If you are a really credulous person, and thought that The Da Vinci Code was based on reality, or if you are interested in early church history, you might like to read this book. It is clear, well-reasoned, and thoroughly documented.

I am enjoying it, as Holy Week begins. We had palm fronds waved in church, and sang some cool stuff. Then we had a pleasant lunch with my parents, and a visit from a fellow knitter, who obligingly admired my WIPs.

One of the things I was working on this weekend, along with the things I had actually planned to accomplish, was this origami wallet. It was designed by origami expert Oschene, who kindly helped me figure it out.

The idea is that you can just tuck a few cards in and slip it in your pocket. Sometimes a couple of cards is all you need. Sometimes, of course, you also need your lipstick, agenda, pen, lunch, water bottle, paperback, and knitting — but in such cases, it is easy to grab the little wallet with your license and debit card, and tuck it into your purse.

If you want to see the really clever way it works, you should click on the link above. I have linked to it a couple of times already, so I am going to assume that you have already looked at it.

Once I had finally grasped the concept in paper, it was not too difficult to convert it to fabric. Perhaps someday you will want to do the same. With this in mind, I took pictures while I went through the process.

So, to begin the origami wallet in fabric, I cut a scrap of fabric to the shape and size of the pattern. Then I ironed on interfacing to stiffen up the cloth.

I determined that I really only needed interfacing for the center, traced the pattern of folds onto the interfacing, and ironed it on.

The part without interfacing ends up being folded in, so there is no need to finish the edges.

Next, I pressed the folds, according to the pattern.

Since I had made this a couple of times in paper, I knew which ones needed pressing, and which I could just fold later.

Pressing just at the very edge seems to work best — you don’t end up pressing out the folds you made earlier.

And, no, I don’t have an ironing board. It was my mother who pointed out to me that, if you own an iron and ironing board, people expect you to iron things. It’s better to keep the whole process fairly primitive, in order to discourage this. I don’t know how to type properly, for the same reason.

Here are the “later” folds all done. It begins to look like a wallet.

There is a whole flap-and-tucking thing going on here that obviates the need for side seams.

However, since it is fabric, I did just catch the edges together at the top with a couple of invisible stitches. This might have been completely unnecessary. However, I had at one point considered doing a blanket stitch around all the edges with perle cotton, so this was restrained.


And here I have folded the pressed folds.

At this point, it looks like an origami wallet.

Unfortunately, in spite of the interfacing, it doesn’t behave like an origami wallet. Every time I open it, it relaxes into the shape in the previous picture, and has to be folded back into its final shape again. This is where paper clearly has an advantage over fabric for origami. Those cranes you were thinking of making out of satin? Forget it.

Dweezy and Oschene both suggested starching the fabric so it would behave more like paper, and that would probably be worth trying.  Since I did not have any starch, though, I just forged ahead.

I did some sashiko-inspired stitching along the pressed lines in hopes of improving the fabric’s memory, but it still didn’t pop into shape the way I wanted it to.

At this point, I strayed from proper origami form. Well, yes, there is the whole fabric aspect, but the thing I refer to is the fact that proper origami doesn’t ever include fasteners. Even tape is frowned upon.

This is why I am adding props to the pictures: to distract you from this fact.

You can hardly see, in this photo, that I have gotten into the leftover wedding trims box and added a couple of pearl beads and rouleau loops to the wallet. The rose canes and leaves prevent you from seeing this, but really, they are not very obvious in person, either.


I simply sewed them onto the points of contact: the beads at the bottom of the folded rectangle, and the loops at the center top corner of each “card” section.

Now, by simply pulling a bead through each loop, I can instantly remind the wallet of how it is supposed to fold up.

I can actually also remove and insert cards without unfolding it at all. It is a more elegant version of that library card pocket sort of thing some people carry their cards around in.


Actually, I don’t think it really needs distracting props. It’s pretty cute, isn’t it?

My appetite for fabric origami has only been whetted, not satisfied.

I have found a couple of origami-inspired purses described online, and I have a slightly larger scrap of this fabric left. I am thinking that I will try one of the others as well. I will have a matched set of bags.

Assuming I can figure out the directions, that is.

I might not do it this week. The bagalong deadline is not till April 30, and this particular week is feeling a little full already. Today I have to take a kid to the dentist and do a workshop in a neighboring town. tomorrow I have a CAPS conference and a UMW meeting. Wednesday is dress rehearsal, and there are services on Thursday and Friday nights, and then houseguests arrive and I will have 10 for Easter dinner. Somewhere in there I need to clean house and bake and do something about the garden.