Tutorial : Pleats on the Origami Coat

As promised, here is a step by step tutorial for making the pleats on the Lalimaya Origami Coat

These fan pleats are located on the upper sleeves (4 pleats) and on the right front of the coat (3 pleats). I made the tutorial using the upper sleeve pieces, the fan pleats are done exactly the same way for the right front.


Me in my Origami coat

On the pics, the sleeve changes color from step to step (once red once gray), don’t worry about it, it’s just because my sleeves are different colors and I took the best photo for each step. The weather was overcast, no light, I hope that the pics will still be good enough.

You’ll see, even if it seems complicated when you see the finished coat, it really is not !

And now, the tutorial !


Draw the fold lines according to the pattern on the right side of the fabric, with chalk.

Also mark the small arrows in the seam allowance, which indicate how to fold.

Tuto manche plis origami

Fold lines and arrows on the right side of the fabric – Upper sleeve piece


Fold lines and arrows on the right side of the fabric – Right front piece


On the right side of the sleeve, fold and pin pleats, wrong sides together, matching fold lines that go together (see arrows).

Right side of the sleeve – Match fold lines, according to the arrows.

Right side of the sleeve – the pleat has wrong sides together.

Right side of the sleeve – pin along the fold line – view from one side of the pleat

Right side of the sleeve – view from the other side of the pleat – The black pin marks the tip of the pleats


Choose a thread matching your fabric well as the seam is on the right side and could be seen at the tip of the folds. If your fabric is a print, select a thread color matching the background.


Stitch the pleats

Stitch along the fold line, being careful not to catch another fold, especially at the tip.

Stitch on the fold line – On the right side of the sleeve !

right side of the sleeve, one pleat stitched (on the right)

Cut threads.

Do the same for the other pleats.

Right side of the sleeve – all 4 pleats stitched

Wrong side of the upper sleeve – all 4 pleats stitched

Shape the pleats

Shape the pleats so that they are equally distributed on both sides of their stitching line.

The pleat should be evenly distributed on both sides of the stitching line.

Pleat  evenly distributed – View from the wrong side of the upper sleeve

Pin in place.

Pin the pleat – View from the right side of the upper sleeve

Pin the pleat – View from the wrong side of the upper sleeve

Press, steam, watch out for the pins

Do a press test on a scrap before ironing the sleeve itself, if necessary, use a press cloth between your fabric and the iron to protect the the fabric.

Right side  – Pleats pressed and steamed.

Wrong side  – Pleats pressed and steamed.


On the wrong side of the sleeve cut the excess fabric that goes beyond the curve.

On the wrong side, cut the excess fabric that goes beyond the curve.

On the right side, topstitch the pleats within the seam allowance so that they stay in place/shape during future handling of the pieces.

topstitch the pleats within the seam allowance.

And voilà ! Pleats done !

Sleeves fan pleats done !

Origami manteau profil

Side, left sleeve

As mentioned above, proceed in exactly the same way for the 3 fan pleats on the right front !

Origami coat – Lalimaya

Here is, at last, my origami coat for which you have helped me pick a color block version. Thank you!

So as usual the pictures are at the end of the article after all my babbling ! 😉



It’s in the title, this origami coat is a Lalimaya (small French company) pattern. It is available in a child or adult version.

It’s a lined coat with: stand up collar, inseam pockets and of course the pleats without which it could not be called the Origami Coat. Fan pleats are on the right front and sleeve heads. Regular pleats give texture to the belt band at the back. There is no shoulder pads.

drawing of the “manteau origami” from Lalimaya


woman origami coat – Lalimaya



Child origami coat – Lalimaya


This is stated on Lalimaya’s website, and I agree, I would not recommend this pattern as a first coat. Construction may be a headache for a beginner as the instructions are not illustrated. But if you’ve already done one or two coats and you like this one, go ahead, this is truly a unique design !

Hum, of course there is also the language barrier… This is only available in French. You’ll find a French-English sewing dictionary on my blog to help you. I could also translate the instructions if a few need it.

[box type=”warning”] It is important to be careful when you place the pattern pieces on the fabric before cutting. Indeed, this coat has different pieces for the right-front and the left-front and mistakes happen quickly.

But if you pay attention to the cutting layout everything should go smoothly. But check twice that you didn’t put a piece on the wrong side. AND, following the cutting layout, when you’ll cut on a single layer for front-left and front-right pieces, you’ll have to lay your pattern on the right side of the fabric.

