Mini purse with a drawstring bag

Size: 9cm (H), 16.5cm (W), 8cm (D)

The first project in 2014 from Craft & Sewing is a mini purse with a drawstring bag. This project uses A toy chest, a fabric that is filled with cute and fun things from a toy box. Today’s artist is Ms. Kaori Sawa.

Design & work created by: Kaori Sawa(Caunes+ Kaori*ri)

Fabric shown for this sample:
 :A toy chest JG36500-502 (C)

□ Fabric: 110cm×50cm
□ Interfacing: 70cm×20cm
□ Zipper: 15.5cm – one piece
□ Snaps: One set (0.7cm diameter)
□ Drawstring: 80cm (0.1cm diameter)


We interviewed Ms. Sawa about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think about the fabric you used for this project?
KS(Ms.Kaori Sawa): It is a lovely fabric that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Since it has an appropriate thickness, I thought it would be nice to make a small bag.

KF: Can you tell us about any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
KS: Though the bag may seem small, it can hold many things like a smart phone, small wallet and a handkerchief. Inside, there is a card holder pocket and a little hook for a drawstring bag for accessories.

KF:What are some tips for making this bag?
KS: There are two tips: 1. Make sure to mark the seam lines first 2. Iron the fabrics first otherwise it will be challenging to iron later in the process when the bag is being constructed.

KF:How should we use this bag in everyday settings?
KS: It is perfect for a quick running around or for kids to carry when going out. It can also work as a bag-in-bag organizer.

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

Instructions: How to make Mini purse with a drawstring bag

Per specified measurements, mark the seam lines. Cut the fabric including seam allowances.

Using an iron, attach interfacing to front outer bag fabrics (two fronts and tow gussets).

Sew and prepare a pocket, belt and handles.

Fold the top seam allowance of the front fabric and iron.

Attach a zipper. Stitch from the backside as well.

Attach handles.

With front/outer sides facing each other, sew the bottom. Press down the seam allowance.

With front/outer sides facing each other, sew top and bottom of the front fabric and gusset. Make a cut on four corners of the seam allowance of front facing fabrics as close as possible to the seam line.

Sew together the front and side gusset.

Attach the pocket and belt to the lining fabric.

Fold the top seam allowance (zipper attached location) of the lining fabric and iron.

With front/outer sides facing each other, sew the bottom. Press down the seam allowance.

Repeat the process as in Steps 8 and 9.

Cut the corners of the gusset (seam allowance) in the front and back.

Turn the lining fabric inside out and place the outer bag inside.

Align the shape, match the corners of the outer and lining side, place zipper (front side) with lining fabric and sew with blind stitches.


Turn the back inside out and finish.

Make a drawstring bag.
With front/outer sides facing each other, place the fabric together.
Sew the sides, leaving the top opening portion. Double fold the seam allowance of the top opening side and sew the side from where the opening starts to the top.
Turn it inside out, put the drawstring through and finish.

Click here for Sewing Instructions (PDF format / A4 size)

Peeking ☆Kitty’s Scarf in Fur

Size: 15cm (W), 136cm (L)

Today’s project is a cute fur scarf with a glimpse of Kitty as a design accent. A hand craft enthusiast, marimari is sharing her creative idea. A warm looking fur will be very useful in a cold weather.

Design & work created by: marimari

Fabric shown for this sample (for reverse side):
  Kitty floral bouquet design cotton broadcloth  G50183-1


□ Fabric (Front/outer side – Fur): 70cm×40cm
    (Reverse side A): 60cm×40cm
  (Reverse side B, C): 20cm×20cm
    (Reverse side D, E): 20cm×20cm
□ Quilt batting: 70cm×40cm
□ Ribbon: 40cm (3.5cm width)
□ Pom pom embellishment tape: 40cm (with 1.5cm diameter pom poms)
□ Rhinestones of your choice: about 20 pieces

kitty_2013 _236px

We interviewed marimari about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think about the fabric you used for this project?
Marimari(m): From a series of Kitty’s fabrics, I selected one with a simple color combination in red and white. By mixing it with fur, I thought I could make a Kitty scarf that is cute yet suitable for a grownup woman. I intentionally used Kitty as a backing fabric to enjoy a gap between the front fur and peeking Kitty in the back.

KF:Can you tell us about any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
m: The quilt batting adds extra warmth. I was afraid that the Kitty fabric alone may be too simple, so different pieces of fabric are patchworked. As the size of the Kitty was larger than I thought, I added the rhinestones around Kitty’s bow to accentuate her peeking look.

KF:What are some tips for making this scarf?
m: When sewing the layered furs, try to push back the extra fur inside the fabric so that it is easier to stitch. It also helps to straighten the fur smoothly when turned over. The fur, quilt batting and Kitty’s (pieced) fabric will all be sewn together at the end. To make this process go easier and aligned, first sew the quilt batting and Kitty fabric together, before you add the fur to sew.

