How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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(A terrific tutorial from the Just Bento forum!)

Furoshiki are a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. They come in lots of sizes and are used for wrapping gifts, treasures, and bentos. As a bento wrapping they are extremely handy, because in addition to keeping your bento together (if you don’t have a belt), and mopping up any small spills of wet stuff that may escape your box on the way to work, they transform into a small tablecloth or napkin when you unwrap your lunch.

Furoshiki come in various fabrics, including silk, but for wrapping my lunch I like cotton. It’s absorbent (for mopping up those wee spills) and I can chuck it in the washing machine when I get home from work. It doesn’t need any special care.

I get fabric for making furoshiki from the quilting supplies shop; they sell 100% cotton fabric in 50cm x 50cm (20” x 20”) squares called fat quarters that are a perfect size for bento furoshiki. They also have amazing patterns! [Note: Our fat quarters are a quarter of a metre. In America they are quarter of a yard, so will be the same width but an inch and a half or so shorter.]

Fold your fabric diagonally and trim it up so its sides are straight. Traditionally furoshiki are slightly rectangular rather than square, so don’t fret about the sides being the same length. You need to cut off a piece about 4 cm (1.5”) wide (or 3 x the width of some elastic you have) from one side to make the matching belt.

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Fold the strip in half longways and iron in a crease.

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Put that aside for the moment, and start on the furoshiki. Fold the edges over about a cm (1/3”) and iron them

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Then fold them over again and iron

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Unfold everything and look at the corners - you should see a criss-cross pattern of creases where the folds have overlapped

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Fold diagonally at the outermost crease intersection and iron

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Then fold again at the innermost one - this should be pretty much where the original corner has ended up

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Now, keeping these new folds in place, fold the side folds back again and iron the corner down

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Repeat for each corner.

Sew around the whole thing with your sewing machine, or by hand if you don’t have one - this would be good hemming practice for a child!

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Now back to the belt.

Get your ironed-in-half strip of fabric and cut off a piece that is about 5 cm (2”) shorter than the circumference of your bento box

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And cut a piece of elastic just big enough to fill the gap. The amount of material taken up by seams will make it enough smaller that it will need to be stretched on

fs20.jpg

Line up one side of the elastic with the edge and the ironed fold on the right side of the material and sew it securely (two or three times back and forth)

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And do the same with the other end

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And no, I shouldn’t be using my zipper foot, but I am.

Now iron the sides of the fabric in, in line with the other edge of the elastic

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Then sew all around the edges of the fabric, all sides turned under, being careful to catch both of the folded in edges together when sewing down that side.

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And there you have it.

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A furoshiki with matching bento belt.

I’ve run out of space for photos or I’d show you how to tie it, but that link to furoshiki.com at the top has instructions. You want the “basic wrap”.

If you could manage to find fabric with a diagonal pattern you would have a nice effect on the hanging furoshiki corner, and something appliquéed or embroidered would look great. I’ve made a couple from cushion panels too, they have more of a picture than an allover pattern.

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

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eilismaura
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 20 weeks ago.
Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt.

Thank you for a FANTASTIC TUTORIAL!!!!!

Everything was well explained and the photos are great!

Eilish

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~ Begin by knowing you have already arrived ~
my blog - http://honeysheistwisted.blogspot.com/

maki
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Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Wonderful tutorial! Thanks Bronwyn! (It's promoted to the front page now so all those RSS subscribers will see it too!)

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bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Eeeeek!

Now i'm all embarrassed.

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

I need to edit it though - it need some line returns between text and pics to stop it looking funny on the front page. And I don't seem to be able to.

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

I was just being blind I think - couldn't see the "edit" at the top. And I didn't mean it looks odd on the front page either - I meant it looks odd on Google Reader. It behaves peculiarly, I've put breaks in before each pic but some words still want to stick to the side of them unless you have the page very narrow.

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

I read it first in google reader, and it don't look odd.
A really nice tutorial. I think I will try it after my exams for this semester have finished.

