Origami Bag tutorial: Great quick bag – perfect as a gift

I am in a facebook sewing group where recently, this tutorial from jules for an origami market bag was discussed. I loved the simplicity of the design so I set out to give it a try. Her tutorial is great, very detailed and if anything, this post should seen as an incentive to make it over to her blog!

Now, I know some people have trouble with the folding which is why I took pictures of my folding technique.

I used 2 fabrics, one inner (gray) and one outer (chevron). The width was slightly different for both fabrics so I went with the shorter one (110cm). In order to know how long to cut the short end of the piece, divide the width by 3.
In my case that is 110/3 = 36.6.

origami bag fabric right on right (measures 110x36.6cm)

origami bag fabric right on right (measures 110×36.6cm)

So I cut my two pieces to be 110×36.6cm. I started out sowing them right sides together, with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I left open one short end to be able to turn the fabric.

* Note: Next time I make this bag with an inner and outer fabric I will only leave a small slit on one of the short ends to turn the fabric. The seam that will show will be covered by the “handle cover” making it “invisible” when you look at the bag.

Folding the origami bag part 1

Folding the origami bag part 1

Now to the folding. I tried Jules’ tutorial but realized that her turning the fabric between folds threw me off. I came up with all kinds of shapes but not the one pictured in her tutorial. Until…the starts aligned and I realized I need to do it my way. The fabric you want to be on the outside needs to be facing you as you fold. The bag is almost reversible but if you turn it inside out, 2 seams will show.

Step #1 Fold bottom left corner up and align the fabrics. This will give you one pointy corner on the left hand side.

Step # 2 Hold the fabric where indicated as you fold the triangle down.

Folding the origami bag part 2

Folding the origami bag part 2

This step will move your pointy tip from the top left to the bottom left. Make sure that you align the fabric. It doesn’t have to be perfect but try not to have a 1 inch gap as this will make the final bag uneven.

You now have a large triangle and a smaler square. The next step will be to fold the square so that it also becomes a triangle.

Folding the origami bag part 3

Folding the origami bag part 3

This will give you one big triangle and one small one. Pin as indicated (front and back).

Folding the origami bag part 4

Folding the origami bag part 4

For this picture, I placed the bag off-center so you can see it a little better. The orange pin line is where a seam will show (in case you want to make it a reversible bag). You may also notice pins on that striped part. That is the shorter end of the rectangle I have left open (see above).

Now sew along the pins to secure the side parts and remember to put in your labels.

turn bag inside out

turn bag inside out

Once sewn, you can turn your bag inside out (again, the picture is off-center to help you visualize). Now my chevron fabric is on the outside and my gray is on the inside.

Now it’s time to sew Jules’ handle cover – I took her measurements (circa 9cm x 16cm) and they worked just fine. You don’t want the edges of the handle cover to fray so you have to hem the short ends. Simply start on one short side and fold it over about 5mm (wrong side on wrong side). Sew this down. Repeat this step with the other short end. Your piece of fabric is now circa 8cm x 16cm.

With right sides together (you are halving the piece in front of you to 4cm x 16cm) sew along the long edge. Sew open the seams and turn the handle inside out. Now you can pull the handle cover onto one of the straps.

pull handle cover onto strap

pull handle cover onto strap

The next and final step is to sew the two handles together. I overlapped the handles about 1.5cm and sewed a square around it (don’t be thrown off by the other seam, that’s from closing up the open end of the fabric I wrote about earlier — your bag should not have this seam so don’t worry).

sew straps together

sew straps together

Now pull the handle cover up to cover where the handles meet and voila, you have your very own Origami Bag!

Origami Bag

Origami Bag

Origami Bag

Origami Bag

Origami Bag Handle

Origami Bag Handle

Have fun folding and sewing this great bag!

Franzi

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