Make it Local :: Origami Market Bag

by Jules on 18/06/2013

in Community + Creativity, Fashion, Guest Blogger, Guest Editors 2013, Whip Up Tutorials, Whip-Up

During most of 2013, Whipup.net will hosting a monthly mini-series, each month edited by different crafters and designers. Enjoy!

The theme for this month is Make It Local :: with Alexandra Smith of Lola Nova.

bags

Inspired by my last post about the Farmer’s Market, I decided to whip up a simple tutorial for a handmade market bag called “The Origami Market Bag”. The name is taken from its unique folding technique. It makes up in a flash and is nice and roomy for all of your market treasure.

You will need fabric, thread, scissors and a sewing machine.

For the fabric, I suggest something a little heavier such as: canvas, linen, denim, or home décor type weight.

We start off with a piece of fabric whose length is 3 times the width. I found using a piece that is 17” X 51” (43cm X 130cm) makes a good size bag; you can play around with sizes if you like.

Once you have cut your piece of fabric to size, hem all of the raw edges.

(In the following photos I’ve used a smaller piece of unfinished fabric just to show the folding technique)

Start by laying your fabric with your hems facing away from you and follow the folding technique as shown below.

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Now pin and stitch as shown for both sides of the bag. I used about a 1cm seam allowance.

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It is ok if your bag is a little off center, this may happen if your hems are not perfectly even to one another.

Now that you have sewn your 2 seams, you can leave the bag as is for a nice triangle shape, or you can create some shape by sewing boxed corners, or simple angled corners. Now turn your bag right side out and press if needed.

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The next step is to create the handle for your bag. I used some coordinating fabric for a handle.

Cut a piece of fabric that is 3.5” X 6.5” (aprox. 9cm X 16.5cm) turn under and hem the 2 short sides of this piece. Fold the piece in half length-wise with right sides together and stitch raw edges with a ¼” (just under 1cm) seam allowance and turn right side out creating a tube.

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Take one of the long top triangles of your bag and thread it through the tube of fabric as shown. Overlap the other top piece with the bit you have threaded through the tube and pin. Now stitch in place. Slide the tube over the stitched overlapped section and center it.

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Ta Da! You now have your very own Origami Market Bag!

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Go ahead and make a few more, you know you want to!

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Please note, this tutorial is intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form. Thanks for understanding!

Edited to add: My version of this bag was originally based on a bag I received many, many years ago that was handmade by a family friend from the Philippines. That first bag was made from old cotton rice sacks (similar to vintage flour sacks) and the handles tied in a knot. Not long after receiving it, I made my own bag using a couple of bandannas sewn together. In the years since, I have seen many versions of this very simple bag. Many variations of it have shown up as craft trends come and go, then come around again. I have seen similar patterns in vintage craft books, Japanese craft pattern books and high end leather bags on the runway. I have even seen some in macramé!

I make no claim to have “invented” this style of bag; its origins are ageless and elusive. I did sort out just how to make it on my own and put my own spin on it. The only bags I have sold from this tutorial were the prototypes pictured here, after materials cost, 100% of the profit from them goes directly to the fund for the Shugg children. I have no intention to sell any more of these bags.

Thank you,

Alexandra Smith

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