If you want to make a small gift even more special, this pojagi bag will do it. It is about 5″ wide and 4″ deep, so it’s the perfect size for gift cards or jewelry.
In ancient Korea, “lucky bags” were used to carry small items because their clothing did not have pockets. This little bag is a reflection of them.
The outer fabric is hand-stitched with traditional pojagi seams. The sample is done in lightweight linen.
You will need a piece at least 7″ x 12″ in the main colour and four pieces 2″ x 4″ in the accent colour.
You can use either the same fabric as the outer fabric, or a lighter weight. The sample uses a matching quilting cotton.
For the traditional pojagi seams, use size 8 perle cotton. A contrasting colour is used and the stitches are part of the design.
For the bag construction, a matching sewing thread is used.
Other Supplies and Tools
- Hera marker
- awl (or something with sharp point)
- sewing machine (optional, but helpful)
- two 20″ pieces of narrow ribbon
- lightweight cardboard for templates
- water soluble marker or chalk
Making the templates
You need to make a special pattern for this bag. Fold a piece of paper in half, and mark 3″ from the fold and 5″ long. Cut so that it curves from the bottom point up to the top edge.
When you open, it will give you the shape of the bag. You might need to trim the bottom, so that it is a gentle curve and not a point. Trace this onto cardboard. You will use this template later.
You will also need templates 3″ x 6″ and 1-1/2″ x 3″.
Cutting the pieces
Mark a piece 3″ x 6″ and cut leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance from the main fabric colour. Mark four pieces 1-1/2″ x 3″ in the accent colour. (These don’t all have to be the same colour.)
Stitching the outside
Join these using the traditional pojagi seam.
Join the four accent pieces into a row, then join them to the large rectangle.
Attach a 6″ square piece of the main colour. This will be the outside of the bag.
Adding the lining
Cut a piece of quilting cotton 6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″” to be the lining. Fold in half and press the middle, leaving a strong crease. It will be shorter than the outside of the bag.
With the pieces right sides together, join the lining and the outside of the bag on the ends to make a loop. Use 1/4″ seam allowances. You could sew with a running stitch or use a sewing machine for this.
Line up the centres (the bag seam and the middle of the lining). Press the ends of the bag where the outside overlaps to the lining.
Stitching the final seam
Trace the bag template with a water soluble marker or chalk onto the lining side.
You should be able to clearly see the size.
Cut out leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Unfold the two pieces, and then on the side that is the outer bag, sew about short seam (2-1/2″) along one side. It is hard to see in the picture because of the matching thread, but it is on the right hand side.
Refold the bag. Mark on the line where the short seam is on the bag section.
Sew through ALL FOUR LAYERS at once along the sewing line, but skip the part that is marked. This section is only sewn on the outer bag part, not the lining.
At the section that was left on the lining, open the hole and turn it right side out.
Press the edges, then hand stitch the opening closed.
Turn the lining to the inside, and here is the bag.
Gathering the top edge
Along the top edge, mark every 1/2″ with a small dot of water soluble marker or chalk.
Gather with an accordion fold, and place a basting stitch to hold.
Repeat with the other side.
Adding the tie
Holding everything firmly, poke with an awl (or darning needle or knitting needle) through all the layers.
Feed a 20″ piece of ribbon through the hole.
Make a hole on the other side of the bag, and feed the end of the ribbon back through it. Tie the ends of the ribbon together.
Feed in another piece of ribbon so that the tie is on the other side.
The ribbon is the draw string closure for the bag.
It’s done! Find something pretty to put inside it.
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Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.