Fast Fat Quarter: how to sew a bento bag

How to sew a bento bag

We loved last season’s international-themed Great British Sewing Bee… the fabrics! The peplums! The harem pants! It’s got us in the mood for a spot of sewing with an international twist, so we’re sharing this free bento bag tutorial with you. It’s the first in our Fast Fat Quarter web series. 

For more projects like this, why not try our 3 issues for £3 special Sewing Bee offer?

This Japanese-style bag is one of our favourite easy sewing projects from the Simply Sewing archives – designed by Jennie Jones for our Fast Fat Quarter series. It’s easy to make by piecing together and folding three fabric squares. Here’s how to make it with our step by step guide.

Easy sewing project Bento bag supplies

You will need

■ 3 fat quarters: We’ve used Pearl Bracelets – Cosmonaut; Moody Blues – Cacti; Andover Chambray – Blue. Fabrics supplied by The Village Haberdashery
(other fabric retailers are available).
■ Basic sewing kit
■ Iron

Step one Cut three pieces of fabric to form the sides and bottom of your bag. The two side pieces should measure 40x42cm (153/4×161/2in) and the bottom piece should measure 40x40cm (153/4×153/4in).

How to sew a bento bag step 1

Step two Take one of the side pieces and turn the top edge over by 1cm (3/8in) twice then stitch down to hem. Repeat with the left edge. Take the other side piece and do the same along the bottom and right edges. With right sides (RS) facing, stitch the right edge of the left side piece to the left edge of the bottom piece. Repeat with the left edge of the right side piece and the right edge of the bottom piece.

How to sew a bento bag step 2

Step three With the wrong side (WS) facing you, fold the bottom piece along its diagonal. You will now have a V-shaped piece, with the RS facing you on one side and the WS facing you on the other.

How to sew a bento bag step 3

Step four Turn over the bag then fold the left side in to join the raw edge of the bottom and pin together, RS facing.How to sew a bento bag step 4

Step five Turn over the bag and repeat on the other side.

How to sew a bento bag step 5

Step six You’ll now have a U-shaped piece, with WS facing you.
How to sew a bento bag step 6
Step seven Sew along the pinned seams, then turn the bag RS out. Topstitch where the pieces are joined at the opening of the bag to neaten.
How to make a bento bag - easy sewing project step 7

Step eight Create box corners to finish the bag. Turn the bag to the WS and draw a pencil line 5cm (2in) in from each corner.How to sew a bento bag: finishing the corners

Step nine Sew along the line and trim the excess fabric. Turn the bag RS out and tie the sides into a bow.

How to sew a bento bag - tie the sides into a bow

Ta da! Your bag is finished & ready to take out to play. We’d love to see your finished creation – share your photos with the tag #simplysewingmag.

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More Fast Fat Quarter projects to try