Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Shupatto Folding Shopping Bag

Hello sweet shoppers. This is a fun and useful shopping bag to have.

I read eSheep's latest blog posting a couple of days ago and found out about a bag that I hadn't heard about before. I was intrigued and had to Google Shupatto to see more. You can buy Japanese style bags online at places like Amazon, etc. (usually made from a nylon material) and there were also some YouTube videos that show you how to make this style bag too. 

I found a video (from Owl Be Sewing) for making a lined or unlined version and opted for the lined version since I prefer a more finished looking bag and I have plenty of fabric already. So I chose my fabrics and cut out the pieces according to the video and was going to sew it another day. But I went ahead and watched the video and thought it was easy looking enough to make and wouldn't take me that long, so I decided to start sewing it.

Well it looked easy and was until I tried to follow her pinning the pleats and while it made sense what she was doing, I couldn't quite figure out after the second pin what she was matching the pins to exactly. So my pleats aren't perfect and I struggled with that part of the bag. Still it turned out really nice and I like it a lot! I really like the strap closure with the Kam snap to close the bag. I opted to use webbing for the handles. 

Another thing I thought was odd, was that the casing for the handles was too narrow for the size handles she made. I even used 1" webbing which was narrower than her handles, and I had to fold over 1/4" of the webbing and sew it, so that it would fit into the casing. So on my next bag, I will make the casing large enough to fit my handle width.

After my Shupatto Bag was done, I watched a few other DIY videos and found one I prefer better. While I was struggling to make the pleats on this bag because of how complicated it seemed to do, I was thinking to myself, I would have preferred if she showed measurements to mark and fold and press the pleats accordion style instead as that would seem easier to do to me and then lo and behold one of the next videos I watched did the pleats just like that, so I will make that version next, but I will sew the strap closure on with a snap instead of the elastic closure that I have seen on many of these bags.

The reason I don't like the elastic closures is that elastic loses it's elasticity over time and would need to be replaced, so I would rather make a fabric strap with a snap and fold the bag and snap it closed, instead of rolling the bag and putting the elastic over it to close it. And making my bag lined made it thicker and it can't be rolled up. I also prefer to fold it in half twice than to roll it anyhow. 

The beauty of this style bag is that you don't have to remember how or where to fold or roll it up. Just grab the ends of the bag and pull and the pleats all come together. Then fold it in half and in half again and wrap the closure strap around the folded bag and snap it closed.

The bag folded with the snap strap closure.

Unsnap the closure and this is how it looks. Grab the handles to use it. Later, you don't have to remember how or where to fold or roll it up. Just grab the ends of the bag and pull and the pleats all come together like in the photo. Fold in half twice and wrap the strap closure around the bag and snap closed.

For a folding shopping bag it is quite large and holds a lot, but looks so stylish at the same time. The strap with the snap gets looped around the handle and snapped to keep it out the way and from dragging, which give it a nice look at the same time.

I lined my bag, which I prefer to an unlined bag, but it does make the bag a bit thicker when folded up.

I grabbed some bears to show you how roomy this bag is. I could fit even more into the bag.

Another view of the roomy inside.

Grab the ends and pull and it becomes flat like this. Then fold the two ends together in half and in half again and wrap the strap around and snap the bag.

Here it is snapped and closed again.

This bag is great for using non-directional fabric. If you used a directional fabric, you would have to cut it in half plus the seam allowance and sew the pieces together so that one side wouldn't have half the fabric upside down. However, that would create a seam in the bottom of the bag putting more stress on the seam, so I wouldn't recommend doing that either for this style of bag. Other bags I have made I add interfacing, and stabilizers and stitch the bottom more to make it sturdy, but this is a lightweight bag to take with you when you shop, so it's best not to put a seam at the bottom where most of the stress of the bag would be. I also used polyester thread for extra strength as cotton thread could break if you carried heavy items for too long.

This bag would make a great beach bag too as it holds a lot. I will make a couple more of these bags for sure next time using the 2 videos combined and what I like best from each bag to create my own version. 

Happy bag sewing!

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  1. I just love this bag. the fabric you used is perfect and so colorful and fun. I agree having it lined is just better. I hope you share your hybrid version of the bag because I would be thrilled to make some. What a wonderful bag. The roll up bags I make have an issue because eventually the elastic wears out, this bag is bigger and longer lasting.
    thanks for sharing Tara

  2. Great job, Daryl - love your choice of fabrics, as usual. (And to see the "Warrens" again is just bonus!) I think you can make these for sale quite easily.

    So did you follow the size of the original Eloise bag or did you make this your own size? That was the part that gave me a lot of pause before I started because I didn't know how small/big the bag would end up being and I wanted mine to be on the larger size.

  3. This looks like a great bag and also looks so useful. What a great way of quickly folding it up. I love the fabric. How bright a fun. I like the idea of lining it too. Well done!

  4. I was trying to make a pattern for this bag but ran into word salad problems describing how to set up the pleats. Plus the whole ‘need a video’ part of pattern making. Yours looks great.

  5. Ingenious! Why am I just following you now, Daryl? At least I picked a good time to come find you.


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