Machine Embroidered Boy’s Wallet Tutorial

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Blog, Janome, Origami Oasis, Tutorials | 4 Comments

Happy New Year, just a mere almost two weeks late! I hope you all enjoyed festive and relaxing holidays.

It seems like I have been quilting and quilting and quilting lately, and not much else (not necessarily a bad thing). I finished up the latest one on my list last week (more on that next week) and decided I needed a decidedly smaller sewing project that would be quick and fun.

My son has a bit of a fixation lately with carrying his money with him whenever we head out the door to a store. The only problem with that is that he does not have a proper wallet, so uses a coin purse or whatever small bag he can put his hands on at the moment. As his birthday is coming up in a few days, I decided to make him a real big boy wallet.

tamara kate machine embroidered wallet

He is fascinated by all the stitch possibilities on the Janome machine I use (MC8200) and frequently asks me to stitch little airplanes or scissors on some scrap of fabric lying around to give to a friend at school, so I thought I’d do a mini embroidery sampler for the main wallet fabric.

janome stitch library
Just a taste of the many stitches available on the MC8200

As this machine is computerized, it’s as simple as pressing a button to choose your stitch and then adjusting the width as desired. I did a practice run of a number of stitches to choose the ones I thought would work best. I cut a rectangle of denim from an old pair of jeans of his that were ripped, penciled 1″ marks along one side edge and started a new line of stitching at each mark. Where there seemed to be a bit too much of a gap (after the waves), I inserted a line of tiny stars.

tamara kate janome machine embroideryt

A few lines of orange really makes it pop.

tamara kate machine embroidered wallet detail

Wanting to make it fun, with colourful compartments for most of what he might need, I made 2 gift card compartments, a velcro-closing change purse and a space for bills (and/or important drawings and notes). Interior fabrics are: Spot in Starfruit (yellow) and Scribble Cars in Clementine.

tamara kate boys wallet

Wanting to make sure there would be no chance of anything sliding out, I positioned the card openings toward the centre fold of the wallet, the velcro on the change purse goes almost the whole width of the purse & the bills are held in by the centre fold.

I worked out all the kinks on this one, then made another to hone the pattern so I could offer you the following tutorial:

What I used:

For all following fabrics, the 1st measurement is the VERTICAL, the 2nd HORIZONTAL.

A – 1 piece 2½” x 3½” (coin purse flap)
B – 1 piece 7½” x 4″ (coin purse front)
C – 1 piece 4½” x 13¾” (card panel)
D – 1 piece 8½” x 7½” (bill fold)
E – 1 piece 5″ x 7½” (external fabric)
F – 1 piece 2½” x 2″ (snap tab)

tamara kate fabric wallet fabrics
Fabrics: Spot in Starfruit, Crossing Paths in Lime and Stand Tall in Grass.

– Mid-weight iron-on interfacing: Cut the same size of pieces C, E & F.

– 1 piece velcro 2″ x 1/2″

– 1 plastic snap (you will need snap pliers to attach this) OR you could use velcro.

What I did:

All seams are 1/4″.

Iron interfacing to back of C, E & F.

Refer to the following diagram where indicated.

wallet instructions

Piece F: Fold in half , right sides together, so that piece measures 1¼” x 2″. Sew along long edge. Move seam to the centre of the tube & press seam open. Sew along 1 short edge. Clip corners & turn right side out. Press & set aside.

Piece A: Fold in half, right sides together, so that piece measures 1¼” x 3½”. Sew along 2 short sides. Clip corners & turn right side out. Top stitch along 2 short edges and folded edge. Securely sew velcro to the underside, centred, 1/4″ above folded edge.

Piece B: Wrong sides together, fold in half so piece measures 3¾” x 4″. Choose a front & a back.

Piece C: Measure and lightly mark along 1 long edge the following, starting at the right edge: 1¾”, 1½”, 2¼”, 1½”. Fold and press accordion style, as in fig 1.

