I love look of furoshiki wraps that take a simple square of fabric, then wrap and tie it creatively to turn any object into a pretty package. But most often, when I need to carry something, I want a container that holds everything without shifting when open, and is lightweight as well as sturdy. To combine sturdy practicality and pretty fabric wraps, I made a Furoshiki Bag with Kraft-Tex – kind of faux furoshiki. I can tuck my folded project into the sides and keep embroidery and embellishment supplies corralled inside.
I wanted to use Kraft-Tex for the body of my bag because it’s durable and easy to sew. Kraft-Tex is a fabric-like thick paper that sews like leather or vinyl. The edges do not fray, and it mixes well with other materials, just like leather and vinyl do. Kraft-Tex is washable, so as long as I use other washable materials, I can launder the whole project when it needs to freshen a bit. Learn more about working with Kraft-Tex.
I wanted to use Kraft-Tex for the body of my bag because it's durable and easy to sew. Kraft-Tex is a paper fabric that sews like leather and vinyl do. Kraft-Tex is washable, so as long as I use other washable materials, I can launder the whole project when it needs to freshen a bit. Learn more about working with Kraft-Tex.
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- 1 roll (18.5 x 28.5 inches) Kraft-Tex paper fabric . (I used hand-dyed and prewashed Kraft-Tex in Marsala)
- 1.5 yards fabric for handle, handle lining and bag lining (I used the same fabric throughout, but it would be fun to use three (3) different fabrics).
- Pattern drawing paper, 10 x 30 inches
- Thread for your sewing machine
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Paper scissors
- Iron and pressing surface; I like a wool mat
- Sewing machine with a fresh needle
- 24-inch quilting ruler
- 6-inch (or larger) ruler with clear 45-degree line
- Erasable fabric marker
- Pen or pencil to mark pattern paper
- Hand sewing needle
- Begin with fabric selection to match or contrast with your Kraft-Tex. I try to limit my shopping adventures while we are all trying to stay home to stop the spread of Covid-19, so I wanted to limit my fabric choices to fabric in my stash. I found this blue ticking stripe (that I forgot I had) and thought it looked fresh and crisp next to the reddish Marsala Kraft-Tex. And, I had enough! All seams are 1/4-inch.
- Next, it was time to draft the pattern for the handle. It's a very easy shape to draw. Take a look at the illustration below to get an idea of how to form the tie shape. The pattern includes a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Draw an 8-1/2-inch line at one end of the pattern paper. This will be the bottom of your bag and be placed on the fold for cutting.
Draw a 27-inch perpendicular (90 degree) line from the center of the first line.
Center a 1-inch line centered on and perpendicular to the end of the 27-inch line. This will be the top of the tie ends.
From your first 8-1/2-inch line, draw a 7-1/2-inch line perpendicular to each end. This section will wrap around the base of the bag.
On each side, draw a line joining the ends of the 7-1/2-inch and 1-inch lines. This will wrap the tie up the sides and provide enough length to secure the ties around the bag.
Lay out your pattern on the tie fabric, and remember that the wide end goes on the fold. This is why you need a full 1-1/2-yards of fabric. if you choose to piece the tie with multiple fabrics (could be super fun!), be sure to add seam allowance. Then pin the pattern on the fold of the fabric. You will cut one handle and one lining. If using the same fabric as I did, you can layer the fabric for cutting.
- Cut the handle and the handle lining pieces. These are all straight lines, so use your rotary cutter and ruler to make quick work of this step. Cut one handle plus one lining from this pattern piece. I layered my fabric and cut both pieces at the same time.
- In addition to the handle pieces, cut one (1) each of your Kraft-Tex and bag lining fabric into 16 by 24-inch rectangles. With these four pieces, you're ready to start sewing.
- Start sewing with the bag lining. Fold the 16- by 24-inch rectangle of lining fabric right sides together, matching the 16-inch edges. You now have a folded rectangle with 12-inch sides. Sew each side, leaving a 6-inch opening on one side for turning. This opening needs to be generous so that you can turn the thick Kraft-Tex through it in a later step. Reinforce the opening with a few backstitches.
