Turning Japanese Bag – some variations

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.Have you tried the Turning Japanese Bag pattern yet. You should give it a try – it’s really easy! Part of the ‘My First Bag series’ it’s a single pattern piece, no fancy zippers or closures, the handles are ready made and it’s perfect to showcase a really nice fabric or a large scale print.

However, just because its simple, there’s no need to stop there. A simple pattern is often an ideal base to start from if you want to add a few additions of your own.

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.

In this example:

  • I add a hard bottom and some shiny bag feet
  • It has a couple of small d-rings on the side where you can add a removable shoulder chain
  • I split the pattern to use two different fabrics instead of just one. You can split it in any direction, sew a curved seam, diagonal, or even patchwork.
  • I add a simple slip pocket
  • I also (very badly) add on the bias trim handles instead of the ready made grommet handles.

Here is the original bag.

Free bag pattern. The handles make this bag really easy to make, but it looks fab! I want one!

You can watch me make a few simple changes to the pattern and hardware to create something a little different.

Links you’ll need:

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.

Making changes and additions to the Turning Japanese Bag pattern

 

 

So, to summarize, make a better job than me with the bias tape handles or treat yourself and create a much better bag with the metal ones!  (I’ll be getting myself another set of those handles and replacing my terrible sewn ones!  Ashamed…)  Otherwise, the additions of the bag feet and the strap are really nice, and I’ll use this version of the bag a lot. I like having a light shoulder strap so I can keep my hands free while shopping and then just slip the chain back inside when I’m not using it.  More versatile than a heavier weight long strap I think.

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.

Having the option to change up the look with the different fabrics is an easy way to change the pattern and I think I might make another with a diagonal fabric change, perhaps in a really bold combination, or even with a faux leather!  If you know me, don’t look – you’ll probably be getting one of these bags for Christmas!

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5 Responses to Turning Japanese Bag – some variations

  1. Jenne says:

    Beautiful bag. I was also looking at that bias. Really have problem with curves.

    • Me too. I’m afraid of it, that’s the problem, I lack confidence so I’m never sure if I should be leaving it loose, pulling it fairly taught, somewhere in between or what? I think I need more practice on projects that don’t really matter. Maybe I’ll try some round potholders for a bit of practice and it won’t matter if they are perfect. But inside curves, yuck, I need a LOT more practice!

  2. Gorgeous fabrics, Deby!!! It’s not easy to add bias on such a tight curve.

  3. Monique U says:

    Divine looking bag and interesting adaptations, Deby 🙂 I wish I could remember where I read instructions on how to “steam-fit” binding prior to sewing it on… possibly Threads magazine. I know it was a brilliant trick!

    I have marked your video to enjoy later tonight. Thanks for posting it!

What do you think?