Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The “not really origami, but I’m calling it that anyway” bag

We’ll just call it the Origami Imposter Bag for short, shall we? :)

I wouldn’t exactly call this my inspiration, since the inspiration was in my head somewhere a few weeks ago. To be honest, I don’t even remember what made me think about making a bag this way, but it’s been floating around, waiting to come out for a while now. So I guess we’ll call this the blueprint.

I felt like I was doing origami yesterday while playing around with this. Granted, it’s not just one piece of paper, but it’s about as close to origami I get.

My original plan was to make a very small purse to start, basically the same size as the paper one (2 half sheets of paper). I figured I would give it to my friend’s little girl & it would be a cute, quick, & easy thing to whip up for gifts. Boy was I wrong (what have I said about famous last words before?)! Turns out it’s helpful to make something big enough to be able to get open enough to get in & sew. I went back & forth about hand-stitching it just to see if the overall design will work. I ended up not, but may go back & finish it up that way.

(I was thinking this morning if I had one of those little hand-held hem sewers they show on TV, I might be able to get the little one to work. I also got to thinking that I’m pretty sure I’d like to find a serger to play around with. Anybody got one sitting around they aren’t using? :])

Frustrated, I decided to get ready for bed, and just work more on the project later this week. As I was brushing my teeth, I remembered that I had picked up some of the “reusable bag” fabric at Jo-Ann. It was cheap & I had two yards of it, so I figured I could stand to lose some of it if the bag didn’t turn out right. So back to the sewing machine I went, while Nick headed to bed.

I don’t think any of my cuts were straight, but it seemed pretty forgiving when I started putting it together. I made the pieces about double to triple the size of what I used before - it was late & I wasn’t worrying about exact measurements at all! The fabric is really stiff, so a little difficult to fold, pin, and maneuver around the sewing machine, but I made it work. I wasn’t able to make it exactly like I had originally envisioned, but it’s close, and with a little tweaking, will be better.

I had seen a tutorial early last week about making flat bottoms on totes & decided I wanted to try it out. I didn’t know exactly how big to make it, but decided since it’s a small bag, it didn’t need a huge flat bottom. I think I decided on about an inch, and am really happy with how well it worked out.

I didn’t measure when I did the strap either, and it ended up being about twice as long as I originally wanted. Of course I didn’t realize that until I had sewn all around it (even switching bobbins in the middle of the strap because the first one ran out of thread), so I went ahead & put it on anyways.

Finally, about 11:15, it was finished, and even though it’s not exactly the same as my original plan, I was pretty happy with it. I knew with a few adjustments here & there, different fabric, and a bigger size, I’d have exactly what I was going for.

This morning when I was getting ready to come to work, I knew I wanted to bring it in to show a few people, and I needed to bring my new netbook. I have a neoprene sleeve I use for my netbook, but am not using a big enough purse to hold it right now, so usually just carry it. Imagine my surprise when I realized this new little bag is the EXACT perfect size for my computer! And, with the longer strap, it carries perfectly! The shorter strap I had planned originally wouldn’t have worked this way, so I guess it was truly meant to be like this. :) Now I have a perfect little carrying bag when I want to grab my computer & can throw a few small essentials in the side pockets if needed. Not sure yet if the power cord will fit in them, but it actually might if I split it into the two separate cords.

I need to figure out what I'm going to do to have the whole inside lined. Not so pretty in there right now.

The space where the two sides overlap is sewn on each side, creating a pocket.

All in all, I’m extremely happy with this, especially considering it’s my very first original pattern. I’m not saying someone out there hasn’t made the same thing before, but it’s not copied off anything I’ve personally seen. Definite satisfaction.

Until next time…


  1. Thanks!

    Too funny - when I got an e-mail notification of your comment, I was trying to figure out how I commented on my own post without remembering doing it. :)

  2. And I didn't even realize your name until after I commented and it made me laugh :) It's a great name!


Thank you for your comments, I appreciate each & every one I get. I do try to respond to most (if not all) comments, but that's hard to do if you don't have an e-mail in your profile! :)