KF: How should we use this scarf in everyday settings?
m: It is a perfect accompaniment for your holiday dress up occasions like Christmas and a New Year’s party. By toning down the colors of your dress, this scarf can be the main motif of your style coordination. Depending on your mood, you can let the Kitty peek on the backside, or bring the backside to the front to show off the Kitty design.

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

Instructions: How to make Kitty’s Scarf in Fur

Place the pattern over and cut the fabric and quilt batting. When cutting the fur, it is easier if you try to cut only the backside of the fur fabric.

Prepare the pom pom embellishment tape, ribbon and rhinestones.

Reverse side fabric A (17cm x 8cm) and Reverse side fabric B (17cm x 12cm), and another size Reverse side fabric A (17cm x 12cm) and Reverse side fabric B (17cm x 8cm) are placed and sewn together with front/outer sides facing each other.

Place and sew together the pieced-together fabric from step 3 and Kitty fabric, with front/outer sides facing each other. Please be careful with the direction of Kitty’s face. Check the top and bottom of the faces, and sew the fabric to the bottom side of the face. The picture on the bottom shows after three pieces of the fabrics are pieced together.

Place the pieces in the following order: quilt batting, Kitty fabric (front/outer side facing on top), Kitty fabric (reverse side facing on top) and another quilt batting. Pin them and sew together. The bottom picture shows after the four pieces are all sewn together.

Place the pom pom embellishment over the ribbon. Change the sewing thread to red and sew them together.

Place the ribbon over the fur, with the bottom of the ribbon at 10cm from the edge of the fur. Run a stitch over both top and bottom of the ribbon. Marking ribbon’s location on the back of the fur first and pin the ribbon will make this process go easier.

Facing the front/outer sides with each other, sew together the fur.

Securely pin together the fur fabric from Step 8 and pieced-together fabric from Step 5, aligning the stitch lines. Place and align the edges of both fabrics and pin them all around.

Sew around the edges, leaving an opening for turning.

Turn it inside out, using an opening for turning. Align the corner with a pointy tool like a pair of scissors.

Close the opening with a blind stitch. Using a stiletto, pull out the fur and straighten the look.

Using a glue gun or a craft adhesive, place the rhinestones over the ribbons on the front.

To complete, using a glue gun or a craft adhesive, place the rhinestones on Kitty’s bow on the reverse side and make sure the stones looks balanced. The key is to embellish the bottom Kitty so that it can be seen when worn around the neck.

Click here for Sewing Instructions (PDF format / A4 size)

Lesson bag in kitten design fabric 

Size:30cm (H), 40cm (W), 4cm (D)

Neko Funjatta, a fun fabric of kitty and music motifs, is perfect for making items for a new school year. The popular blogger, neige+ (aka Ms. Yuki Inomata) came up with a reversible design bag. A kitten themed charm made from a remnant will be this bag’s cute accent.

Design & work created:Yuki Inomata(neige+)

Fabric shown for this sample:
 (Front/Outer fabric)Neko Funjatta (The Flea Waltz) P25200-202 (A)
(Lining fabric) Neko Funjatta (The Flea Waltz) P25200-201 (D)

□ Fabric(Front/outer fabric, Handle, Pocket, Tab):110cm×50cm
    (Lining/inside fabric):90cm×40cm
□ Fusible quilt batting:80cm×30cm
□ Lace: 30cm (1cm width)
□ Tape: 10cm (1cm width)
□ A charm of your choice


We interviewed Ms. Inomata about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think about the fabric you used for this project?
I thought, “This fabric is definitely for children” – the cute and playful piano key design makes you want to trace along the keys. Also it will be fun to carry around a bag made of this fabric. Loveable kitties are used as the lining, creating two different ways to enjoy the design of this reversible bag.

KF:Can you tell us about any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
Placing the piano keys as a main motif, I came up with a design with a sense of fun. Depending on how you lay out the fabric, the bag will look cute whichever side you choose to use as the front or outer side. The bottom is simple, yet acts as an accent with a triangle-shaped gusset. It is designed to have a similar look when reversed.

KF:What are some tips for making this bag?
Carefully notching the fabric while cutting will help the handles and other pieces to be aligned.

KF:How should we use this bag in everyday settings?
The bag with an eye-catching key pattern is perfect for carrying materials for after school lessons and used as a school music bag. It will also be handy as a library bag.

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

Instructions: How to make Lesson bag

First prepare a piece of main fabric cut at 50cm. The piano key design is applied as the width of the bag. Besides the pocket, the width of the cut pieces should be 42cm. From left to right: pocket, handle, handle, tab, front/outer fabric, back fabric.

Prepare the lining/inside fabric. The size is 32cm x 42cm. The fusible quilt batting should be cut at 30cm x 40cm, excluding the seam allowance. Besides the handle, add 1cm seam allowance to all cut pieces.