Place piece B on piece C so that front of B is against right side of C, bottom edges align and left edge of B is 3¼” from left edge of C (as in fig 2). Sew 3½” from left edge of piece C. Sew velcro onto front of piece B (only B), 1/2″ from seam line and 1/8″ below fold.

With back of B against C, place A in position at top of B so that velcro lines up. Pin top of A onto C, then move B to the left, out of the way. Place the base of D, right sides together on top of C, aligning top edges. Stitch across top edge (fig 3).

Fold D to back of C along seam. Press flat. Measure down 3½” from seam on D and fold up, right sides together. Press (fig 4). This is the completed wallet interior (WI).

tamara kate fabric wallet4

Place F, seam side down on top of WI so that raw edge of F is centred along & aligns with right edge of WI.  Place E, right sides together on top of WI. Pin in place.

If available, I suggest using a walking foot to sew this next step: Starting 2″ in from right side at top edge, sew all the way around, stopping 2″ in from left of top edge (fig 5). Clip corners. Turn right side out. Close top opening by hand stitching with an invisible stitch. If desired, top stitch around exterior perimeter.

tamara kate fabric wallet3
tamara kate fabric wallet2

Attach one side of the snap to the snap tab and the other half to the wallet, through to the inside of the bill fold (2 layers of fabric).

tamara kate fabric wallet


Origami Oasis – Oasis Frolic Quilt by Jenn Topp

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis, Quilts, Tutorials | No Comments

Jenn Topp is another Montreal-based quilter I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know through the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild. Her quilts that I have seen thus far are joyful, playful and colourful. She also has a little boy at home who shares his room with a 5ft tall giraffe, so I thought she might like to play around with Origami Oasis. This delightful quilt for her son is what she came up with, playing on the kite shapes in the collection’s Mountain & Valley print.

jenn topp - oasis frolic quilt

Jenn has generously written a tutorial for the quilt, providing the paper piecing pattern for those kites as well. To download your free copy, head on over here to the Michael Miller website.

{ Happy Sewing } Origami Oasis Bento Bags

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Origami Oasis, Tutorials | 19 Comments

While Origami Oasis certainly was designed with children in mind, I wanted to share a project with you today, The Bento Bag, that really plays on the Origami theme, and that I created with a bit more of a grownup user in mind, though kids can certainly use them as well.

tamara kate - bento bag - origami oasis8

These Japanese-inspired bags are a handy, pretty, environmentally-friendly alternative for packing a snack, a lunch, a small on-the-go sewing or knitting project or, well, just about anything. They are great for organizing smaller items within a larger bag (think of bringing a few along on market runs to use instead of plastic bags) or suitcase (swimsuits or undies), or as an unexpected, reusable gift bag. They can be made in a variety of sizes to suit the right need.

photo #10 - Tamara Kate - bento bag3

The single knot doesn’t look that secure, but trust me, it nestles in the hand in such a way that it holds a bundle of apples just perfectly without slipping and there is plenty of room in the ties to create a double knot if one wishes.

tamara kate - bento bag - origami oasis7

I love the simplicity of their shape. While I recall seeing lovely linen ones in the past, I thought they would be pretty in two contrasting or complimentary fabrics, with a softer drape to them. But have no fear, these are made with double layers of fabric so that they are firstly, strong and secondly, they are well finished with no wrong sides of fabric showing on the inside or the tie tops. Should you wish to have something with a slightly stiffer body, a bit of interfacing on the wrong sides prior to stitching will do the job perfectly.

photo #9 - Tamara Kate - bento bag

Whichever way you look at them, they make a pretty package.

photo #9A - Tamara Kate - bento bag2

With a minor alteration, they can also be made with a flat, boxed-corner bottom that would sit better on the counter as a bowl. So you could go shopping…

tamara kate - bento bag - oprigami oasis2

open your bundle…

tamara kate - bento bag - oprigami oasis3

and leave it sitting prettily in your kitchen.

tamara kate - bento bag - oprigami oasis4

You’d like to whip up a few yourself? No problem! Here’s a tutorial.

What I used:

– a yard each of two pieces of fabric (you will have leftovers). This will make bags the size you see above that will hold about 8 apples or lemons, but you can make them any size you wish.

