Looking for a Cute DIY Purse? Try This Japanese Knot Bag Tutorial

Sewing Times
by Sewing Times
8 Materials
3 Hours

Today, I’ll be showing you how to sew a Japanese knot bag! It’s straightforward, and the results are super cute! This Japanese knot bag is an open bag, and the handles are not symmetrical. To make the knot, one handle slips into the other.

They’re fairly popular, and now it’s time to make one for yourself. Let’s get this Japanese knot bag tutorial started!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric - two prints
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Thread
  • Iron
Fabric for the Japanese knot bag DIY

1. Cut the pattern

For the Japanese knot bag DIY, you need two different fabrics. For the main pieces, cut four 8¾ x 12⅞ pieces - two from each fabric. 

How to make a Japanese knot bag

You’ll need two rectangles for the base that are 5½ x 2¾ inches in size. 

Japanese knot bag free sewing pattern

Making the Japanese knot bag pattern

2. Make the Japanese knot bag pattern

With a ruler, measure 5⅜ inches on the side, mark that point, and draw a line straight across. 

How to make a Japanese knot bag pattern

On the top, mark the fabric an inch from the end, and then 2⅜ inches from the first-inch mark. Do this on both sides. 

DIY Japanese knot bag pattern

Then, draw lines going down to the middle line from each of the four points. 

Drawing a Japanese knot bag pattern

Draw curved lines starting from the side and the middle. For the middle column, find the center point and then draw curved lines so that they meet that point. 

Drafting a Japanese knot bag pattern

Easy Japanese knot bag pattern

At the bottom edge, Measure 1¾ inches and draw a curved line from the side to that indicated mark. 

Simple Japanese knot bag pattern

Now, moving to the top, second line. Make a 2⅜-inch mark and draw a line from the second to the first line. 

Cutting out the Japanese knot bag pattern

3. Cut the pattern

Fold your fabric in half and cut the pattern. Ensure to first cut the longer column (don’t yet cut the line in the middle). 

Simple Japanese knot bag tutorial

Open your pattern and cut the middle line, as shown. 

Cutting around the pattern

Layer the rest of the fabric pieces, right sides facing. Place the cut-out pattern on top and cut around the pattern through the three layers. 

Measuring the edges

Cutting the edges on a curve

To curve the edges of the small base pieces, simply fold the rectangle, make a ⅜-inch mark, then fold the rectangle again, and cut a curve. 

Cutting out the second piece

Simply cut the second piece by following the curved parts of the first. 

Sewing the Japanese knot bag

4. Start sewing

Pin the base piece to one of the main pieces, including the curved parts. Sew with a ⅜-inch allowance. 

Pinning the fabric ready to sew

How to sew a Japanese knot bag

Sew a Japanese knot bag

Pin the curved part of the base to the bottom edge of the second main fabric. Then, sew to secure. 

Pinning the bag lining ready to sew

Repeat on the other pieces of fabric. 

Easy-sew Japanese knot bag

Fold the base in half and pin. Then, sew all around the curved parts and the top handles. Repeat on the other bag piece, too. 

Snipping around the curved edges

Snip the curved sides. 

Inserting the lining into the bag

5. Assemble the Japanese knot bag

Now, insert one bag piece (right sides out) into the other (right sides facing). 

Pinning the lining to the bag

Align the top edges and pin accordingly. 

Sewing the lining to the bag

Stitch all around. 

Removing the excess seam allowance

Remove the excess seam allowance and snip the edges of the curved parts. 

Turning the bag right sides out

Through the side gaps, turn the Japanese knot bag DIY inside out. 

Pressing the seams with an iron

Press the seams.

Topstitching the middle section

Topstitch the middle section. 

Making a DIY Japanese knot bag

Pressing the edges with an iron

Take out the inner fabric and align the handles. Then, fold in the edges and press them down. 

Sewing up the openings

Next, insert the inner fabric back into the bag, align the raw edges of the openings, and sew to secure. 

Japanese knot bag

Japanese knot bag tutorial

Japanese knot bag tutorial

Now you know how to make a Japanese knot bag, the easy way! It’s really simple and the bag itself is super functional since all you do is insert the longer handle into the shorter one- and voila! Thanks for joining me for this Japanese knot bag tutorial! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric - two prints
  • Scissors
  • Pins
See all materials

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