How to Make a Japanese Bento Bag
A friend asked me to create a Japanese Bento bag for her. I wasn’t really sure where to start but it turns out it is not as difficult as I thought. In fact, it is a nice beginner sewing project. The Japanese Bento bag is also known as Azuma Bukuro and is a traditional cloth bag that is used to carry most anything. This bag can be made in a variety of sizes. Just make sure the total length is three times the width then add the the seam allowance. I decided to make a medium sized bag for my Bento bag but you could make yours larger or smaller if you like. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance for my bag.
There is some debate on whether to line this bag or not. It is really up to you. If you decide not to line your bag I would add a 1/2″ seam allowance so that you can fold the raw edges under by 1/4″ and again by 1/4″ and stitch to make a nice hem all the way around your bag. I opted to line my bag by doubling up the fabric I had so the 1/4″ seam allowance was fine. I had a fairly large amount for me of blue Batik on hand that I decided to use for this project that I purchased at JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores but a nice quilting cotton would be perfect. You could go to JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores, Hobby Lobby or Fabric.com to get exactly what you need for your Bento Bag. This post contains affiliate links that if you click on them and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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What you will Need: How to Make a Japanese Bento Bag
- 1/2 yd of cotton fabric
- Standard sewing supplies
Step 1: cut your fabric
Cut two pieces of fabric that measure 12 1/2″ x 36 1/2″ if you are going to line the bag. If you are not going to line the bag Cut one piece of fabric that measures 13″ x 39″. These measurements include the seam allowances and allow for a length that is three times the width.
Step 2: Stitch the pieces together
Place the pieces right sides together and stitch all the way around the rectangle using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave an opening on one side for turning. Turn the bag right sides out and press. Top stitch all the way around the piece including the opening to close it up. If you are not lining the bag, simply hem the rectangle all the way around by folding the raw edges over by 1/4″ and again by 1/4″. Stitch along the hem all the way around.
Step 3: fold the rectangle
Lay out the rectangle on your work surface horizontally. You will fold the rectangle into equal thirds and press. Open up the folds. Fold the right 1/3rd over the center and stitch just along the bottom matching the top stitching.
Step 4: Fold the left third
Fold the left third of the fabric over the center meeting the right third. Stitch along the top matching the top stitching making sure that the first third is pushed out of the way as you stitch.
Step 5: sew the corners
Measure diagonally 3″ from the left top corner and draw a line. Measure up 3″ from the opposite corner and do the same. Stitch along the those lines. Clip off the excess fabric. Turn the bag right sides out and press. You have now finished your Japanese Bento Bag. Super easy. The perfect beginner bag making project.
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