Today’s projects were three lunch bags, and an over-dress or kirtle or cote in a sci-fi/fantasy/cosplay style for a friend. The shell of the dress is done, but the lining is not going well. That may get posted next week — but more likely after Memorial Day.
I’m glad I started my day with a trio of lunch bags. These are fairly large komebukuro or gift bags used for exchanging gifts in Japan; they’re also used to transport bento boxes from home or a restaurant to work or to a residence. They used to be more common in Japan before the advent of plastic bags, but they’re still a delightful part of the culture — beautiful, reusable, and aesthetically pleasing. I plan to give these three as gifts.
A Komebukuro is pretty simple in design. The bag contains ten squares of any size. Five form the shell and are turned outside-out; five more form the lining and are turned outside-to-the-inside. Eight button holes are sewn at a proportional distance around the top of the bag. These are threaded with a cord that acts as a drawstring.
These bags have a purple base or bottom, inside and out; the sides are made of alternating fabric with a kimono print, and golden cranes on a blue background. I used red grosgrain ribbon for the bag drawstrings. They’re pretty stunning, and part of me wants to put them on the Etsy site for sale. But no — I know I need these for presents later in the week. However, if you want to commission one, you just let me know, OK?