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A Great Bag Pattern & Free Sewing Project - How to Sew and Make a Noriko Handbag

Updated on February 4, 2018
lady rain profile image

Lady Rain works as a daytime stock trader and writes about crafts and travels. She spends her weekends doing papercraft models and painting.

My Noriko Bag
My Noriko Bag | Source

A Sewing Project

I got this Noriko bag pattern from Lazy Girl Designs a while ago. One lazy afternoon, I finally decided to bring out my sewing machine and try making some creative handmade things including this Noriko handbag. With a sewing machine and some basic sewing skills, this bag is easy to make. It is a great project for the weekend and only takes a couple of hours to complete.

What makes this pattern interesting is that there is only one single pattern piece to make this amazing Noriko Bag. The same pattern piece is used for all sides of the cover and lining of the bag. There is a tassel to be attached to the bottom of the bag but I decided to omit the tassel for my project.

Recycling Materials

For this project, I decided to recycle some of the materials that had been lying around the house. Recycling not only saves the environment, but weekend projects like this will cost next to nothing to make. How wonderful is that! I found an old pair of child's denim jeans for the cover, a soft light blue cotton shirt for the lining and strips of plain beige colour fabric for the handles. I was ready to start on my sewing project.

Making A Noriko Bag - Step-by-step instructions in pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Materials for bag.Materials for handles.Jeans button.Shirt pocket can be extra compartment on bag lining.Cut fabrics according to pattern.Cover and lining cut outs.Sew cover patterns.Cover and lining pairs.Cover is done.Press fabric for handles.Sew handles.Turn cover and press.Attach handle to cover.Attach ribbon to cover.Insert cover into lining.Sew cover and lining together.Pull cover out of lining.Turn project inside out.Arrange lining inside cover.My Noriko Bag.
Materials for bag.
Materials for bag. | Source
Materials for handles.
Materials for handles. | Source
Jeans button.
Jeans button. | Source
Shirt pocket can be extra compartment on bag lining.
Shirt pocket can be extra compartment on bag lining. | Source
Cut fabrics according to pattern.
Cut fabrics according to pattern. | Source
Cover and lining cut outs.
Cover and lining cut outs. | Source
Sew cover patterns.
Sew cover patterns. | Source
Cover and lining pairs.
Cover and lining pairs.
Cover is done.
Cover is done. | Source
Press fabric for handles.
Press fabric for handles. | Source
Sew handles.
Sew handles. | Source
Turn cover and press.
Turn cover and press. | Source
Attach handle to cover.
Attach handle to cover. | Source
Attach ribbon to cover.
Attach ribbon to cover.
Insert cover into lining.
Insert cover into lining. | Source
Sew cover and lining together.
Sew cover and lining together. | Source
Pull cover out of lining.
Pull cover out of lining. | Source
Turn project inside out.
Turn project inside out. | Source
Arrange lining inside cover.
Arrange lining inside cover. | Source
My Noriko Bag.
My Noriko Bag. | Source

How To Make The Bag

With the one-piece pattern, all I had to do was pin the pattern to the fabric and cut out 4 pieces for the cover and another 4 pieces for bag lining. One of the lining pieces I used had a shirt pocket, which will be a ready-made side compartment inside the bag. The other materials required included a 16cm of ribbon for the button loop and one jeans button.

The sewing instructions I had to follow were something like this:

  1. With right sides of cover facing each other, sew one side of the edges together with seam allowance of 6mm. Repeat with the other two cover pieces.
  2. Sew lining pieces following the same instructions as for the cover pieces.
  3. Press the seam allowance for the cover and lining pairs before proceeding to the next step.
  4. With right sides together, match the cover pairs and sew the side edges together. Similarly, match the lining pairs and sew the side edges together but remember to leave an 8cm opening on one edge. Press the seam allowance.
  5. With the cover right sides out, fold the sides in toward the centre of the bag and press to flatten the bag.
  6. With the lining wrong sides out, fold the sides in toward the centre of the bag and press.
  7. Match the ends of the handles to the top corners of the bag for both front and back cover. Stitch to secure the handles.
  8. Stitch the ends of the ribbon to the centre top of the bag.
  9. With right sides together, place the cover inside the lining, with the handles and ribbon between the lining and cover. Match the top edges of the lining and cover together, and stitch. Backstitch the handles and ribbon areas to make them secure.
  10. Pull the cover out of the lining and press the seam allowance at the top edge towards the lining.
  11. Turn the right sides out through the opening at the side seam of the lining. Tuck the lining into the cover. Press the top edge of the bag and topstitch around the top of the bag.
  12. Reach in through the lining opening and place a small piece of fabric behind the cover where the jeans button stud is to be placed. Secure the jeans button to the stud with a hammer.
  13. Stitch the lining opening to close it.
  14. Align the lining to the cover, tuck in the sides and press to form the shape of the bag.

Project completed

It took me less than two hours to make the bag. Here is how my Noriko bag looks like when the sides are folded and tucked in.

Noriko Bag made with recycled fabrics.
Noriko Bag made with recycled fabrics. | Source

© 2012 lady rain


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    4 years ago

    U r really really so so creative... bit my hubby wud blame u coz I'll make many bags now... lol... i will make other stuffs also...

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    4 years ago from Australia

    peachpurple, thank you. I hope you'll get to make your own Noriko bag too. Thank you for voting and commenting.

  • peachpurple profile image


    4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    i say, this is a beautiful and cute tot bag i had ever seen. Very clever ideas to use old jeans and shirts. voted up

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    6 years ago from Australia

    sparkleyfinger, this Noriko handbag is so easy to make, I hope you get to make one soon. Thank you for your kind comment.

  • sparkleyfinger profile image

    Lynsey Harte 

    6 years ago from Glasgow

    Liking this hub!!! pinned it to my sewing board on pinterest! Hope to try it soon! :)

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    6 years ago from Australia

    RTalloni, I am glad you like this tutorial. I am sure your students will enjoy making their own handbags too. Thank you for stopping by to leave comment.

  • RTalloni profile image


    6 years ago from the short journey

    Nice bag you've made! This is a great tutorial for me to show to young sewing students--thanks!

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 

    7 years ago from West By God

    Thanks. I have other sewing hubs too.

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Awesome tutorial! Thanks for including the step by step pictures.

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    7 years ago from Australia

    Lady Guinevere, thanks! You have written a great hub on the sewing machine. Cheers.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 

    7 years ago from West By God

    I am linking this hub with my Choosing a Sewing Machine and Learning to Sew hub.

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    7 years ago from Australia

    twocuriousgeorge, this is an easy project and great for beginners, too. Thank you for stopping by. Cheers.

  • twocuriousgeorge profile image


    7 years ago from GA

    Great instructions! You make it look so easy. Thanks for sharing:)


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