Fold-and-stitch Origami Wristlet
July 14, 2013
Time for more stash-busting! To fill the need for a quick grab-and-go wristlet for my phone and keys when I'm just dashing out to a movie with friends or whipping through the grocery store, I first started with a plain sheet of construction paper. I knew I wanted pockets, a simple closure, and a wrist strap. (I know lots of ladies love clutches; I can't live without a strap.) In the end, just a little folding yielded a fairly simple solution, so it was time to try it with fabric!
First, I cut two rectangles of fabric 9-by-12 inches -- one for my exterior, one for lining. I applied Heat'N Bond to the wrong side of the lining fabric.
Next, I cut a piece of 1/4-inch elastic about 3 inches long, and I stitched the ends to the middle of one of the 9-inch edges of my exterior fabric to form a loop.
Once the loop was in place, I stitched the lining to the exterior fabric along both 9-inch edges. Here you can see the elastic loop layered in between my two fabrics:
Note: With the backing paper peeled off of your Heat'N Bond, it can be tricky to get your fabric under your presser foot without sticking and drama. I use a scrap of tissue paper to cover the adhesive while I sew, and the stitches perforate so it just tears away.
Once both short edges were stitched, I understitched ech seam so the seam allowance was stitched to the lining fabric, and turned the project right-side out. Then, I very carefully ironed everything so my Heat'N Bond fused the lining and exterior fabrics together. If you have enough little scraps, it's worth taking the time to test the adhesion process with your fabrics and iron to find the best setting, especially if you're using two different fabrics. I used a cotton print for my exterior and a poly taffeta for my lining, so I set the heat a bit lower than I would if I were using two quilting fabrics.
After the fabrics were fused together, I stitched my 12-inch edges together to form a tube.
Then I turned it right side out, oriented the seam on the center of one side, and gave it a gentle press to smooth things out and make my folded edges crisp.
While you can see the selvage edge of my fabric here (a scenario necessitated by the small size of my scrap), I wasn't really concerned about it since it will be on the interior of the wristlet when it's all done.
Next, I folded the end without elastic up towards the top, leaving enough length so I could fold the elastic edge down to form a closure flap. I played with the fold placement a little to make sure the resulting pockets could accomodate my phone.
To make the strap, I cut a piece of fabric 15 inches long and about 2 inches wide, then folded and pressed it just as I would bias tape for edging. (I did not cut it on the bias, though.) I inserted a piece of grosgrain ribbon to stabilize the strap and sewed two lines of stitching along it. After stitching, I trimmed the edges so they were nice and clean.
Once the strap was ready, I inserted the two ends on the side of my folded bag.
Then I carefully stitched down both side edges, catching in the straps as I went.
To mark the placement of a button to loop the elastic over for closure, I folded my top flap down and marked a point in the center of where the loop fell -- you can see it below as a tiny solver dot.
I carefully stitched the button in place, making sure I didn't accidentally sew through any of my pockets, and I was all done!
What I like about this wristlet is that you end up with three separate pockets -- compact and organized.
I also experimented with size a little -- when I cut my next version using 9-by-15 inch rectangles, I found that it could accomodate pens and markers, so it could totally be used as a fashionable pencil case for back-to-school. It could also make up as a low-profile makeup bag for your purse, as it's the perfect size for eyeliner pencils, lip liners, and application brushes. It would also make a cute nail kit -- plenty of space for emery boards, cuticle scissors and nail clippers.
I've made three of these origami wristlets so far, using nothing more that fabrics and buttons from my stash. I stuck with cotton prints for my exteriors, but you could use any fabric. Just do some testing with your Heat'N Bond, or use a sew-in stabilizer if your fabric choice is too delicate for a fusible.
I'm just glad to find a useful life for the smaller pieces in my stash. Viva les scraps!
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