Monday, April 22, 2013

Origami Butterfly Tutorial

 Here are the instructions for folding the butterflies from the Origami Butterfly Wreath.  After a little more searching and digging I was able to find the original tutorial.  Hooray for credit where it's due!  I did mine a little differently because I had only scanned the instructions briefly before I link I had used stopped working.  It was weird.  Anyway, the original is here.

What you need:
Coordinating fabric scraps cut into rectangles.
Sewing machine and matching thread.

Tips before you start folding:

  • The rectangles work best when cut with a 1:1.5 ratio.  Example: 3 inches wide and 4.5 inches long.  A rectangle cut to this size made a butterfly that was 3 inches across at the wing tips and 1.75 inches across the middle.
  • The smaller the rectangle, the better the accent color part on the wings will stand up.
  • For clean finished edges (mine are just raw edges), add 1/2 inch to both the length and width to get 1/4 inch seam allowances all the way around.   Put right sides together and sew 1/4 inch on all sides, leaving a small opening to turn right side out.  Turn and press.  Edgestitch around all edges to close the opening OR use a hand needle and thread to close the opening if you don't want a seam around the edge.
  • For raw edges, put wrong sides together and stitch around the edges at about 1/4 inch to hold the pieces together.
  • If you want a special design to show it needs to go on both of the short ends to best be seen.

Folding Instructions:

Start with your main color DOWN and your accent color facing UP.
You can iron your fabric before folding if you want.  I didn't.

Fold in half crosswise (hamburger style) with the top going down to meet the bottom.

Fold in half crosswise again with the right side going over to meet the left.

Pull down the top left corner so the top layer opens out and the corner meets the inside crease in the middle. The top layer should have a triangle of the main color on top and a rectangle of accent color on the bottom.

Repeat with the reverse side.  It should now look like a house.  This is a good place to iron the point at the top of the house to keep the edge crisp.  I wish I'd done that with mine, as some of the points on the body didn't stay in place when I was all done.  This is the only place I would press it because I like the more 3D look of the butterflies that aren't pressed flat.

Take a middle corner and fold it back on itself to the inside of the rectangle.  It should form a triangle.  The top crease line of the triangle should line up with the bottom edge of the triangle.

 Repeat on the other side.

Take the bottom corner of the top layer and bring it up close to the point on top.  This forms the wings.  Pin in place.

Repeat on the other side and  turn so the butterfly is right side up.

To secure the butterfly, stitch the crease of the wing onto the body.

Sew as close to the point of the crease as possible so the stitch will be hidden under the accent part of the wing.  You can also hand stitch this area in place so you an really hide the stitches well.

There's your butterfly!  You can use it for just about anything that you want to embellish.  The next time I make these they'll be going on a dress and I'll probably make some to add to a headband for myself.

They look pretty good on a wreath, too.  ;)

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