If you're an Instagram follower, you've probably seen the beautiful handiwork of @kzstevens (and if not, get over there!).
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.
A few months ago, right before the quarantine hit, I finally got around to making my own Karen Stevens Pouch.
I was really surprised by the simple construction, which was different from any bag I've made before. It was easy and fun to sew the square bottom and see the bag come together.
I used Heuchera Leaves on light weight for the exterior and Daisy Pinstripe on mid weight for the interior. Using these combinations of weights gave the bag enough stability so I skipped using interfacing. I used waxed canvas for the bottom square of the bag.
The patches I used are screenprints from old projects that I just couldn't part with. They're like abstract rows of flowers. The little baskets are also screenprinted patches I just sewed on with my sewing machine and then added machine and 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, I decided to add a few kits to the shop!
Each kit includes everything you need (except thread and embroidery floss) to make your own Karen Stevens Pouch, using our hand-printed fabrics. In the kit you'll get:
(1) Modern Japanese Rice Pouch printed instruction booklet
(1) 1/4 yard Hemp/Org Mid Weight (suggested interior fabric)
(1) 1/4 yard Hemp/Org Light Weight (suggested exterior fabric)
(3) one-of-a-kind screenprinted fabrics for Sashiko style patches
(1) waxed canvas for bottom of bag
(2) wooden bobbles
I organized the kits by color story; green, yellow and blue. The screenprint patches will differ in each kit but include 3 or more.