with great color combinations gives a cozy and warm feel. Utilizing its soft touch and design, I came up with a uniquely shaped pillow that makes you want to hug it.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
I wanted to make something that is a cross between a stuffed animal and a pillow, yet something not too cute…This sheep shaped pillow will brighten up your room with a warm feel even in a cold and dark season. It may also come in handy for your afternoon nap. On a sleepless night, counting sheep with this pillow may help you get a good night sleep…

KF: What are some tips for making this pillow?
With a curved shape all around, it will help to cut a slit and press down the seam to get a clean finish when you turn over the fabric. You can score the seam easily if you use a piece of cardboard as a face pattern. Cut the backside of the body after the front side is pieced together. This way it will be aligned and easy to sew.

KF: How should we use this pillow in everyday situations?
You should place it in a space where you have your relaxing moment, like on a sofa or in bed. As the size is not too big, it can fit as a pillow on the back of your car seat or on an office chair.

KF:KF: Thank you very much, Hiromi! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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