Japanese Knot Bag – Make This Cute Mini Bag

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If you have seen my blog before, you will know that I love to make cute and useful items. Especially if I can make them from fabric scraps. So today I am delighted to bring you another practical and pretty sewing idea that you can make using all the small remnants of fabric you have left over from other sewing projects. Plus I have included a free sewing pattern. Here is how to make a mini Japanese Knot Bag.

Japanese Knot Bag – Make This Cute Mini Bag


This cute little bag is perfect for clipping to your purse or larger tote bag, and will hold your lipstick, a small hand gel or your EarPods, keeping them safe and at hand at all times.

Its a perfect gift for your girlfriend, and you can make them in her favourite colours or to match her favourite outfit! 

But best of all it can be made with your fabric scraps!

Click here to see my huge guide of things that you can be making with all your leftover fabric remnants!

So would you like a sewing tutorial on how to make this gorgeous handy little pouch? Then do read on!

What You Will Need For Your Mini Knot Bag

Materials needed to make a Mini Japanese Knot Bag

  • Fabric – I chose some cotton remnants from two dresses I’ve made Elizabeth this year
  • A sewing machine
  • My Free Japanese Mini Knot Bag Template
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors, pins and a hand sewing needle
  • Bag hardware – or just a ring if you wish to make the bag reversible.

How To Make A Mini Japanese Knot Bag


Print out my free Japanese Knot Bag template. Using this pattern, you are going to cut 2 pieces of outer fabric and 2 pieces of inner fabric.

The 2 pieces do need to be mirror images of each other, so it may be best to place your fabric scraps right sides together before placing your Japanese knot bag pattern on top and cutting them out.

Mark the dots and notches as indicated on your fabric.

Fabric cut out for knot pouch

Optional Step

The next step you can skip, but I have found that it helps later. On the top outer edges of the handles of all 4 bag pieces, cut where the notches are. Above this notch on the outer edges of the handles, fold the material wrong sides together making a small hem of about 3/8 inch (5mm).

Pressing the outer handle seam allowances

Hand baste or machine stitch this small hem.

Hemming the outer edges of the handles before constructing the bag

Place the two mirror image outer pieces together and pin. Using a 3/8 inch seam allowance (5mm) and reinforcing with back stitches at the beginning and end each time, sew around the bottom curves of the bag from one dot to the other, and at the top of each handle. Repeat with the inner pieces

Sewn top of handles and around base of inner and outer bag piecesClip the curves on the base of the inner and outer bag pieces.

Clipped curves on inner base of bagNext, turn one of the bag pieces the right way out.

Turning the inner the right way out

And place the right side outer bag right sides together with the inner layer. Pin at the handle seams and match up the seam around the top of the bag. Pin.

Pinned top seam of the bag

Again sew using a 3/8 (5mm) seam around this top seam of the bag, joining the inner and outer layers and the inner handles together.

Inner and outer layers joined

Now we just need to pull the bag the right way out and finish it off. You have sewn the inner handles together, but there is a hole at each side where you can pull the whole thing out the right way. I usually pull the bag out the right way through the side with the longer handle. It looks a bit of a mess at first…

Bag pulled right way out

But once you push the inner layer into the outer and give it a good press around the top seam of the bag it will look like this.

Almost finished!

Almost finished mini Japanese knot bag

The only thing that remains is to close the seams of the outer handles. 

Now, if you didn’t do the step earlier of pressing and basting the outer handle seam allowances, you can now press back the raw edges of the outer handles to make seam allowances of around 3/8 inch (5mm) right now.  

However, this is really fiddly, as there isn’t a lot of space to do this, So if you did baste the seams, you are probably breathing a sigh of relief!

Outer handle seams that need to be closed with ladder stitch

You can close these with the sewing machine but it is very fiddly. So I would normally choose to close them using a ladder stitch. This gives an invisible finish. I also like to sew a scant topstitch around the top seam of the bag, to help give the opening a little more structure. And so your bag is almost finished. Just need to add hardware.

Nearly finished knot bag

Adding Some Hardware

You can keep the bag as a reversible Japanese knot bag by just adding a ring and claw clasp. This way the bag can just be turned inside out to show the reversible side. I’ll be doing this with this London/cutecat bag as it matches 2 of my daughters dresses. 

Mini reversible Japanese knot bag - showing how a ring is needed to keep the bag reversible

However, if you wish to add a keyring fob hardware, you could also do this. And I think that this gives a really professional looking finish.

Make a Mini Japanese Knot Bag - how to make this cute little self closing pouch that attaches to your keyring or purse. Just large enough to fit your hand gel, lip balm or ear buds. Free PDF sewing pattern and full easy sewing tutorial with pictures. Add a ring if you would like it to be a reversible Japanese Knot bag, or add other hardware to turn it into a handy sized keyring.

Mini Japanese Knot Bag Uses

The finished bag is just big enough for your ear buds, a lip balm or your hand gel, and you can clip it to your bag or belt. 

They make great birthday and Christmas gifts, and are a brilliant idea of things to sell at craft fairs and fundraisers too!

Love This Post? Why Not Read Some Of My Other Easy Sewing Projects Posts?

I love to show you really easy projects that  build your confidence and produce useful items. So why not read these other posts I have written?

I have loads of sustainable solutions and other free patterns on my site so why not go take a look?

What do you think? Have you enjoyed this reversible Japanese knot bag tutorial and bag sewing pattern? ? I love to see your makes, so please do comment below, or tag me in your makes on social media.

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Why not share with a friend who will love this free pattern? And please do pin this post for later!

Make a Mini Japanese Knot Bag - how to make this cute little self closing pouch that attaches to your keyring or purse. Just large enough to fit your hand gel, lip balm or ear buds. Free PDF sewing pattern and full easy sewing tutorial with pictures. Add a ring if you would like it to be a reversible Japanese Knot bag, or add other hardware to turn it into a handy sized keyring.

4 Replies to “Japanese Knot Bag – Make This Cute Mini Bag”

  1. Caz / InvisiblyMe says:

    Ooo this is a fantastic idea! Sometimes when I use a larger bag without pockets (or enough pockets), I end up putting a smaller toiletry bag in it to hold smaller important things that tend to fall down the bottom. It works okay-ish, until you can’t find the toiletry bag when it falls underneath everything else! To have a little bag you can clip wherever you like would be much easier, and you can make it any cool design you choose with your fabric. Fab tutorial as always, Jo. x

  2. Carol says:

    These are lovely and so perfect for Summer with additional small bits we always seem to need. Featuring when my party opens!


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