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.

DIY Projects for my Pre-schooler 3: Lesson Bag

Japanese School bagHere is the Lesson Bag (レッスンバッグ) that I made for my Fireball, three months ago. Woah, time flies! In Japan, Lesson Bag is also known as a Ehon-bagu (絵本バッグ) or Tesage Bukuro (手提げ袋) and many other names. Primarily, it is used to carry drawing block, art materials, picture books and other larger school stuffs.

Okay, here is how I DIY-ed the bag:

Fabric Design & Measurement:

Lesson BagThe Lesson 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, I continued to sew AB to C. All with a 2-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).

Preparing the Appliqués

Since a sheet of A4 Printable Cotton is expensive, I cannot afford to waste one. So, before I proceeded with the fabric printing, I printed out my final sketches to test their sizes, and to get an idea of how the appliqués should be arranged on the fabric.
Lesson BagThe scrooge in me managed to squeeze everything I need for this project onto a sheet of A4 Cotton Fabric. The layout of the final appliqués was similar to the placement of the sketches above. The name label was sewn on the right (middle portion).

Fabric PrintingBefore I “V”stitched the appliqués with my sewing machine to the Lesson Bag, I used a THIN iron-on interfacing to keep the printed fabric from fraying.

Sew ON!

School BagThis is how the finished outer bag looked, after sewing the parts together (i.e. ABC + Appliqué + Tag).Japanese School BagThen, I folded ABC into half. With the seam allowances pressed wide open, I machine-stitched a 1-cm seam along both sides.

Embroidery AppliqueFortunately before I proceed further, I realized the decoration on the Lesson bag was uncompleted. I quickly added chain stitches to the train parts. WHEW! I also added two handles and velcro. I used TWO navy blue cotton webbing tapes for the handles (35 cm each). (See below pictures)

Japanese lesson bagAfter I stitched up the sides of the lining (D), I inserted the outer bag into the lining bag, with their RIGHT SIDES touching.

Lesson BagThe measurement for the velcro tab was L6 x W5cm. Note: The length was 12cm but I folded it into half. Then, I sew the sides and turned it back to its right side before sewing on the velcro. The velcro strips were cut accordingly to fit the tab.

Tote BagMatching the two seams, I pinned them in place. Making sure that the handles and velcro tab is nicely tucked in between the fabric, I ran my stitches back and forth a couple of time to secure them.

Tote BagThen, I machined the top around (2-cm from the edges) but left a 10-cm opening, wide enough to turn the bag RIGHT-SIDE OUT.

Final Touch…

Once the bag was right-side out, I closed the opening by stitching along the top edge. This will closed up the opening as well as further secured the handle and velcro tab.

Japanese BagOh my pretty Lesson bag, my love! ^_^b

Related Links:

Blackcabbit’s Handmade Adventures

The Big Preschool Prep for ME!

Other DIY projects that I have done for my son includes:
> Shoe Bag
> Sling Bag


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This entry was posted on July 3, 2013 by in Craft / DIY Projects, Life in Japan, School Life and tagged , , .
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