So for most I know March 14th doesn’t mean much of anything, and for a select few nerdy types like me it means Pi Day. That’s all well and good – I love both kids of Pi/e :3 But for me, March 14th will always be White Day. In Japan and some other Asian countries Valentine’s Day is celebrated where girls give chocolates (either hand-made or store-bought – obviously hand-made is preferred) to the men in their lives, anyone from fathers, brothers, to sweethearts and coworkers, etc. While little store-bought chocolates are done out of social obligation, hand-made chocolates given to people close to you are obviously something to feel special about.
White Day comes in one month after, where the men are expected to return the favor by giving a gift to the women that thought of them. These gifts are also confections, like white chocolate or marshmallows. But they could also be other tokens that sometimes follow the white theme, depending on who the recipient is. Of course, this was invented by the confection companies decades ago to sell marshmallows, but I don’t sweat it 🙂 Basically White Day is a chance to reciprocate from Valentine’s Day, and for that reason I love it! ^0^
You see, my boyfriend and I aren’t big romantics when it comes to Valentine’s Day. We go all out for birthdays and anniversaries, but Valentine’s Day feels like kind of a forced holiday so we usually don’t do anything, especially if we know we want to save money and avoid spending crazy dollars on gifts. But every once in a while, we’ll agree to have a quiet Valentine’s Day, and BOOM! he gets me an awesome present. Of course I’m all confounded and happy but also frustrated because we agreed no gifts! But because of White Day, now I have a good excuse to reciprocate! So come March 14th, I’m like BLA-DOW! GIFT! and he gets to feel as kerfuffled as I did 😀
So why the egg bag then? Well, obviously it is white 😀 But when I think of White Day, I think of this adorable scene from the manga Cardcaptor Sakura. When Sakura gives hand-made chocolates to her father for Valentine’s Day, he reciprocates on White Day by giving her a handmade backpack that looks just like this.
Yes, her grown father sews. He’s just that cool.
If you’ll pardon how long this diatribe on White Day has gotten, I just have to say it’s things like this that inspired me to keep on sewing through high school. Reading this manga and thinking “that bag is amazing – why can’t things like this exist in stores?” And that’s what made me go to my machine and make it happen. Any costume or other design — from the sweet and sophisticated to the elegant and elaborate — I thought they deserved to exist in real life and not just on paper. So I was inspired to make a bag just like the one in Cardcaptor Sakura, and, of course, Sakura calls it the “Egg Bag.” So for my White Day present to you, I give you this adorable little backpack! x3
Materials & Tools:
• ⅔ yd. of 60” wide or 1 yd. of 45” wide medium to heavyweight white fabric for outer bag (denim or canvas would be good, I used interfaced linen)
• 10” x 15” scrap or ⅛” yd. of light to medium weight yellow fabric for wings (fleece would be good so the wings look puffy, but cotton would also do – I used minky)
• ⅔ yd. of lightweight fabric for lining (white is preferred, so it doesn’t show through the main fabric — I used quilting cotton)
• 20” zipper (at least)
• About 3 yds. of white bias tape for binding seam allowances (handmade bias tape is fine)
• 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
5. Forgive me if some of my pictures are a little overly-bright! My camera had some off moments, so let me know if there’s any picture I can clarify! ^w^;;
1. First we’re attaching the zipper. Layer your zipper between one of your top panel pieces and its corresponding lining piece, lining up the unnotched edges with the zipper tape. You’ll notice that the seam allowance is ¼” here, that’s to accommodate the width of your zipper tape. Use your zipper foot if you have one, and sew the three layers together close to the zipper teeth. Repeat this with the other side of the zipper and your other top panel pieces. Press the fabrics away from the zipper teeth.
2. Next we’ll be attaching the bag bottom to the top. But before this, you’ll need to compare the two to make sure they’re the same width. Depending on the width of your zipper tape, it might have affected the size of your top panels, so lie the zippered portion over the bag bottom pieces and check to see if they’re the same width. Trim them so they’re equal and you’ll be ready for this step. Layer one short end of the bag bottom on top of your zippered portion and then layer the lining portion underneath with right sides facing. Line up the edges and make sure the zipper pull is moved towards the middle of the zipper. Then sew across the entire edge. Be sure to move very slowly when sewing over the zipper, or just use the flywheel only to avoid breaking a needle. Repeat this with the other end of the zippered portion and the other end of the bottom pieces. Then press the seams so the bottom folds away from the top.