- Press seams open. Now to make a 6-inch gusset to form the boxy bottom. Easy! With the 45-degree line of a ruler, find the point where you get a 6-inch measurement at the base of the triangle. My ruler is 6-1/2-inches, so I slid the 45-degree line along the folded fabric edge until I had 6-inches at the ruler's base. Then I made a mark along that edge. I repeated for the other corner.
- Stitch along the drawn line, securing the stitches at each end.
- Trim away excess fabric at each stitch line, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Set the lining aside for now.
- Now it is time to sew the furoshiki tie. Right sides together, stitch the tie and tie lining together, leaving a gap for turning.
- Clip the corners.
- Turn the tie to the right side, using a bodkin or similar tool to coax out crisp corners. A bodkin can get into sharp corners without piercing the fabric or breaking threads. I reach for mine often!
- Press the tie nice and flat.
- Topstitch around the edge of the tie. I like to use an edgestitch foot (#10 foot on a Bernina) to keep my topstitching consistent.
- Lay out the 16 by 24-inch piece of Kraft-Tex and find its center. Find the center of the tie and line it up with the center of the Kraft-Tex, parallel to the 24-inch side. Tape the tie to the Kraft-Tex - NO PINS - they will leave permanent holes. Use painter's tape or artist's tape - they will not leave a residue on your Kraft-Tex and fabric. Center a 6 by 7-inch rectangle (you can cut one from paper - sorry I didn't take a picture) on the tie. Mark a dot at each corner, then connect the dots to make a big X. Stitch along the drawn lines to secure the tie to the bottom of the bag. Remove the tape.
- Your bag is still flat at this point, but that's about to change! Being careful to keep the ties away from the needle, match the side edges of the Kraft-Tex right sides together. Stitch both sides with a 3.0-3.5 length stitch. Leave the top open.
- Press seams open.
- Measure, mark and stitch box corners just like you did for the lining in Steps 6 & 7. Trim excess Kraft-Tex from the corners to reduce bulk.
- When you turn the bag right side out, you can see the big X securing the bottom and the shape of the bag is beginning to take form.
- The bag sits nice and straight with mitered corners at the base.
- It's time to add the lining. Right sides together, slip the Kraft-Tex portion of the bag into the lining, matching side seams and centers along the top edge. Use clips, not pins, to secure the pieces, and take care to keep the ties tucked away from the edge.
- Stitch the Kraft-Tex outer bag to the fabric lining around the entire top edge.
- My bag kind of wanted to hug my machine as i stitched. Everyone needs a hug, so I let them have their moment.
- Remember that gap you left in the lining seam? Here is where you test it! Turn the Kraft-Tex bag through the gap in the lining. Work at it a little at a time, and you'll get there. Midway through, it's going to look like a big mess like this. But be patient, and keep nudging.
- A few more nudges, and the bag is now right side out! Hang on - it will neaten up in a minute.
- Slipstitch the open portion of the lining seam with matching thread.
- Press the top edge, then topstitch all around.
- Ta-da! Bring the ties up along the sides of the Kraft-Tex and tie an easy square knot. It closes the bag while making a handle!
- Here is a top view of the Furoshiki Kraft-Tex bag so you can see how the top folds in on itself to close.
- When the bag is open, the inside is very accessible, keeping your supplies within easy reach.
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Helix Tracing & Sketching Paper Roll, White, High Transparency, 12 Inches x 50 Yards (37801)
OHOCO Wool Pressing Mat for Quilting - 17" x 24" Extra Large Felt Ironing Pad 1/2" Thick, 100% New Zealand Wool for Ironing, Sewing, Cutting on Ironing Board, Tabletop, Dryer, Countertop
Dritz 783 Bodkin, Ball Point, Silver, 6 inches
PILOT FriXion Clicker Erasable, Refillable & Retractable Gel Ink Pens, Fine Point, Assorted Color Inks, 10-Pack Pouch (11336)
kraft-tex Marsala Hand-Dyed & Prewashed: Kraft Paper Fabric, 18.5” x 28.5" Roll (kraft-tex Designer)
The Furoshiki Style Kraft Tex Bag is ready to carry your projects or a little picnic.
The sides provide extra space for carrying folded projects with all your supplies inside.
Browse through more Kraft-Tex projects on Create Whimsy.