Tutorial for sewing a Furoshiki and Japanese Fabric Folding

In December I wrote a post about wrapping paper  which made me want to wrap with fabric. This led to another post where I did some of that.  Various people in the comments, by email and on my Facebook page asked me why I hadn’t mentioned Furoshiki. Why? Because I knew nothing about it! I set out to learn all I could via books. I purchased Wrapping with Fabric by Etsuko Yamada as well as Furoshiki Fabric Wraps by Pixeladies.  I was so enthused.

Fabric folding re 1I then researched Furoshiki cloths and holy moly, they are really expensive. I decided I could make them myself. This is what led up to today’s post, a tutorial for sewing a Furoshiki and Japanese fabric folding. Fabric folding re 2

I went to Thimbles and headed straight to the clearance section. I wanted to make a 42″ lined square first so I bought 1.25 yards of two coordinating fabrics which were 6.00 a yard.

It would be half as expensive to not line it but I wanted to try it that way initially. I cut off the selvage and squared up two identical sized pieces of fabric.

I pinned them right sides together. I did not prewash the fabric. I wanted the sheen for wrapping Fabric folding re 3presents.

I sewed the two pieces together using a 5/8″ seam, a throwback to my garment making days. I made sure I left a gap as I stitched around.Fabric folding re 4

I turned the fabric inside out through the gap.  It was super easy to glide it through about a 5 inch opening.

Once I had the fabric all turned to the right sides, I smoothed it. Then I ironed it. Again, this was easier as I had not prewashed it.

If I had thought I would have scraps, I would have prewashed it. But I used every inch!

Fabric folding re 5

I didn’t want the cloth to roll out of shape so I sewed the gap with a decorative stitch. I then continued that stitch all the way around. Had I used one piece of fabric, I would have just hemmed up the edges.Fabric folding re 6

I decided to practice before I made any more cloths. I also wanted to make sure I could do these folds before I tried it on a real person’s present.

I took a book I am reading and perusing slowly, Pioneer Girl, and decided to wrap it. However, probably a 36″ square would have worked better. (I am saying this as you haven’t seen my final results yet.)

Fabric folding re 7

I had both books there for help. I had read them both a couple of times so I was pretty familiar with the contents.

I knew that there was one wrapping which was very similar in both books. Plus it was an easy one. Remember as you see my efforts that I am not doing this as the art form.

I am doing this because I hate all the gift wrap that gets thrown out at my house each year. Fabric folding re 8

I had both books open to the similar page. Suddenly it seemed just a bit more intimidating that it had appeared when I was merely reading.

Fabric folding re 9

I put the book in one corner. I messed around with it and tried to make it center. It seemed awfully small in the middle of all that fabric. Go on Kathy, give it a try.

I basically rolled the fabric around the center of the book. The first time it wasn’t as tight as it could have been.

Fabric folding re 10

Yes, it wasn’t looking so good at this point. A more prudent woman might have stopped and started again. But I had already taken the picture.

How bad could it end up?

Fabric folding re 12

This was my very first attempt. It didn’t look that bad except for that one pesky corner. Where the heck did that come from?

No problem, I just untied it and wrapped it again.

You can’t do that with paper! This time I made it much tighter and really wrapped it instead of sortof rolling it.Fabric folding re 13

I was much happier with the result. And this is only the second time in my whole life that I have tried this. Now it doesn’t look like the pictures in the book but I would give it as a gift.

My mind is all excited. I have two more pieces of clearance fabric. I want to try a 36″ square and a 22″ inch square. I think I will do those unlined.

I really enjoyed this whole project. My friend Marge even sent me the link to a video which I am going to share with you. Its goal is to use Furoshiki for creating less garbage. Plus, they are MUCH better at it than I am!

My only issue with this is that I don’t want to give away my newly made Furoshiki. So this first year, just to family members as they will give them back to me. Tacky, I know but hey, it’s family!

Unless I can find fabric even cheaper!

Sew happy!

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This is my second post about wrapping with fabric. Read the first one here.

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