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Eleven Clovers
Bento-ing from: Warsaw › Poland
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Ooooh awesome tutorial! Thank you, Brownwyn ^_^ Yay, something to do over half term!
Back when I used a furoshiki (don't need one now really, my Lock&Lock set came with a handy little zip-up bag) I used to double-tie the four-tie knot and secure my chopsticks in between the knots. I like how furoshiki.com shows you so many ways of tying stuff! I'd never really thought of using furoshiki for anything other than bentos.

____________________________________

"A common way to tell if it is well cooked is to throw the sausage onto a hard surface; if it bounces, the sausage is good."

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Courtney
Bento-ing from: London › UK
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Awesome tutorial Bronwyn! :)

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

I also have a some that are about a metre square for taking a couple of bottles of wine with me when I go to someone's house for dinner. That's really handy - wine bottles are awkward to cart around.

anon.
Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Did you get this idea from Shojo Beat? Because I just read my issue of Shojo Beat and they had a thing very similar to this in it! Still this is extremely helpful! Thanks!

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

I have no idea what Shojo Beat is. But there are only so many ways to hem a square of material and attach elastic to a strip of it; I dare say there are a heap of things like this out there. This is something I've been doing for quite a while - the furoshiki bit anyway. I just worked out the belt thing a week or so ago, starting with a suggestion from one of the forum members about attaching a bit of elastic to some ribbon, the way her Mum used to make hairbands for her when she was small.

Update: I just looked up Shojo Beat in Wikipedia - a magazine in North America aimed at "women aged 16 - 18". Well, I wish I was still that age, but I am over 50, and not in North America either!

maki
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Shojo is a word for ‘girl’ 少女 I didn’t know about Shojo Beat either until they interviewed me a while back. To me, just the fact that there is actually a magazine for teenaged girls who are into manga and anime, in the US, in English, is sort of amazing! (as a Japanese person who remembers when things Japanese were not cool…and hears stories from older generations about when people used to make fun of Made In Japan!)

And anon commenter, furoshiki and bento wraps and straps are sort of part of Japanese culture. It’s just great to see such a clear how-to for how to make them :)

goblinbox
Bento-ing from: Walla Walla › Washington › USA
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

A++ tutorial! Thank you for writing it!

____________________________________

My site: http://www.goblinbox.com
My bentos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goblinbox/sets/72157608661768465/

HappyYeti
Bento-ing from: Minneapolis › Minnesota › USA
Joined: 23 Feb 2009
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

D: Why must you make such a wonderful, tantalizing tutorial when I will not have access to a sewing machine for 3 more months? You are truly cruel. And awesome. It looks so easy!

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Do it by hand ;-)

And thanks!

HappyYeti
Bento-ing from: Minneapolis › Minnesota › USA
Joined: 23 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 41 weeks ago.
Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

I don't have any way to get to a fabric store or the time to sew anything by hand at the moment = / I wish I did but I'm already spending way too much time making all these bentos when I should be working on my senior project. Oof.

neveth
Bento-ing from: Richardson › Texas › USA
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

YES. That you for the tutorial if for no other reason but than how to do the neat corners! I've been wanting to make one but I didn't know how to do nice corners like that!

avlor
Bento-ing from: Sioux Falls › South Dakota › USA
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

I love furoshiki! I've been using my cloth napkins as makeshift furoshiki. Got to use the one (not a napkin) that I carry in my purse the other day when I forgot my grocery bags at home. I need to make some larger ones - thanks for sharing the tutorial!

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Blog and Shop: http://ojami.etsy.com and http://ojamiya.com

Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Great write up and how to. Looks like a fun project. Though I have to admit I would ever take the time to make one lol.

yamikuronue
Bento-ing from: Manchester › UK
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Re: How to: Make a furoshiki and matching bento belt

Hey gang!

I was just at my local Wal-Mart today and in their craft section they had what's called "Quick Cuts" brand. They make patterns designed to go with their sized fabric scraps (so that beginners can avoid having to purchase fabric by the yard, and can mix and match). Their Singles are 18in x 21in and thus are right for furoshiki, come in a variety of colors, and are only $1 each. I don't know if it's nationwide but it's worth checking out.

"Stop having the boring tuna; stop having the boring life" - Vince Offer

Furoshiki Forum

Great tutorial! If anyone is interested in learning Furoshiki wrapping techniques please visit the Furoshiki Forum!

http://furoshikiforum.com/

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