Sakana (Fish) Double Zipper Sewing Bag Tutorial

Flower Sugar World Ambassadors Issue No. 6 by Lecien Fabrics has finally been released last week! If you have the time, please click on the link to look at all the beautiful projects made by 15 amazing bloggers (including me!>.<) from all around the world using the latest and prettiest Flower Sugar fabrics

Today I am sharing how to make one of the projects that was featured in the Flower Sugar special issue above: Sakana (Fish) Double Zipper Sewing Pouch

It's completely handsewn but feel free to use the sewing machine if it makes your life easier without having to be poked by needles! But I would recommend to handsew the patchwork fishes+zippers and machine sew/quilt the pouch itself.

Points to note: 

a: If you are handsewing, use small continuous stitches for patchwork (backstitch every 4-5 stitches). BUT, use back stitches to sew the pouch. I always use quilting thread for it's strength.

Download the template for patchwork fish and oval pouch cover/base.
(print at 100% no scaling)

Using the same cardboard method here, transfer the templates to fabrics. You need six fishes. You can choose the fishes to swim in one direction or alternate. 

Step 1: Six fishes

Sew from end-to-end for all the templates in this manner: head, body, tail. Then join the three parts together.

Press all seams towards the fish.

When you are done with six patchwork fishes, sew them together. It should measure about 18.5" length x 2" width. It's ok to be a little shorter/longer or wider/narrower.

Step 2: Pouch body

Decide on colour of pouch. Cut a rectangle with width 3.5" but the same length of your patchwork fishes. Sew the two parts together. Feel free to add lace, buttons or other embellishment at this point.

Prepare quilt sandwich with batting and interior fabric (size a little bigger and right side facing down). Hand or machine quilt.

Square up and trim the sides.

Join the two short ends. Bias bind the raw edges. 

Step 3: Pouch base

For oval pouch base, prepare a quilted sandwich measuring about 8" length x 4.5" width. Cut out using oval template.

Fold the oval into half to mark the centre, match to the centre of the pouch base and pin. Sew.

Sew bias binding for pouch base and upper edge of pouch body.

Almost there!

Step 4: Pouch cover

With the same method as the pouch base, sew the pouch cover using the oval template. Sew the bias binding as well.  For the handle, you can choose to use anything like thick lace, short leather piece, padded fabric strip. It should measure about 6.5" for a well looking pouch. Sew the handle about 1" from the edge of the pouch.

Step 5: Zippers

I chose two zippers instead of one because I did not have long ones. You can use one long zipper if you happen to have. 

Position and pin the zipper(s) on the wrong side of the pouch cover. Handsew using back stitches. 

This is how I attached the two zippers. Remember to find the centre of the pouch cover by folding into half. Slightly fold in the ends of the zippers.

When you are done with the zippers on the pouch cover, now it's time to sew the zippers to the pouch body. Always remember to start pinning from the centre of the pouch and work your way to the back.

Use back stitches.

I find it easier to turn the pouch upside down to sew the zippers.

Blind stitch to close the opening at the back. 

I use a lace to cover up the blind stitches and zipper ends. You can use fabric tags too.

There you go, your very own Sakana sewing zipper pouch! Now you can throw in all your sewing notions and enjoy!xx

Quilted Bags & Gifts Quick Book Review

Zakka Workshop was very kind to send me this book "Quilted Bags & Gifts" by Akemi Shibata many months back in June. It's an English translated book from the popular Japanese version for crafters like you and me who cannot understand a word of Japanese. I am very happy (or should I say relieved?) that now I can read every single word without trying so hard to figure out the instructions by looking at the pictures. It makes me enjoy the book so much more. I think I have been flipping through the book for more than hundred times no less.

I feel bad for taking such a long time to make something from the book. All the summer holiday vibes made it difficult to sit down for handsewing. When I got it started a few days back, the handsewing mojo came back almost instantly and I finished these two lovely floral coasters in just two days.

Aren't they beautiful?

I love to put them on the table during tea just because they are eye-candy. Fabrics from Yuwa and Lecien.

These coasters are easy and therapeutic to sew.

Handsewing and quilting details.

Leaves can be brown too? I love the pretty brown print on the right. Reminds me of autumn hues. Oh, remember to hide all the knots.

The back of the coasters look pretty enough to make them reversible.

