Cherry Blossom Bag

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Wash and iron the fabrics. Arrange your material and print out the embroidery pattern. The individual colours are also marked with small symbols on the pattern so that you can easily tell them apart. When finished, the motif will measure 20 cm wide and 14 cm long. The Aida cloth should be about 40 cm high and the motif should be embroidered in the lower area. This allows the upper edge to be folded down later and used as a back and lining for the front pocket.


  • Approx. 40 x 40 cm fine Aida (6.4 stitches/cm, 18 count, Art 3793/705)

  • 2x No. 01 (white) Anchor embroidery thread

  • 1x No. 301 (light yellow) Anchor embroidery thread

  • 3x No. 60 (light rose) Anchor embroidery thread

  • 3x No. 62 (rose) Anchor embroidery thread

  • 3x No. 63 (dark rose) Anchor embroidery thread

  • 1x No. 65 (pink) Anchor embroidery thread

  • 4x No. 70 (violet) Anchor embroidery thread

  • 1x No. 72 (dark violet) Anchor embroider thread

  • Sewing machine and sewing kit

  • 0.5 m “Spraytime” patchwork fabric (Art 10/2317)

  • 0.5 m “Uni Spectrum” patchwork fabric (Art 10/1796)

  • 0.5m fixed interfacing, e.g. H250

  • Embroidery frame and embroidery needles, suitable for 3 threads

  • Approx. 1.5 m strap, 2.5 cm wide

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Beginning the embroidery


Stretch the lower part of the Aida cloth in the frame and double check to make sure that you have enough space for the 10 x 20 cm of the motif. The centre of the image is marked in the embroidery pattern. You can also mark it out on the fabric with an extra bit of yarn. Don’t knot or sew the ends because it will be removed later. From the centre, count in one direction and embroider the first colours of the cherry blossoms in rows. Three-thread embroidery thread is always used for the whole motif.


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First colour change


Sew the thread end of the first colour on the back of the embroidery, cut it short and start with a new colour. The embroidery becomes nice and even when you embroider the cross-stitch in two steps. Embroider the respective number of crosses in a row from bottom left to top right first, and then the row from bottom right to top left. When all of the cross-stitches are facing in the same direction, the embroidery looks much more precise and neat.


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Negative space embroidery


For many of the blossoms, only the outlines are embroidered; this is how the fine Aida cloth is included in the motif. This technique is also called negative space embroidery.                                                      


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Embroidering the motif


Work your way through the entire embroidery pattern like this. This project will undoubtedly take some time to complete, but it is definitely worthwhile. By using negative space embroidery, you will only have to completely embroider a few blossoms – they will be nicely emphasized as a result.


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Completing the motif


When all of the blossoms and branches are done, you should check the back for any loose or protruding threads. Finally, embroider the top row which will later become the edge of the bag.      


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Preparing the bag


Fold the upper part of the fabric down towards the back on the embroidered edge. Using the iron on medium heat, carefully press the edge flat.

 Cut the fabric so that the left, right and bottom each have a seam allownce of 2 cm.


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Stapling the bag


Using the sewing machine, staple the fabric on three open sides together close to the edge. This way, nothing will shift.                                                     


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Cutting the fabric


Now cut the outer fabric, the lining material and the insert to size. You need two pieces each of the outer fabric, the lining material and the insert. For each piece, cut a 33 x 44.5 cm rectangle to size. Next, cut out small 1.5 x 1.5 cm squares from the left and right sides of all the bottom edges. Your short bottom edge is now 30 cm long and the side edges are 43 cm long. Iron the insert on the left side of the turquoise outer fabric.


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Cutting the strap


Cut the strap into two 75 cm pieces.                                                                                                                                                                                                      


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Placing the front pocket


Check to see where you like the embroidered front pocket the most. Mark the spot, lay the front pocket and the outer fabric on top of each other with the right sides together (front pocket pointing downwards) and sew them with a seam allowance of 2 cm on the outer fabric. Next, fold the bag upwards and iron the seam until it’s smooth.


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Placing the strap


Pin the strap on the fabric so that it covers the outer pocket’s seam allowances. Measure these points and repeat on the other piece of fabric. Stitch the strap down close to the edge using a straight stitch. Sew upwards on one side, but not quite to the end. Sew 7 cm parallel to the upper edge of the bag and then down again on the other side of the strap. Repeat this on the other strap and bag piece.


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Sewing the outer pieces together


Place both of the outer pieces on top of each other with the right sides together and sew the sides and the bottom edge together. The seam allowance is 1.5 cm.                                                                    


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Sewing the bag’s base


Fold the bottom corners together. Now the side seam is on top of the bottom seam. With a 1.5cm seam allowance, sew the edges together to form the bag’s base.


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Sewing and inserting the lining


Sew the lining together in the same way. Turn it to the right and put it in the outer pocket. The two right sides should now be facing each other inside. Sew them together around the upper edge. Make sure that you don’t sew the straps while doing this. Leave an opening that’s about 15-20 cm wide.


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Turning the bag


Next, turn the full bag through the opening. Iron the opening’s seam allowances inwards and pin them.                                                                                   


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Finishing it off


From the right side, stitch the width of a presser foot once around the top edge. In doing so, you will also close the opening.                                                                                                                             


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Grab the bag and bring it with you for your next shopping outing.                                                                                                                                             



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