– sewing thread, acrylic ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter.

What I did:

Refer to this Cutting & Folding Guide for the following instructions.

origami oasis bento bag cutting & sewing instructions

#1 – From the first piece of fabric, cut a perfect square 32″ x 32″. With right sides together, fold the fabric in half. (If your fabric is directional, have your motifs running the direction of the 32″ arrow in the guide)

#2 – Find the exact centre along the edge opposite the fold. Cut a 45 degree angle down from the centre point to the bottom corners at the fold line.

#3 – With a ¼” seam allowance, stitch along the two edges you just cut. Leave a 4″ opening along one side, about 1″ from the centre point. Clip all the corners to allow for sharp points when turned. Turn the triangle right side out through that 4″ opening, using a pin to gently help pull the corners to sharp points (there is no need to close the 4″ opening here). Press. Repeat with other piece of fabric.

#4 – Lay the 2 triangles on top of each other as in the guide, making sure the centre corners are parallel, as well as the top 2 points and the bottom points. Lightly draw a line (with an erasable fabric marker or chalk) across the centre, as well as just inside the edge of the hidden triangle edges so that you can topstitch as shown in the guide. Topstitch across the centre and an eighth inch from the edges as indicated.

* Choose one of the following:

#5a – Regular corners – Fold the pieces in half, matching the top points. For both bottom corners, measure in 4″ vertically and horizontally from the corners. Connect these points and mark this line lightly. Backstitching at both ends, stitch along the line of the angled corners. Leaving a ¼” seam allowance, cut the extra corner fabric off. Turn the bag wrong side out and press the angled corners sharply. Now you will create a french seam to hide the raw edges. Along the angled corners, sew a line of stitching just beyond where you can feel the raw edges of fabric on the inside, so that when you turn the bag right side out, the edges will be enclosed in the seam. Nice & clean! Still on the wrong side, sew down both long sides (sewing a scant eighth inch from the edge).

All done!


#5b – Boxed corners – Fold the pieces in half, matching the top points. Backstitching at both ends, sew straight up both sides a scant eighth inch from the edge. Press these seams flat. Open the bottom of the bag and fold it flat with one of the side seams in the centre. Draw a line perpendicular to the seam about 3″ from the bottom corner. Sew on this line.Repeat with other corner. Leaving a ¼” seam allowance, cut the extra fabric from the corners. Turn the bag wrong side out, and press the angled corners sharply. Now you will create a french seam to hide the raw edges. Along the angled corners, sew a line of stitching just beyond where you can feel the raw edges of fabric on the inside, so that when you turn the bag right side out, the edges will be enclosed in the seam. Nice & clean!

All done!

tamara kate - bento bag - oprigami oasis5

Origami Oasis – Grassland Quilt

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis, Quilts, Tutorials | 6 Comments

tamara kate origami oasis grassland quilt

I created this quilt for my son who is a true colour lover. It suits his personality perfectly, as he is vivacious and fun-loving and loves imagining he is a wild animal (usually a lion), roaming the savannah that is our home, on a fairly regular basis.

My intention was to show off some of the larger scale prints in Origami Oasis and to capture the feel of colour moving across space. I used all the prints from the Grassland group, as well as Spot and Fold, both in Starfruit, from the Flower Fields group. To let all that colour have a chance to breathe a bit, the light & lovely Floret breaks things up. The binding is Crossing Paths in lime because I love the colour and because green was about the only colour I allowed to meander throughout the quilt top in a big way. And since I love making binding that has little variations throughout, I randomly interspersed tiny hits of other bold prints I had used in the top.

tamara kate origami oasis grassland quilt reds

The juicy orangey-reds.

tamara kate origami oasis grassland quilt blues

And the cool blues.

