Choly Knight

Sew Desu Ne?

Freebie Friday: The Gunkan Sushi Bucket Bag


Here’s yet another project I whipped up from scraps! It’ a really cute bucket bag styled to look like some delicious sushi ^-^ perfect for any sushi lovers out there.
For this project I made use of some leftover green fabric I had from making another bag. This particular shade of hunter green I thought was kind of plain to be honest XD So I had no idea what to make from it. As I thought about it, the only thing I could think of that was this particular color was a sushi roll ^-^
This “gunkan” sushi is the type of sushi you see where a loose filling is piled on top of a shaped piece of rice, then nori is wrapped around the sides to keep the filling on the top from spilling out. You see this style with ikura (salmon roe) or uni (urchin) sushi. So when the bag is complete, your belongings inside look like they’re the stuffing of a delicious sushi ^3^
I also had a matching zipper lying around, so I figured now was as good a time as any to make use of it 😀 So I added a zippered pocket on the side so you can stuff little things.


The construction is pretty straightforward, though there are some curves. The zipper is sewn from a reinforced hole, which is a bit of a complicated method.
Makes one 14” x 18” x 10” bag

Materials & Tools:
• ½ yd. of dark green or black medium weight fabric for outer bag (denim or twill is good here – I used canvas)
• ⅓ yd. of white medium weight fabric for bottom (denim or twill is good here – I used canvas)
• ¾ yd. of lightweight fabric for lining (I used white cotton here, to look like rice ^-^)
• 12” long zipper (at least)
• 12” x 6” scrap of light or medium weight interfacing
• White, black, & pink fabric paint OR
• 7” x 4” scrap of white cotton, felt, or flannel appliqué fabric
• 3” x 3” scrap of pink cotton, felt, or flannel appliqué fabric
• 3” x 3” scrap of black cotton, felt, or flannel appliqué fabric
• 10” x 10” scrap of light or heavy duty fusible web
• Sewing needle
• Matching sewing thread

Before you begin:
1. Print out the project pattern here
2. Assemble the pattern pieces, see the page here for more help
3. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out
4. Mark the fabric pieces with the markings from the pattern

1. First you’ll need to apply the sushi face to the front of the bag. You can do this many ways – either you can use the pattern as a freezer paper template and paint the face on, you can iron it on with heavy duty fusible web, or sew it on with a straight or zigzag stitch and light duty fusible web. I used a satin stitch here.

2. Apply a strip of fusible web on the back of the outer bag front piece, behind where the marking for your zipper is. Cut the lines in the middle of the square to make the opening for your zipper. Fold back the flaps you’ve cut towards the wrong side of your fabric and iron it strongly to hold the flaps back. Repeat this process with one of your lining pieces.

3. So to install the zipper I tried something different. I layered the zipper between the outer bag and lining so the outside looks as finished as the front. It’s a little tricky, so you can install the zipper in a more traditional way if you prefer 🙂 I tried it this way just to see how it would turn out. Either way, I used fusible web along the zipper tape to hold all the layers in place. Make sure the zipper slider is moved towards the middle of the opening when you’re ready to sew it in.

4. When all the layers are held together, sew along the perimeter of the opening to anchor the zipper in place.

5. Layer another lining piece beneath your front section with right sides together. Baste all the layers together and this creates your large front pocket ^-^

6. Layer your outer bag back piece over the front piece with right sides together. Sew the left and right sides, leaving the top and bottom open for turning it right side out. Press the seams open.

7. Start to run the bottom edge of your bag around the perimeter of your white bag bottom piece. You might want to clip the seam allowances along the bottom edge of your bag so they line up easier along the curves. You’ll see the notches match up and your side seams should match up with the squares on the bag bottom. Sew around the entire perimeter and you’ll end up with something like this. Repeat steps 6 & 7 with your other square lining pieces and the circular lining bottom piece, but be sure to leave an opening in the side as the pattern indicates for turning the bag right side out later.

8. Next we’re making the straps 🙂 Start by folding under the long edges of the strap piece by ⅝”. Iron the folds in place. Then fold the entire strap in half and iron it in place.

9. Complete the strap by edge stitching down the open side of the folded strap.

10. Baste the straps in place by sewing them to the bag front and back where the guidelines of the pattern indicate. Make sure the straps don’t get twisted when you sew them in place.

11. Nestle the lining into the main bag with right sides together. Line up the upper raw edge and sew around the entire perimeter.

12. Turn the bag right side out from the opening in the lining and sew it closed either with your machine or a hand sewn ladder stitch. Iron the top seam that you have just sewn from step 11, then topstitch about ⅜” away from that seam to keep your lining from peeking out. Now try on your bag, because YOU’RE DONE!

Ta da! It’s a little simple-looking, but I couldn’t help myself in creating a food-shaped bag. I’m kind of a foodie :B All in all, I think it was a good use of some fabric that otherwise looked pretty plain and boring.
Do you have any projects you’ve made that put some plain fabric to really good use? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
I hope you enjoy making this project, or if you’d rather have the one from the pictures, you can buy it from my Etsy. If you do wind up making the project, I’d love to see it! And I’ll send you free patterns from my Monthly Crafting Challenge!

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3 thoughts on “Freebie Friday: The Gunkan Sushi Bucket Bag

  1. Hi ! i love this bag and would love to make it … but i can’t print the pattern 😦 … it’s a very cute bag though and i love all the cute items !


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