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  • Writer's pictureCraft Cotton Co

Japanese Tote Bag

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

Follow my tutorial on how to make your very own ‘Japanese tote bag’. These stunning fabrics are all available from Craft Cotton.

These fat quarters were taken from the Japanese Metallic Navy and Red fabrics.

I decided to team these beauties up with some solid black, and some beautiful silver metallic Gutermann thread, colour 7009

Please read through all the instructions before starting your project

Finished size: 14” x 14”



  • 4 FQ from the Japanese metallic range available at Craft Cotton

  • 3 FQ of solid black fabric

  • FQ of H200 light iron-on interfacing by vlieseline

  • Gutermann thread, colours 7009 and 1238

Haberdashery items

  • Iron-away marker pen

  • Quilters ruler, rotary cutter/scissors

  • Iron

  • Cutting mat

  • Basic sewing supplies

  • Paper to make your Petal template


Making the tote bag

Step 1: Cutting

  • Two 15in x17in squares from the solid black

  • One 15in x 17in square from the metallic flowers on red

  • One 15in x 17in square from the gold metallic flowers on navy

  • One 34in x 3.5in strip in black

  • One 34in x 3.5in strip in metallic flowers on navy

  • 5 petals from a variety of the prints

  • 5 petals from interlining

  • Fussy cut one large flower and fuse to a piece of interfacing

Assembling the tote bag

To make your petal template, cut a piece of paper to measure 5in x 10.5in, fold in half along the shorter length, and in half again, creating a rectangle measuring 2.5in x 5.25in, draw a curve using the edge of a dinner plate, from the two points. Cut out. Fuse your petals to the interfacing, by drawing around the template onto the interfacing, cut out, and fuse to your chosen fabrics. Cut out your 5 petals, repeat this process for the large flower.

Take one piece of the black fabric, and lay portrait, mark with a white removable pen, or with pins, and line which sits 3.5in from the base of the bag – this is where the base of your bag will be, so you don’t want the petals on this bit.

Pin your petals in place, fold over the black fabric along the drawn line, and trim off the excess petal.

Using the Gutermann silver metallic thread, blanket stitch around the petals, add the flower, trim using the same process as the petals, and blanket stitch in place.

Lay your two long strips RST and sew 1/4in along each long edge, turn right way out and press, this will make a gorgeous extra wide strap.

Pin your strap in place, and sew the bag together, by laying the front and back pieces RST and sew along the three edges - Not along the top, repeat this process for the two lining pieces, leaving a 4in gap in this along the bottom edge, for turning your bag the right way out.

You have two bags now, joined together. To create the base for you bag, pull the bottom corners out (like opened a packet of crisps) and draw a line 2in from the corner, sew along this line, and trim of excess. Repeat this process for the other three corners. Push it all through the gap (the most exciting part) and press. Hand-sew up the gap with a simple ladder stitch.

Top stitch using the Gutermann metallic thread 1/8in, all the way around the top of your bag.

That’s your tote bag finished, you could even add a pocket to the lining on yours. I love the extra wide strap, makes its so comfy and really shows off the gorgeous fabrics.

This ‘Japanese Tote Bag’ tutorial has been created by me - creativeblonde.

To see more of my tutorials, you can follow my blog and/or Instagram page and

Stockist for the fabrics found in this tutorial 0161 832 9431

Stockist for Gutermann threads

Made by Michelle Roberts for The Craft Cotton Company 2018

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