Paper Bag Style Sub-Bag – Free Sewing Tutorial

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You want to go out only with a small handbag, but you have documents to carry… This fabric bag in the style of a paper bag is perfect for such occasions. It is well-constructed and stands on its own, even with A4-size documents inside. The fabric used for this bag is from the “vintage komon” series. The tasteful small pattern goes well with elegant clothing. The 100% cotton sheeting is suitable for bag making.

Design & Work:Mioko Sugino

Fabric shown for this sample: (Outer Fabric) YPA-46010-2D


  • Fabric (Outer Fabric, Pocket Body, Tab): 60cm x 80cm
  • Fabric (Lining Fabric, Pocket Opening Fabric (#9.5 Canvas): 60cm x 80cm
  • Plasnap Snap Button: 0.9cm diameter x One pair

Size: 31cm (l) 25cm (w) 10cm (d)

We interviewed Mioko about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
It is a lovely and elegant pattern with a classical impression of lined berries. With no specific pattern orientation, it is also easy to use! Taking advantage of the calm tone of the design, I came up with a sub bag that works well with stylish fashion.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
It is large enough to hold A4-size documents, convenient for school meetings and other occasions. The use of the #9.5 canvas and top stitches on the corners allow the bag to stand on its own.

KF: What are some tips for making this bag?
When applying top stitches on the corners, be sure to fold the outer and lining fabrics tightly together. The finished bag will be beautiful if the lining fabric is carefully sewn without being separated. In place of the Plasnap closure, you may use Velcro or magnetic hook. It is also cute to use a ribbon to tie the top instead of a tab.

KF: How should we incorporate this bag into one’s styling?
The pattern has a gentle look, so it goes well with elegant styles. It also looks great with clothes of similar color tones, or you can carry it as an accent with navy or other dark-colored garments.

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


Cut the fabrics according to the measurement.


With the front sides facing each other, sew together the pocket opening fabric and pocket fabric. Press down the seam to the pocket fabric side.


With the front sides facing each other, fold in half. Sew the sides, leaving an opening for turning on one side. Cut off the corner seam. Turn it inside out and align the shape.


Attach the pocket to the outer fabric.


With the front sides facing each other, fold the outer fabric in half and sew both sides.


Make the 10cm gusset. Cut off the excess seam and apply zigzag stitches.


Repeat the same process for the lining bag.


Fold both long ends of the tab fabric inward, then fold in half and sew. Make two pieces.


Fold both long ends inward of the handle outer fabric and lining fabric respectively. Layer the handles and sew together. Make two pieces.


Fold 1cm of the top opening of the outer bag and lining bag respectively. With the front sides facing outside, layer the bags. Place the tabs and handles in-between the bags and sew all the way around at the top. Only the handle is placed for 2cm in-between.


Fold the corner and apply top stitches. Repeat the process on all four corners.


Attach the Plasnap snap buttons on the tab.

◎Sewing Tutorial

◎Sewing Tutorial(PDF format / A4 size)

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