Gathered Top Bag – Free Sewing Tutorial

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This stylish tote bag is accented with an ample gathering at the opening. The fabric used for this bag is a sunflower pattern [toujours] from the “Yui” series. It is a textile by Ayano Ichiyanagi, who creates watercolor paintings with nature as a motif. The vivid and warm yellow sunflowers are very impressive. Soft and thin cotton linen compass is perfect for summer fashion pieces such as blouses, dresses, and skirts as well as bags.

Design & Work:Satomi Takei

Fabric shown for this sample: EGXA-6421-1A


  • Fabric (Outer Fabric, Opening Fabric, Tab, Tag Fabric): 110cm wide x 35cm
  • Fabric (Lining Fabric, #11 Canvas): 45cm x 25cm
  • Fusible Interfacing: 10cm x 10cm
  • Elastic Tape: 1.5cm wide x 46cm
  • Handle: 1.5cm wide x 35cm – One pair
  • Rivet: 0.7cm diameter – Four pairs

Size: 21cm (l)(Excludes opening fabric) 21cm (w) 2cm (gusset)

We interviewed Satomi about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
Taking advantage of the thinness of the compass fabric, the soft and gentle feel of the watercolor painting is translated into a bag with an ample gathering at the top as an accent.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
This time, I incorporated a gathering with the flat elastic in between. While I intentionally did away with an interfacing on the outer fabric, #11 canvas is used for the lining to give the bag a solid structure. The logo on the selvage was so pretty that I added it to the front as another accent.

KF: What are some tips for making this bag?
The instructions call for a 2cm gusset, but it would also be nice to arrange it as a flat bag without a gusset or with a larger gusset.

KF: How should we incorporate this bag into one’s styling?
It is a convenient size as a minimalist bag for a quick outing or just the bare essentials like a smartphone and wallet. You can also use it as a crossbody by putting a string through the tab on the side! Your everyday style will definitely bump up a notch by adding a bag made of a beautiful fabric that looks like a painting!

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



Cut the fabrics.


For gathering, fold both sides of the fabric for 1cm and baste using an adhesive.


With the front sides facing outside, fold in half. Apply two stitch lines to create an opening for flat elastic tape.


Place the flat elastic tape and gather the fabric. Secure the ends of the tape with a clip. Cover the elastic slightly and apply stitches from the front side to secure the elastic.


With the front sides facing each other, sew together the body and gathered fabric. Repeat the same process for the other side.


With the front sides facing each other, sew together the outer fabrics at the bottom. ※Press down the seam to one side and apply stitches from the front.


Adhere fusible interfacing to the tab and tag fabrics.


Attach the tag and tab to the outer body fabric. With the front sides facing each other, sew to make a bag and make a gusset.


To make a lining bag, with the front sides facing each other, sew the sides of the lining fabrics and make the gusset. Fold the top opening for 1cm and iron.


Insert the lining bag into the outer bag and sew together.


Using the rivet, attach the handle to finish.
By inserting the cord through the side tabs, you can use it as a crossbody bag.

◎Sewing Tutorial

◎Sewing Tutorial(PDF format / A4 size)

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