3. Now we’re making the pocket for the inside of the bag. I opted to do a cute little pleated pocket, because I thought it would have a nice look. You can, of course, skip it entirely if you wouldn’t like an inner pocket and just go right to step 8. In this step, I’m sewing the two pocket pieces together all the way around the perimeter, leaving the opening at the top as the pattern guidelines indicate.
4. Trim your seam allowances, turn the pocket right side out, tuck under the seam allowances in the opening, and press the pocket flat. Next you’ll need to hem the top edge of the pocket. I did a quick edge stitch about ⅛” away from the top edge that also took care of sewing the previous opening closed.
5. Next we’re making the pleats. Fold the pocket in half and match up your pleat lines. Sew from the top edge of the pocket to the square guideline, then again from the bottom edge up to the other square guideline. This will create your pleat.
6. Unfold the pocket, and you’ll have a nice pleat down the center, fold it flat and centered down the middle and it creates this cute look. I wanted it to show on the outside of the pocket, personally, but you might like it on the back. Either way, tack down the pleat on the top and bottom so it doesn’t move when the pocket is finished.
7. Now take one of your bag lining pieces (I used the back), and place your pocket along the pocket guidelines. Sew around the curved bottom edge and leave the top free and you’ve got yourself and functional pleated pocket!
8. Now to make the next few steps easier, we’re going to baste the lining to our main bag pieces. Gather up your bag front and back pieces of both main fabric and lining. Layer one main bag piece with its corresponding lining piece with wrong sides together. Then baste all around the perimeter so the layers act as one piece of fabric. Repeat this with the other main fabric and lining piece you have.
9. Up next is the straps. For each of the 2 straps, fold down each long edge by ⅝” and iron the fold in place. Then fold the entire strap in half and iron it flat. While it’s like this, sew the folded edges together and you’ve got a completed strap.
10. Next we’re attaching the straps to the bag. Decide which of your oval-shaped bag pieces will be your back, and this is the one your straps will be attached to. Use the pattern guidelines to line up one end of your strap along the top and the other end along the bottom (make sure it doesn’t get twisted along the way). Baste it in place along on the outside of your bag back (on the main fabric, not the lining). Repeat this with the other strap and your backpack straps are now in place!
11. This is where your bag is really starting to come together. We’re going to sew up the sides to the back and front of the bag. Line up your bag sides (the zippered section with the bottom section) around the perimeter of the bag back. You should be able to match up the notches at the top and the bottom, and the side seams should match up where you see square markings. All in all, 4 points to match up so you attach the whole thing evenly. If you have a hard time stretching your bag sides around the curve, clip into the seam allowances by ⅜” to ½” or so to make it stretch open. With the whole thing pinned, sew it all around. Next, be sure your sipper is open by a few inches, then repeat this same procedure with the other side of your bag sides and the bag front piece.
12. Now to make your bag look it’s prettiest, we’re going to bind those raw edges we just made with some bias tape. I used some commercial bias tape I had lying around (whoo! destashing!) that folded over the raw edges and curved all the way around the whole seam. You could skip this step or do it with hand-made bias tape. It’s completely up to you.
13. Your bag is technically all done! You should be super proud! But we still want to add the decorative wings to the outside. Start by taking two of your wing pieces and sewing them together with right sides facing all the way around the perimeter. Repeat this with your other two wing pieces.
14. Clip the seam allowances from your wing piece so it turns nicely. To get it right side out, we’re going to cut a small slit in the back of the wing. What you’ll want to do is put both wings in front of you and have both wings facing in opposite directions so you’re sure you’ll get two opposite wings when you’re done. Clip a small line towards the bottom center of each wing, about 1” or so. Then use that hole to turn your wing right side out. You’ll want to use a chopstick or similar tool to help define the shape. Then stuff it lightly with batting so it looks puffy, but still a little flat (this will make step 15 easier). Whip stitch the opening you cut closed, and you should have two wings that point in opposite directions when the whip-stitched sides are facing away from you.
16. To get your wings onto the bag, place them on the bag front with the whip-stitched side against the circular pattern guidelines. Sew them in place by hand with a ladder stitch all the way around the circle. Repeat this with the other wing and you’ve got yourself one adorable completed bag!
That hand sewing at the end was a bit of a pain, but I just love the way the bag turned out! I think it looks exactly like the manga, and I couldn’t be happier when I get to recreate something that seems like it might never exist in anything but drawings!
So what do you think? Do you have any costumes/designs/etc. from comics or manga that you wish you could see in real life? Let me know in the comments!
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!