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Modern Japanese Rice Pouch Sewing Pattern

Sew a Modern Japanese Rice Pouch with this delightful Karen Stevens paper pattern. 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 using a mix of whatever fabrics were on hand, and closed with a cotton drawstring cord. This is a perfect project to use up all those extra scraps of fabric and add your own unique style. You can be as simple or complex as you’d like. And it is fully reversible! The perfect size to carry around your latest knitting project, or use it as a lunch tote!

Difficulty level: Beginner

Approximate finished dimensions:

6" square x 7" tall [15.25 x 17.75 cm]

[NOTE: Measurements given for sizing up to 8” square.]


*There are NO TEMPLATES to make this pouch. All pieces are cut using a cutting mat, rotary cutter, and quilting ruler.

Requirements based on 44” wide fabric.

Recommended fabrics: medium weight linen or linen blend, quilting cotton or lightweight canvas

• ¼ yd [23 cm] Exterior fabric OR various scraps/remnants, enough to make up a 25” x 8” rectangle [63.5 cm x 20.3 cm]

• ¼ yd [23 cm] Lining fabric

• (6) 3” x 4" [7.6 cm to 10 cm] fabric pieces for drawstring tabs

• Additional fabric for appliqué pieces

• 2 yds [2 m] cotton drawstring, or ¼“ [7 mm] cotton twill tape, or similar lightweight cording

• ½ yd [46 cm] fusible woven interfacing; Pellon SF101- 20" [50 cm] wide (*optional: this will make the pouch a bit more sturdy if you would like the bag to sit upright when open.

Additional supplies and tools: Rotary cutter and mat, acrylic quilting ruler, scissors, iron, sewing thread, removable marking tool, 6 strand DMC embroidery floss in assorted colors, embroidery needle, pins, large safety pin

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Susan Williams
Charming & Quick Gift Bags

This is a fun pattern to use up your bits and scraps. I have made several for gift bags, and looking forward to making lots more. Much better than wrapping paper, and easy to morph the sizes up or down. Highly recommend.

Naomi K.

This was such a fun project and doable for someone who is inexperienced (like me!). I look forward to making more versions in the future.

Carolyn B
Rice bag

Haven't made yet but looked the pattern over. I can't wait to make this. Love the pattern.

Pat D
Great bag!

I made this bag this week from some vintage kimono pieces and linens and other fabrics. It came out great!

Tani White
Great pattern

A fun and easy pattern, includes instructions for 2 additional sizes. I made the first one with orphan quilt blocks, next one will be with sashiko pieces. All the instructions are clear, and include illustrations. Highly recommend.