Blackcabbit's World

Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.

A Reversible Box Bottom Tote Bag for my Bento

Bento bagLast saturday, I made a reversible tote bag for my 3-tier Bento Bako (弁当箱 / lunch box), which is used for family outings or church lunches. The pattern I used was taken from this book (バッグ日和) that features a simple square tote bag. As usual, being an over-confident amateur, I tweaked the sizes and defiantly altered the instructions to suit my need.

Here is my step-by-step work process that I’d love to share with you.

Fabric Choice & Pattern

I used three set of Japanese designed cotton fabrics. Since I want to keep the fabric soft, light and washable, I never use any fusible interfacing.

DIY Tote Bag

Pattern – A x 1 piece (55x17cm); B x 2 pieces ( 17x19cm); C x 1 piece (55x55cm).
Note: A & B are a set (i.e. outer bag), while C is on its own (i.e. linings).

box bag pattern

C was made up of 3 pieces of fabric sewed together.
To speed things up, I folded the C fabric into 4-fold, and cut away
a 19 by 19 cm square at the corner to form the cross. (See above picture)

Sewing the Outer Bag

As mentioned earlier, A & B are a set. On the wrong side of the fabric, I sewed the sides of A & B together in this sequence… (1) (2) (3)… with a 0.5 cm hem since I don’t have a lot fabric to spare.

Tote bag tutorial

After one side is complete, I sewed the second piece of B to A with the same sequence.

box bottom bag

Next, I made the cloth handles and sewed them close to the edges of the right side of the outer bag (A & B set). To make ONE handle: 1. I used a 5cm wide stripe of fabric (with 35cm length). 2. I folded the stripe of fabric into two, pressed it until the center line was visible.
3. Folded in the fray edges towards the center line until I had a 2cm width.
4. Sewed closed to the edge.

Sewing the Inner Bag (Lining)

Square bottom bag

To make the linings or inner bag, I sewed the four sets
of relevant edges together (see picture above).

Putting Them Together

Sewing Bento bag

I placed both the inner and outer bags together, with their RIGHT SIDES touching.
Matching the two seams, I pinned them in place. Then, I machined the edges but left an opening wide enough to turn the bag RIGHT-SIDE OUT.

Final Touch…

Once the bag was right-side out, I closed the opening by topstitching along the edge.

Japanese bag

Viola! My bento bag, my pride! ^_^b

Related Links

Blackcabbit’s Handmade Adventures

6 comments on “A Reversible Box Bottom Tote Bag for my Bento

  1. Jun
    September 28, 2015

    Great instructions! Thanks for sharing. Ive been looking for bento box bags!

  2. Anonymous
    April 5, 2013

    Just finished my first bag. Hardest part was finding a bento box to fit inside! Good instructions.

    • blackcabbit
      April 5, 2013

      LOL! Well done. I’d love to see your bag. Any link to share? ^_^b

  3. Purin~
    February 27, 2013

    Lovely job ^__^)b

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This entry was posted on February 27, 2013 by in Craft / DIY Projects and tagged , .
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