Tutorial – Origami Folded Fabric Pouch

Origami Fabric Pouch
For some time I have been meaning to write this tutorial for the Origami Folded Fabric Pouch. I was shown how to make it by Mary Loggie who was running craft classes aboard a cruise ship that Peter and I were on.
The pouch is very versatile. It can be used for sewing essentials, make up, knitting accessories, jewellery and even as an evening bag!
It can be made in a size to suit you, although Mary said that if the square of fabric is above about 16 inches it doesn’t work so well. I have not tried to make one over that size so cannot advise further.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial. If you have any problems, please feel free to email me. My email address is dfne@peterjh.wanadoo.co.uk .
Origami Folded Fabric Pouch

          1 Fat Quarter cotton or polycotton fabric for outer

          1 Fat Quarter of complementary coloured cotton or polycotton fabric for inner

          Lightweight Interlining [optional]

          1 large button

          1 small button [optional]

          Braid, ribbon or elastic for closure loop

          Matching thread


          Self-healing cutting mat

          Rotary cutter

          24” x 6½” Quilter’s ruler

          Fabric marker pencil

          Sewing machine

          Hand sewing kit

          Flower-head pins, or similar


1.           It is essential to be accurate when cutting and stitching the pouch, otherwise it will end up looking something like this:

Crooked Origami Pouch

Instead of like these:

Origami pouches made for Women’s Refuge

2.           Using the quilter’s ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter, trim outer fabric to achieve a neat, square edge. Do the same for the inner fabric.

Neatly trim fabric edge
3.           Cut a square measuring 16” x 16” from the outer fabric. Repeat for the inner fabric and the interlining [if you are using it].

Cut square from outer fabric
4.           Lay the interlining on your cutting mat or work area then lay the outer fabric on top of it with the right side facing up.

Lay squares down right sides together
5.           Take the square of inner fabric and place it on top of those fabrics. Place the right side facing down.

Squares pinned together with 3″ gap on right hand edge
6.           Pin the three layers together marking out a 3” section in the centre of one of the sides. [At each end of the section I place two pins at right angles to the edge of the fabric – I find this a good way to remind me to stop sewing when I reach that section!]

I set my stitch length at 2.5
7.          Stitch around the edge of the three layers, leaving a scant ¼” seam allowance. DO NOT stitch along the 3” wide section.

Two pins marking edge of 3″ gap
8.           Remove all pins.

Trim corners
9.           Trim diagonally across all four corners to reduce bulk.

Turn fabrics inside out
10.       Turn the layers so that the right sides are facing out. Pay special attention to turning the corners to make them as pointed and neat as you can.

11.       Press the square, making sure to fold in the edges of the 3” gap. Press those edges into place.

12.       You may wish to pin the edges into position to close the gap. You may also find it helpful to place a few pins across the square, to hold the layers together and prevent slippage. [My walking foot fell to pieces which is why I use the pins.]

Topstitching with pins holding fabric firm
13.       Topstitch around the square, ¼” in from the edge, again with stitch length set at 2.5.

14.       Place the square on your working area with the outer fabric facing down and the corners at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock.
Folded edge along bottom with points at
9, 12 and 3 o’clock
15.       Lift the corner at 6 o’clock and place it on top of that at 12 o’clock, creating a fold from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock. You have created a neat, double-layered triangle.

16.       Pick up the point at 9 o’clock and place it on the opposite side of the triangle, as shown in this picture. The point at which the fabric has folded along the bottom edge I shall call ‘point x ’.

Point at 9 o’clock folded over to
opposite edge
17.       Repeat step 16 with the point at 3 o’clock, as shown, which will create ‘point y ’.
Points 9 and 3 o’clock folded, creating point
‘x’ on left at bottom and point ‘y’ on right at bottom
18.       The picture above shows the shape you should create.

Pin along fold
Both folds marked by pins
19.       You may find it helpful to pin along the folds that you have created or to mark them with a fabric marker.

Marking fold with a fabric pencil
20.       Stitch along each of the folds created at points 16 and 17.

Stitching along the fold
21.       Placing the 9 o’clock point on the opposite side of the triangle and again creating point x, pin the folded fabric into position.

Handstitching from 9 o’clock point to point ‘x’
22.       Hand stitch from the 9 o’clock point along to point x .

23.       Place the 3 o’clock point on the opposite side, again creating point y .

24.       Pin the fabric into place, leaving the 3 o’clock point unpinned.

25.       Lift the 3 o’clock point and fold the fabric vertically from the centre of the open pockets down to where the two folded edges cross over. Mark this line with pins, then stitch down the line to create a triangular pocket.

Stitching along the vertical line to
create a triangular pocket
26.      Hand stitch along the folded edge from point y  to the row of pins down the centre. Be careful not to stitch through more than one layer as this will affect the size and usefulness of the pockets beneath.

27.       Flatten the triangular pocket that is sticking up to the left of the pinned line to create a diamond shaped pocket. Pin then stitch into place.
Flatten the triangular pocket and pin in position

28.       Across the line from the points at West and East, fold down the top point of the diamond [North].
Stitching the corners of the pocket in place
29.       Stitch into place. You may choose to place a small button here.
Attaching a small button to flap
30.       This creates a flap which should firmly hold a folded tape measure if you are using the pouch to hold sewing essentials.

Flaps folded down to close pouch
31.       Fold down the two corners [of the flaps that have been created] at 12 o’clock to close the pouch.

Sewing a large button on the top flap
32.       Stitch a large button on the uppermost flap.

33.       Take your piece of braid, ribbon or elastic. Cut a length of about 6”. Fold it in half then fold in the ends and either pin or sew into place.

34.       Make a loop and check that it is the right size to hold the large button and the flap closed.

Stitching the loop closure onto pouch
35.       Stitch the loop into position.

36.       Your Origami Folded Fabric Pouch is now complete.

Completed Origami Folded Fabric Pouch

** For more information about the pockets created in this pouch, please go to the supplementary post here


16 thoughts on “Tutorial – Origami Folded Fabric Pouch

  1. Dina, I am already trying out your tutorial. Are there four different pockets (one large, two triangular and one diamond) in this little pouch? Or I am doing something wrong? Thank you for your help in advance. 🙂


  2. Larisa, there are six pockets altogether. I have written another post about the pouch today and included some photos which I hope will help. If you are still stuck, let me know.


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