How to Use Scraps of Knit Fabric to Make Origami Squares, Part IIcomments (6) January 24th, 2009
The origami squares in part I came out great, but there was something about them that bugged me. I realized I didn't love the gray on white combo...it left me feeling like I needed more "Anthropologie" in my moment to make this technique really wearable! So, on top of showing you how to fold the fabric another way, using the same fabric as the base shirt, I wanted to use something more stylish than a T-shirt. My favorite thing about Anthropologie is that all the clothes are creative, hip, and stylish; the unfortunate thing is that sometimes it's hard for me to find a top that I'm not squeezed into or falling out of. This is part of my motivation to have these "Anthropologie moments"...I've been trying to design tops that have the same hip, stylish feel but fit my large "rib cage." I decided to try adding some gathers at the center front neckline on one of the tops I'm working on. When I finished sewing it together, I tried it on and was very excited to see that it was flattering. I think adding the origami squares on the neckline will make it even more interesting!
If you want to try this technique using the same fabric as your top but you don't want to sew a whole garment in the process, why not start with a long-sleeve shirt. Trim the long sleeves into short sleeves, and use the extra fabric to make the origami squares. This is a good way to get more mileage out of a long-sleeve top as spring approaches.
Here's what you'll need:
- A finished top you want to embellish
- Scraps of matching knit fabric
- Thread to match the fabric
I've mixed some of the origami squares from Part 1 with the blocks I'm going to show you how to make now. Having played with this a little bit, I've discovered that it's easier to work with larger squares to get the technique down. Also, the heavier your knit is, the harder it is to work with a smaller square. To get really "delicate" results, use tissue-weight knit and 3-inch squares. The 5-inch square that I used for this example will make a finished block that is almost 2 inches wide and 5 inches long! (That's pretty bold; I might scale them down a little bit.)
To form an origami block with a tail, fold three of the corners of the square to the center. Press.
Then, fold down the two top corners to the center point. Press.
Position the origami shape so that the folded side is face down on the ironing board. Press the straight sides to the center (so they are centered between the two pointed ends).
To finish the origami block, fold the top point down so that its sides are snug against the diagonal edges of the sides.
This origami block may be attached so that the tail hangs down straight or on an angle. Or, attach it so the tail is trailing above. To give it added dimension, you can stitch down the center of the tail to gather it up slightly. Start stitching at the tip of the point (tacking it down), and continue to the end of the tail.
Pull the bobbin thread until you've gathered the tail up as much as you would like.
Pin the origami squares and blocks along the neckline, playing with the design until you're happy. Pin them directly to the finished edge of the neckline. Use the bar tack feature on your sewing machine to hold them in place. See Part I for tips on how to do this. Alternatively, you can stitch them to the shirt by hand.