Make the handles. Fold sideways in half, crease and open it up. Fold the top and bottom edges to the center line, then fold again, to fold in four. Run a stitch at the top and bottom.

Fold the pocket in half and sew around the edges, leaving an opening for turning.

Turn the pocket inside out. As shown in the picture, fold the corner as you pull out the fabric to finish with a clean edge.

Attach the lace to the pocket. When sewing the pocket to the front/outer fabric, tuck the edges of the lace inside. The pocket’s opening for turning should be stitched over during this process. Using the remnant, fold it in three and create a tag to be attached on the side of the pocket.

Attach the fusible quilt batting to the front/outer fabric. Make the bottom portion of the front/outer side and the lining side. Sew together the bottom with 1cm seam allowance. Notch the fabric at 3cm (including the seam allowance) from the bottom.

Tuck the bottom inside and pin it to make an accordion fold. The spot where it was notched in step 7, should now be the bottom line of the bag. When spread out, it looks like the photo in step 9.

Keeping the accordion fold, sew together both side edges of the front/outer fabric with 1cm seam allowance. Also sew the side edges of the lining fabric, leaving a 7cm opening for turning on one side with 1cm seam allowance.

Mark a notch at the center of the front/outer fabric as well as at 6cm from both side edges. Using these notches as a guide, baste handles at 0.5cm from the top edge.

Turn the front/outer fabric from step 10 inside out, and place the bag into the lining fabric. Put the opening together with front/outer sides facing each other. As seen in the photo, press down each seam allowance to other sides of each other to keep it flat. Pin the fabrics together and sew around the bag’s opening.

Turn it inside out using the opening. After closing the opening, run two stitch lines around the opening of the bag to complete.

The bottom portion, where it was accordion folded, will end up with a triangle gusset as in the photo. You may put a button or an embellishment there as an accent.

Click here for Sewing Instructions (PDF format / A4 size)

Inspiration file 38
Season with heartwarming knitted stuff


Winter has settled in. While the northern part of Japan has weathered heavy snow, the low temperature is near freezing here in Tokyo. On such a cold day, don’t you feel like lounging and sewing in a warm room?

Today I feature a handmade “una-na” doll by mimiwn. In the cold season, the doll is wearing a warm knit poncho as we do.

una-na, a rag doll made from fabric scraps and dresses, and is unique. You may recognize the doll since it was previously introduced in this column.

According to mimiwn, this una-na was inspired by “croquembouche”, which is the French pastry consisting of cream puffs piled into a cone with a thread of caramel, and it is popular as a wedding cake. Admittedly the una-na’s hat can look like the pastry.

mimiwn says, “It’s a little surprise that the cheerful colored body is hidden under the knits. By taking off her hat and poncho, the placid una-na will transform into the vivacious una-na.” The transformed one is posted on mimiwn’s website. Do check it out!

Her fabric doll has a more expressive and heartwarming atmosphere with knitted stuffs. Like this doll’s dress, partially knitted bag or purse may warm your heart.

How about adding knitted item to your sewing project in winter?

For mimiwn’s website, go to

Inspiration file 37
Animal sanctuary ~ a hand-embroidered art of peaceful landscape


The coldest season called “Daikan”*) has come to Japan. On such a freezing day, I introduce a beautiful and heart-warming embroidered art.

The embroidery artist Yuki Horiuchi created the work in the above picture. Can you believe everything in the picture is needlework? The flowers and animals depicted in detail by using colorful threads and various embroidery techniques are just incredible! While sheep’s crimpled hair looks startlingly real, Bambi the white-tailed deer with beautiful fur is depicted adorably. The reflection on the pond of the sheep drinking water was embroidered as well. This tranquil landscape with animals has a whimsical atmosphere. It may be the image of animal sanctuary that came across Horiuchi’s mind.

Going to Horiuchi’s website, you can see a lot of her embroidered art depicting plants and animals. Each has a lovely title named by Horiuchi; “Kokoro no izumi (spring in the heart)”, “Nemuranai yoru (sleepless night)”, “Fushigi no mori no okufukaku (deep in the dreamy woods)”, “Kagayaku inochi no atsumari (ensemble of bright life)”, “Hitotsubu no yuki no monogatari (tale of a drop of snow)”, and so on.

Horiuchi says, “In the picture is a part of my latest production. The work itself is approximately 30 centimeters in diameter. It is the biggest one I have ever made so far.”

What does the whole piece look like? Apparently it is a rather elaborate masterpiece. The work will be displayed at “Sesse – Contemporary Embroidery Exhibition” held at Hankyu Umeda Main Store in Osaka from February 5, 2014. I cannot wait to see it!

For Yuki Horiuchi’s website, go to

*) The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms. “Daikan”, which is the 24th term in the lunisolar calendar and literally means “great cold”, is considered the coldest period in the year. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around January 20 and ends around February 3.