I think a quilt back is just another opportunity to be creative, so I centred the Oasis Border print in a field of Floret, much like a window into another world, added a rainbow band to tie in the fabrics used in the front and tried my hand at paper piecing for the first time in the addition of his sweet name. In all honesty, I need to find a better tutorial on paper piecing than the one I was working from… I mentally thanked Greg and myself many times for choosing a three-letter name for our boy while I reached for the seam ripper for the umpteenth time.

tamara kate origami oasis grassland quilt back

tamara kate origami oasis grassland quilt back2

tamara kate origami oasis grassland quilt back3

You can download full instructions for the free quilt top pattern here on the Michael Miller website. Enjoy!

Origami Oasis Quilted Tangram Pillow by Josee Carrier

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | 2 Comments

I first met Josee Carrier when I joined the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild (she is Vice President & a co-founder) late last year and have been an ardent admirer of her work ever since. Her background in engineering is highly evident in her quilting work with lovely technical piecing and hyper accurate quilting.

She also has two adorable little boys for whom she sews regularly, one of whom is the lucky recipient of her latest creation, a fun tangram pillow using Origami Oasis.

josee carrier

Come read all about it on the Michael Miller blog. You definitely don’t want to miss the beautiful quilting job she did on the back of it and she generously provides the paper piecing templates she created so you can make one of your own. You will also see the other sweet project she whipped up on the side, which I think I may have to copy for my own little boy.

Thank you, Josee! Your work continues to blow me away!

Origami Oasis pj’s by Elegance & Elephants

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | No Comments

elegance & elephants

Heidi of Elegance & Elephants sews lovely children’s clothing and designs gorgeous sewing patterns so that the rest of us can try to emulate a bit of her creativity for our own little ones. Today she has posted about creating this sweet sleepwear for her adorable children with Origami Oasis fabrics.

Head over to her blog to take a peek.

Thank you, Heidi!

ROAR! Elbow Patches – A Tutorial & A Giveaway!

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis, Tutorials | 3 Comments

photo #8 - tamara kate - ROAR elbow patches sm

Jazz up your little one’s long sleeve t-shirts or sweaters! It’s really simple … and cute too!

Come visit me on The Michael Miller blog for a guest post today, a tutorial for the ROAR! Elbow Patches, and a great giveaway!

fabric giveaway banner

Yes, ANOTHER GIVEAWAY, and not just fabric this time. There’s some artwork up for grabs, too! I’ll post more about that here shortly.

Origami Oasis Kite Dress by Probably Actually

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | 2 Comments

OK. I have to admit it… I have a sewing crush on Gail of Probably Actually! She makes the most lovely clothing for her children with well thought out fabric choices and her attention to detail is always spot-on! She was thus an automatic choice when I was thinking of bloggers I would like to approach about creating something with Origami Oasis. I have been waiting to see what she would come up with, and with this morning’s post, she certainly did not disappoint.

probably actuallyShe has created this sweet dress made with Mountain and Valley. This print is one that I imagined as a dynamic and easy-to-use accent for a gazillion projects, and so I am delighted to see it shine on its own here. Hop on over here and have a closer look at all the details (it is even lined in a gorgeous hot pink from Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture line) and while you’re there, I warn you, it’s easy to get lost in hours of browsing her previous sewing projects. If you have a little one to sew for, you will love it!

Thanks, Gail for inspiring and creating as you do!

Origami Oasis Fawn Lily Dress by EmmylouBeeDoo!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | No Comments


The talented Sarah of EmmylouBeeDoo! (remember the Shandiin Tunic?) created this sweet Fawn Lily dress for her daughter with Pride and Fold from Origami Oasis. I love that she opted for the bolder colour way of these fabrics for this pretty dress. Head on over to her blog to see more and to find out about the adorable pattern she used.

Thank you, Sarah for this delightful collaboration!

Origami Oasis Baby Quilt WIP by SewCanShe

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | No Comments

To get a taste of what other talented sewers are creating with Origami Oasis, I’ll lead you through the next few weeks to a number of wonderful blogs.

sew can she

We’ll start today with Caroline from SewCanShe who is hand quilting the sweetest whole cloth baby quilt. This is a wonderful example of how the Oasis Border fabric can be used to its full potential. And, well, you know how much I love hand stitching

Thanks Caroline for the loveliness. Can’t wait to see it all finished!