Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vietnamese Pouch/ Bag tutorial

This is my first sewing tutorial. Been looking at people's tutorials and thought
 that I should give something back to the sewing community, especially the beginners.
So here it is!

1. Fabric A  measuring 17" x 14" ( for me, the chocolate polka dot)
2. Fabric B measuring 17" x 21" ( the extra 7" of  fabric will be the handle.
    For me, it's the plain cotton linen)
3. a bundle of white rope to wrap around the handle( refer to picture above)
4. Optional : 2 cute buttons and some lace.

Step 1: Before sewing anything together, you might want to use UHU glue to glue all four sides of both the fabrics so that your bag has a tidier look. Remember to fold the side from the right(outer) side to the inner side. The picture below shows the OPPOSITE of the correct way and I had to pry the folds. 

Step 2:  Then, sew along the sides that you have glued to enforce the folds. 

Step 3: Put fabric A and B together, with the WRONG(inner) sides facing OUT and sew 3"(see white line below) on each side and along the bottom of the fabrics as shown in the diagram: 


Step 4: Then comes the part where I blundered the most - the bottom. I nearly gave up but when I figured it out, it was very easy! Just fold the bottom of the pouch and smooth it out, making it look like a rectangle, then sew along the lines like in the photo. 

Step 5: Flip over to the outer side, sew along the lines to make the angle sharper, indicated in the photo. 

Step 6: Decoration time! I hand sewed lace and buttons, then stitched 'Amy's shopping bag' on it. 
Amy's my mum. 

Step 7: Sew the upper border of fabric A to upper border of fabric B. 

Step 8: Handle : Clip the ends of the intended handle with cloth pegs( large ones) 
and start wrapping it with the white rope. I tied a little ribbon around it when it's done

Voila! You're done! 

This pouch/bag is made based on a bag I bought in a shop near Petaling Street. The shop sells all kinds of Vietnam products which are adorable! I made this bag for my mum's birthday and she loves it. hehe...The original one is mine and I use it to put my Moleskine and sketching stationery. It can be used as a handbag too. It's handy for family/friend gatherings when you just want to put your wallet and hand phone. 

I hope my tutorial is clear enough for the beginners, especially the bottom part where I don't have a clear picture to show how it's done. I guess you'll reach there by trial and error no matter what. I was met with error for nearly every trial so it's ok to make mistakes. 

Please tell me if my instructions weren't clear enough and if you make a bag based on this tutorial, I'd love to see it! 


  1. Wooo.... It's too "chim" for the average joe (me) but It appears your photos make good justification! Hehe

    Wah laoru so fast giving back to the community! Salute!

  2. how do you get the rope to stay on the handle?

  3. Laoyang, thx thx!!
    Bubu, it really depends on the rope you use. Because mine is the type that stayed put with tight wrapping around the handle, I didn't have to use UHU. But you can use UHU =)

  4. Hi RUHUI~~~ I thought i'll say hi~~~

    Thanks for the tut! Your bag is lovely~~~ Although I got a bit confused with the bottom part><

    Just in case you couldn't figure it out, this is Jo from Chubby*Hobby~^^ Happy Easter~

  5. Hi Jo, of course I remember you! I admit that the bottom part is explained lousily.Sorry about that. I'll probably make another one before my hols end and take good pictures of how to sew it. I made a passport cover for a friend based on your tutorial, except that I patchworked the cover. I can't post the pictures of it yet cuz it's a surprise for her and I dun want her to get the wrong idea from the photos that the cover is perfect(which it's not). I'll post it up on 13th april though. Thx for you wonderful tutorial, Jo!