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.
After I wrote the step-by-step process for the O-bento Set, I have decided that there will be a total of FOUR instead of five posts for the “DIY projects for my Pre-schooler” Series. To recap, here is the list of what was to be expected:
1. O-bento Set:
a. Lunch box pouch
b. Pouch for cup & toothbrush
3. 2. Shoe Bag
4. 3. Lesson Bag
5. 4. Sling Bag
I decided to omit the Envelope Pouch because I think I could have done better. Okay without further ado, I will share with you how I made a Uwabaki Ire (上履き入れ) for my boy in this particular post.
I’m sure if you are familiar with the Japanese culture, you will not be surprise that there are many public places that require one to remove his/her street shoes at the Genkan (entrance) and change into a pair of slippers or indoor footwear, in order to keep their floors clean and well-maintained.
Uwabaki (上履き) are indoor shoes, made of white canvas with rubber soles. They are commonly used in schools. In fact, every entrance of every school has a rack system with an assigned shoe slot for each student.
These are my son’s uwabaki, which are just plain white rubber shoes, nothing fanciful. And this is the Uwabaki Ire (上履き入れ/Shoe Bag), I made for my little boy. Sometimes, it is also call a Uwabaki baggu or Shūzukēsu (シューズケース/Shoe Case), which is used primarily to carry the indoor shoes to/fro schools. Usually, on Fridays (or any last day of the school week), the teachers will instruct the little ones to bring them home for washing.
The shoe bag was made up of two parts – an outer bag (A, B, & C) and a lining (D). To form the outer bag, I joined the plain blue A to patterned B. Then, continued to sew AB to C. All with a 1-cm seam allowances. I also used an appliqué that I illustrated, and a name label (E), both produced with my home printer… (Click here to know more).
Before I “V”stitched the appliqué with my sewing machine to the Uwabaki Ire, I used a THIN iron-on interfacing to keep the printed fabric from fraying.
1a. This is how it looked after sewing the parts of the outer bag together (i.e. ABC + Appliqué + Tag). 1b. The back view of the same piece. 1c. After I folded the inner bag piece in half and made sure that the seam allowances were pressed wide open, I machine-stitched a 1-cm seam along both sides. 2. This is the lining piece (D), which was also folded in half. Similarly, I machine-stitched a 1-cm seam along both sides BUT kept a 10-cm opening on one side.I measured all corners (of both the outer bag and lining), drew a 6-cm stitching line each, pressed wide the seams and sewed along it. I gave each a 1-cm seam allowance, trimmed off the excess corners and zig-zaged the cut edges.
(i) I placed both the inner and outer bags together, with their RIGHT SIDES touching.
(ii) Matching the two seams, I pinned them in place.
(iii) I used a navy blue cotton webbing tape for the handle (35 cm; folded in half) and the D-ring Tab (5 cm).
(iv) I placed the D-ring in center and folded the tape in half too.
(v) Before I machined the top (2-cm from the edges), I inserted both the handle (front) and the D-ring+tab (back) in between the fabrics. Ran my stitches back and forth a couple of time to secure the handle and D-ring tab.
A little TIP: Try to insert the tab in a way that the D-ring is slightly after the 2-cm seam. Mine was too long. So, when the shoes are in the bag, the balance is a little off.
Once the bag was right-side out, I closed the opening by hand-stitching along the side with a Slip Stitch (Blind Stitch). I also topstitched along the edge to further secure the handle and D-ring tab.