The monster comes to life! The journey of a pot-bellied shoulder bag

28 August 2008 at 2:00 pm (Crafted!) (, )

Full and happy shoulder bag

Full and happy shoulder bag

It’s rather mean to call this a monster (it isn’t, really) but it took me a long, long while to finally figure out how to complete this bag. This pattern came from a Japanese craft book, and usually, the step-by-step pictorial instructions are so thorough that you don’t need to know how to read Japanese to understand the steps. I had made a couple of bags from the same book, so it was really quite puzzling why I couldn’t make out this one part of the instructions for this particular bag.

If you’re wondering why my embroidery and lining fabric don’t match, it’s actually because I meant for this to be just a trial attempt. The embroidered flowers was supposed to be for another project but I ditched it after I saw how wonky the embroidery was. You can’t really tell from the photos, but trust me, it’s wonky! The lining fabric is whatever was left over from another project, so it wouldn’t have been too painful if things didn’t work out.

So anyway, try as I might, I just couldn’t get my pieces of fabric to look like the pieces in the picture. I looked at the instructions for many, many days, twisting and turning the fabric into all shapes. It couldn’t be that hard, I thought to myself. I’m sure I was missing something somewhere. But I couldn’t figure it out. Defeated, I placed the pieces of fabric into my “works in progress” box, and moved on to other projects.

A couple of days ago, I brought the pieces out and suddenly, as if by stroke of luck, the next step just clicked in my mind. I put the pieces together, trying to visualise the next few steps, and figured I should just try sewing the thing and see how it’ll turn out. Made a quick reference to the instructions in the book again, and I started to realise that there was something not quite right about that one particular picture where I was stuck.

To cut a long story short, there was this one bit that was misrepresented in the picture (it must have been a mistake, because Japanese craft book instructions are very detailed). I couldn’t get my fabric pieces to look like the picture because it just wasn’t possible.

So, it’s done! Completed! Happy me! And happy bag!

The little pot-bellied bag

The little pot-bellied bag

Design verdict: I really like the way this bag looks. It’s got a cute little pot belly in the middle, which means it’s expandable and stuffable! I’ll definitely be making another one.



  1. Elizabeth said,

    This looks like the Toyko tie bag that I made awhile back, but bigger! I loved that pattern . . . I always wondered what it would look like if it was bigger. Very cute!

  2. Ana said,

    Hi, your bag looks really nice!

    I’ve been searching for tutorials to do a bag like this to myself because it’s just so pretty, but can’t find a decent one!

    Which book did you use? Or do you have a tuorial that you could share with me?


    • honeyanddaisy said,

      Thanks! 🙂 I used a pattern from this book: Book on Handmade Bag published by Shufuto Seikatsu Sha (December 2006).

      If you don’t mind waiting, I’ll try to make a tutorial for it and post it up on my blog.

  3. Isopropyl Alcohol said,

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