Japanese Knot Bag – A New Pattern

 Japanese Knot  Bag – A New Pattern

Hello Dear Friends and Readers.   Japanese Knot Bags are bags which have a beautiful shape, due  to the bag having only one main strap. It is looped through a short strap on the opposite side which brings the bag top together.  Therefore, closure devices are not required.  No zippers, buttons or buckles.  This certainly ensures a beautifully simplistic design and style which can easily be created in various sizes.


The strap can be altered in length depending on whether the bag will have a wrist strap, handbag length or as in the case of this bag, a shoulder or cross body bag.  This means a hands free bag, which I find is very useful.

Japanese Knot Bags can also be knitted, crocheted or even felted.  These bags in particular caught my attention, because of their symmetry and the ability to have a flat base, without having a round inset to sew in.

This got me thinking about creating a New Japanese Knot Bag Pattern for sewing which also has these features.

This is an opportunity to use some of the beautiful Quilting cottons you have in your stash, or left over upholstery fabrics will be gorgeous too.

All fabrics have been washed before commencing.

Seam allowance of  3/8″ included.

Requirements for one Japanese Knot Bag – A New Pattern 

21″ Width Of Fabric (WOF) for the bag outer
21″ WOF for the bag lining
21″ of iron on interfacing, Vilene or fleece
kitchen paper, square ruler and pencil for drafting the pattern
3” WOF strip of lining fabric for the strap (approx 42”)

3” WOF strip of bag outer fabric  for the strap (approx 42”)


Draft the bag pattern as pictured below.

From each of the bag outer fabric and the bag lining fabric, cut a 3″ WOF strip for the bag strap.

Cut 4 bag pieces from the outer fabric, the lining fabric and the interfacing.

Cut a 2 1/2″ WOF strip from the interfacing

Iron on the interfacing pieces to the wrong sides of the bag outer pieces. Centre the interfacing strip onto the wrong side of the outer bag strap and iron in place.   NB. If you wish to add pockets to the lining, do so now.

Join the four bag outer pieces right sides together and sew down the long sides.  The four seams will intersect at the base. It should look like this.

I’m sewing on this vintage treadle machine.

Singer 201K Treadle C1947   

Repeat with the four lining pieces.  Sew the bag strap to one of the straight edges, right sides together.   The straight edges will join later to become the strap and the loop. Repeat for the lining strap.  Put the bag outer and lining, right sides together.  Make sure the straps are positioned together. Line up all the side seams.

Pin well. Begin sewing about 3″ down from the end of the bag strap.  Continue, until about 2″ from the next straight edge.  Repeat for the other side of the strap.

Then sew the remainder two curves in the same manner, beginning and stopping about 2″ from the end as pictured below.

Clip the curves.

I’ve been making bread rolls.  Yummy!

What’s Cooking?…Bread-making

Turn the whole bag to the right side through one of the short sides.

Press the strap.

Attach the end of the long strap of the outer bag right sides together to an adjacent straight edge. ( Ensure the strap is not twisted).  Do the same with the end of the lining strap. Sew across each one.

Now join the two remaining straight edges to make the loop. Join the fronts together and the linings together.

Turn under the raw edges and top stitch all of the bag edges.

That’s it!  Use your new bag!


Honestly……..as a post script to this bag, I have loved it so much and used it so much, I need to make another!   I have almost worn it out!

If you enjoyed this post, i think you may also like these!

Patchwork Celebration Bags Antique Japanese Style & Tutorial


Japanese Knot Bag No. 2

Patchwork Celebration Bags Antique Japanese Style Tutorial

QAYG Backpack Quick and Go

Sashiko Daisies Handbag

Patchwork Backpack Sashiko Style

Little Origami Patchwork Bag Tutorial

Have a wonderful day!


14 thoughts on “Japanese Knot Bag – A New Pattern”

  1. Do you have a quilt pattern similar to crossed canoes where the middle square is solid and appears more like a star

  2. Thanks for sharing the Japanese knot bag pattern. I am an avid sewer but I am having a hard time with the directions. I can fuss and finagle so it comes out right but I know I am taking way too much time to make a bag. I could use more pictures. The dark material in the tutorial makes it hard to see. I also sew everything on a treadle. YES please do a video tutorial. 🙂

  3. Hi there, can you please film a video on YouTube for this? I love your pattern but a little confused about the sewing directions as I am new to sewing.

  4. Hi!
    Beautiful bag pattern, thanks so much for sharing it! I do have a question though – there is no photo of the bottom of the bag being sewn, not sure if I sew each piece down to the point, or close and then sew that “arc” that is dashed on the pattern?

    1. Dear Debra,
      Thank you for your comment. Sew all the sides right down to the point. The dashed arc is just to represent the 90 degree angle. Hope that helps!
      All the best, Susie

  5. I know someone who is looking for a simple bag to store her breast pump in at work. She leaves the pump at work and doesn’t take it home on weekends, so the bag doesn’t need to be sturdy for constant travel. It is a Spectra2, 7.5 x 7, which is nearly as big as a bowling ball (8.5). I think this bag would be nice for that, the way it closes at the top and has the wider bottom. I was wondering what the finished dimensions would be. (The other thing we thought about for this purpose was a bag with a cardboard circle for the bottom and a drawstring top. She wanted something lightweight that would fold up. Most of the bags they sell as breast pump bags do not meet these conditions!) It seems like you could make really cute bags for gifts for nursing and pumping moms with this pattern, if the pump was not going to be hauled back and forth a lot, but you wanted it to be stored in something pretty. Maybe you could use fabrics that would remind moms of their babies.

  6. Thanks for sharing your “Japanese Knot Bag” pattern, I made it yesterday but “knot” sure I got it right…..does the strap join to the flat side on the direct opposite it or the flat side next to itself…..I joined mine with the one right next to itself and it looks sort of odd.

  7. thank you for sharing your pattern… I have always wanted one of these but I couldn’t understand them… your pictures make it all possible!

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