I used a slightly different method to sew the front and back together with batting. I think it's more straightforward in my way by placing batting+back fabric (right side up)+front patchwork (wrong side up) and start stitching around following the stitch lines. Leave an opening at the side. Snip the pointy edges and the grooves before turning inside out. Then give a quick iron to flatten. Hand quilt.

I did a short video on hand quilting in IG yesterday with the help of my daughter. It was a fun and easy going video. Someone asked if I used pins to secure the three layers together for hand quilting. Sorry i'm quite lazy so I did not. Especially for small projects like this, I usually skip the pins but i do iron to make sure they lie rather flat.

This book is very very well translated in my opinion. I haven't spot a mistake or anything I don't understand. I think it's not easy to translate exactly from the Japanese version but this English one nailed it. There are 36 fantastic projects in the book. Each and every project is worth a try for both hand and machine sewing.

This is a quick review as what I wrote in the blog title because I can't wait to try another project from book. Then I'll write another better review. It's so hard to decide which one to make now but well, I must make one more big thing very very soon. Once again, thank you so much Zakka Workshop!xx

Lovely Little Patchwork Blog Tour

When I received this book from Kerri many many months back, I was secretly smiling in my heart. Kerri was one of the first crafters I followed online and I even bought quite a few stash of fabrics from her previous shop. The way she sew patchwork was something fascinating for me as I was just starting out as a newbie in sewing. I visit her blog almost daily can you imagine? Her color combination is always gorgeous in my eyes and I learnt a great deal from her.

I love little patchwork too so naturally my heart fluttered when I got hold of this lovely book. It's very well written with clear instructions and creative ideas. I can't fault this book in any way seriously. You will love all the projects as much as I do.

For this blog tour, I wanted to make many things from the pretty Heart Coasters to the Spring Flower Table Runner to the Oh Deer Wall Quilt. It was so hard to choose one. Finally that day my daughter told me that she needed a small gymnastic bag for her new after-school activity. My mind clicked and showed her the strawberry patchwork bag in Kerri's book. She nodded enthusiastically and even helped choose the fabrics. I am so thankful she helped me choose a beautiful project!


So this is what I sew for this Lovely Little Patchwork Blog Tour. A Strawberry Patchwork Bag using Apple Farm fabrics by Elea Lutz from Penny Rose Designs. It's a perfect match of strawberries and apples!

Guess how long did I take to finish this bag? Just three hours! It was unbelievable for a slow coach like me. I was so surprised by myself that I have to credit the easiness of the project itself. No hassle at all. Kerri wrote the instructions pretty well.

The fabrics are fussy cut. I wanted to show all the cute animals and pretty flowers.

Kerri designed the bag to be sort of like a back pack so there are tag loops at the sides. I replaced the tag loops with lace so that my daughter can hang her favourite key chains.

I used all the 21 fabric designs in the collection. There's no way I won't use any.

The back of the bag. The green is so beautiful.

The leaves are easy to sew. I snip a little at the corners for easier turning out.

The size of the bag is reduced by half so it can fit into the school bag.

I have to count myself lucky to find this yellow drawstring bought form Daiso from so many years ago. And it just long enough to be snapped into two for this bag.

You know I don't fancy exposed ends... So I try hard to cover them.

The inside of the bag. Different fabrics for front and back and a little stinkin' cute apple tag.

If you are looking for a satisfying quick sewing project for kids, you have to try making this strawberry bag for sure. I certainly enjoyed whipping up this for my daughter. Makes both mommy and daughter very very happy!

**Giveaway time! Kerri will be giving out a signed copy of Lovely Little Patchwork book at the end of this blog tour. So do remember to check her blog out! We still have many talented bloggers waiting to share their beautiful projects. Below is the list:

AmandaNiederhauser   Sarah Edgar
Heidi Staples
Megan Jimenez
Cheri Lehnow
Ange Hamilton
Sedef Imer
Kimberly Jolly
Samantha Dorn
Ayda Algın
LeAnne Ballard
Sharon Burgess
Lauren Wright
Kate May
Debbie Homick
Wynn Tan
Kim Kruzich
Jennie Pickett
Veronica AM
Nadra Ridgeway
Amanda Woodruff
Minki Kim
Sharon Yeager
Peta Peace
Sarah Scott
Kristin Cobb
Erin Cox
Kerri Horsley

Thank you so much Kerri and Tuva Publishing for having me. And thank you all for reading too!xx