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Origami Bag 1: Three Square Diagonal Bag

Purchase the PDF tutorial for the Three Square Bag on Square!

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I’m writing this pattern for beginners. If you have never sewn anything this is the pattern for you! No fabric cutting is required. There are only straight seams. This is an excellent first sewing project for a beginner of any age. Have fun, and make something awesome!!

I’m making the bag from three squares of a “layer cake set,” which come as 10.5 inch squares with edges that have been “pinked,” or cut in little zig-zags to keep them from fraying. Most quilt stores sell them. Don’t feel obligated to use these; I chose them to make this as simple as possible. you can use any combination of fabrics that will make a rectangle of the required shape.  

If you want to explore your options and personal style, start with three squares, or just a fabric rectangle three times as long as it is wide. It can be made as large or as small as you would like, and the procedure is the same for all of these variations so long as the 3:1 proportions of the rectangle are maintained. Easy Peasy!

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  • Fabric: three 10.5 inch “layer cake” squares of quilting cotton.
  • Thread that coordinates.
  • A ribbon for the handle. Mine is 15 inches long and one inch wide.
  • A ribbon for the closure. Mine is two inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
  • A button.


  • A sewing machine that can sew straight seams, and can sew backwards and forward.
  • Sewing machine foot that will help you sew 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch seams.
  • Scissors for clipping thread.
  • A ruler with 1/4 and 1/8 inch markings.
  • Pins.
  • Needle and thread
  • Seam ripper- just in case!


I am assuming someone has shown you how to use basic functions of your machine. I’m also assuming you are clever enough to figure out  how to use pins, a needle & thread, and a seam ripper. You will need to know how to: 

  • thread the machine
  • raise and lower the presser foot
  • raise and lower the needle
  • control the speed of the machine

Throughout the pattern I’ll be defining sewing vocabulary terms. All of these definitions are also included at the end of the pattern in the “Lexicon” section. The first time they appear in the pattern they are set off in bold, orange type.

Take your time and enjoy the process. If you buy a whole “layer cake” you can make a bunch of these for practice, and give them as gifts!

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