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Turning Japanese Bag – free

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One of my favorite free bag sewing patterns. No difficult closures, easy to sew and yet those handles make it look really good. I taught a neighbour to sew using this pattern. Great for your first bag.


Last week we shared the Discotech clutch bag and heard from a couple of you that loved that pattern and recommended another that was similar, using these same handles. This was the original bag pattern we found to use these oval metal handles, the Turning Japanese Bag, that no doubt inspired all the others you see popping up now.

If you are looking for a quick and easy bag-sewing project, this is ideal. The use of metal handles in this bag means there is no need for fiddly zippers or closures, but the bag still looks super cute and just like something you could have bought in a nice store.

If you don’t like the handles, you can achieve the same look simply by following the cut out from the pattern piece and binding those edges with a bias binding tape instead.

This bag pattern is perfect for adding your own touches, or for fussy cutting and showcasing your favorite fabrics.  Even better, it comes with a full video tutorial.

Note – tips about the handles.  Loving those metal handles? Take care, the ones we’ve seen from places like Amazon and Ebay are just cheap and flimsy ones where the finish comes off. We recommend getting these from a reputable seller on Etsy. Do make sure to get the screw-in ones, not the ones with the fold-over prongs.

Get the oval metal handles from Etsy here

Looking for oriental fabrics? Check out some of our favorites here.


Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • Finished bag approx 11 inches tall by 10.5 inches wide


Download the free Turning Japanese Bag pattern