Based on an authentic Japanese rice bag, or Komebukuro, this beautiful drawstring holdall is made from simple squares and can be sized up or down to suit your needs. Make it patchwork, add a contrast lining, or even pad out your bag with quilt wadding to create a sturdy everyday accessory to hold your essentials.
- Fabric: cotton print, plain cotton lining
- 14cm square
- For the base, cut fabric, 15cm square. For the sides, snip four different prints, 16cm square. Snip the 16cm squares into 8cm squares.
Sew each of the patchwork squares to the four edges of the 15cm square to form a cross. Bring the sides of each patchwork square together and stitch up the side seam to make a bag. Cut five 15cm squares of plain lining and sew together in the same way, leaving a 5cm long gap in one of the seams. Slip the right sides out bag into the wrong sides out lining, matching up the top edges.
Cut four pieces, 4cm x 15cm each. Fold in 1cm on the short edges of each strip and glue down. Fold each piece in half lengthways, right sides out and press. Find the centre of each strip and mark with a pin. Slip each strip between the outer and lining of the bag so the centre is in line with bottom corner and the raw edges are matched.
Pin and stitch around the top of the bag, then turn out through the gap in the lining. Fold in the raw edges of the gap and slip-stitch closed. Push the lining inside the bag so the fabric channels stand proud of the top. Press well and topstitch around the top of the bag, 2mm below the channels.
Cut a piece, 3cm x 1m and fold in half lengthways, right sides together. Sew down the long seam and turn the piping right sides out. Fold in the raw ends and slip-stitch closed before pressing the tube. Thread the tuber through the channels along the top of the bag and knot the ends together with a small reef knot. Gather the top of the bag up by pulling the piping where it is visible between the channels.
Mix them up to create four patchwork panels. Sew the small squares right sides together, leaving a 5mm seam allowance, then press.