The Karen Stevens Pouch - A Kit!

The Karen Stevens Pouch - A Kit!

A few years ago Karen released her clever pattern, Modern Japanese Rice Pouch.  

A modern take on the Japanese Komebukuro, a traditional pouch used in Japan to carry rice offerings to the temple during religious ceremonies, or to hold gifts destined for a close friend or relative. Komebukuro bags were hand sewn in a patchwork style and individually designed with a mix of whatever fabrics were on hand, and closed with a cotton drawstring cord. 

Like Karen says, this is a great project to use up extra scraps of fabric and add your own unique style. The bag is reversible and incredibly useful for storing sewing projects or carrying around as a purse. 

Karen's pattern took off in the sewing world! Here's a few of my favorites from around the web:


KZ Stevens rice pouch


shortattentionspancrafter rice pouch


aquarterto rice pouch


oliveinks rice pouch



KZ Stevens rice pouch



Right before the quarantine hit, I finally got around to making my own Karen Stevens Pouch. 

I love the simple construction, which is different from any bag I've ever made. It was easy and fun to sew the square bottom and see the bag come together. 

I used Heuchera Leaves for the exterior and Daisy Pinstripe for the interior. Our hemp/organic cotton base cloths give the bag enough stability to skip interfacing (but this is my opinion, of course). I used waxed canvas for the bottom of the bag. 

The patches I used are screenprints from old projects that I haven't been able part with. I just sewed these on the exterior panels with my sewing machine and then hand stitches. 

Once I had the patches in place, I added little bits of embroidery - a butterfly here and a stem of grapes there. 

This little pouch was such a joy to make that I am adding it to our Kits section in the shop!

Each kit includes everything you need (except thread and embroidery floss) to make your own Karen Stevens Pouch, using our handprinted fabrics. In the kit you'll get: 

(1) Modern Japanese Rice Pouch printed instruction booklet
(2) 1/4 yds of our handprinted fabric 
(4) handprinted patches for Sashiko style stitchwork 
(1) waxed canvas for bottom of bag
(2) wooden bobbles
(1) 60" piece of organic cotton rope


The kits are organized by color story and they change depending on what fabrics we have in stock. The screenprint patches will differ in each kit but include 3 or more.



I hope you enjoy making this pouch as much as I do! It's the perfect project to work on while watching movies or listening to music. It's a great birthday present to a stitchy friend!


Have you made a Karen Stevens Pouch? I'd love to see it! 


Get Your Kit HERE


Check out the beautiful handiwork of Karen Stevens on instagram- @kzstevens and her website and shop here).

Comments (2)

  • Pat on Dec 13, 2022

    I added side handles, the cord isn’t as comfortable to use.

  • Sheila Rideout on Nov 30, 2020

    I also found the rice bag pattern and have found it to be the best easy opportunity for quick play and piecing. I made one using my old girl scout bits and sent it to my grand daughter. Of course the boro style and about 6 others so far. I would be happy to send a photo or two.

Leave a comment