Seam allowance is not included ! As per the pattern instructions, you’ll have to add 1cm everywhere and 4cm for hems. [/box]


There is no size chart on the pattern. So, to pick the size, I started by measuring the lining pattern pieces and compared the measurements to a coat that fits me well. By this little comparison I chose size 40 (French size).

BUT for a coat which requires more work and time than a simple blouse, I did not stop there.
To confirm that this was the right size, I made a quick muslin of the lining (right front + left front + back) in a bed sheet that was lying there (oops!).

I also drew, on the lining back, the belt band to be sure that it sat in the right spot for me (it did).

Everything was fine so I traced the size 40.

Of course when trying the muslin on, to be sure that the ease will be sufficient, try it with the clothes you will probably wear underneath and not just a bra… Although some might… Nop, that doesn’t concern me … : D


  • Outer fabric : a red wool and a gray wool. Well not wool actually it’s synthetic fibres.
  • Lining: a printed cotton by Melissa Crowley for Robert Kaufman: “The woman spring bouquet” ; bought at Hawthorne threads.

The iron really steamed to construct this coat, because in many places we are left with 4 layers of fabric to sew together and I didn’t pick the lightest fabric there is. I had to grade the seams and press like crazy to tame the 4 layers that are in the seam where the pleats meet the armhole and the right-front lining.

caban gris caban rouge

Origami coat fabric

After “preselecting” 4 color-block versions that I liked, it was you who decided that I’d make this version here. The vote took place a few weeks ago : Origami Coat : help needed ! Thank you again for your votes, without you I would still be deciding ! Version #2 won with a comfortable lead.


tough choice !


– 121 voters and 151 votes (you weren’t that many to choose two versions)
– Version #2 wins with 65 votes out of 151!
– Followed in order by versions #4, #1 and #3.



(or not)

Nothing much,  I only interfaced a collar piece (the inner one that attaches to the lining).

Oh and also (this is not really a change, but well …) instead of drawing a seam allowance of 1cm I drew a 1.5 cm seam allowance, simply because I am more used to sewing with this measure. If you do the same, do think to add a seam allowance ot of 4.5 cm instead of 4 cm for the hems.

I thought for a moment to make front facing pieces from the lining pattern. But after testing buttonholes I didn’t : 3 layers of outer fabric + lining was fine but with 4 layers of outer fabric the buttonhole was a mess. So basically no change in design from the original pattern.


J’adore ! I love it ! Well, not much more to add, this is truly a unique design.

The sewing of the pleats really deserves care because it is the focal point of this coat.  I took pictures during construction and I will make a little tutorial for this. I hope it will help those who want to sew the Origami coat.


Thanks to my mother in law, Maryse, for taking pictures of me wearing my new coat!


Manteau origami lalimaya

Origami coat in the wind

Origami manteau profil

Side, left sleeve

manteau origami détail col

collar + button detail

Origami coat in the wind, again !

Label, bought at Lalimaya’s also !

Me in my coat !

Manteau origami lalimaya profil

Side !

manteau origami dos


manteau origami dos lalimaya

Origami coat back

manteau origami face

Origami coat front

manteau origami doublure


I took me 4 afternoons to sew this coat (cutting not included).

Origami coat : help needed !

I’m going to sew the Origami coat by Lalimaya and I need your opinion!

I have several versions in my head and I can not choose one. So I put up a small poll (see below to vote) to ask you which version(s) you prefer, and help me decide!

But first a quick word so you know what’s it’s all about !

The pattern

Manteau Origami de Lalimaya = Origami coat by Lalimaya

There are women and children patterns for this coat. I intended to also make one for Petite Chérie (DD) this winter but given the stock of coats she already has, it wouldn’t be wise… So she’ll have one next year … or the one after that.


Woman origami coat – Lalimaya



Origami coat



Here are the fabrics that I picked :
  • For the outer fabric : a red wool and a gray wool.
  • For the lining: printed cotton by Melissa Crowley: “The woman spring bouquet” (odd name in French !). It is ordered but not yet received, I can not wait!

The sleeve lining will be in white satin for a good “slip” when you put on the coat. I may add a flannel interlining to make the coat warmer… I’ll see… Anyway it won’t have any impact on the look of the coat.

Fabrics chosen for the Origami coat – Lalimaya

The versions

Lalimaya designed her pattern in such a way that a multitude of fabric combinations are possible. That’s great to make a really personal coat.

My style is fairly classic, that’s why I used only plain fabric on the outside. After playing with my drawing software, here are the possible versions I picked… And between which I can’t make a choice !

Clic to enlarge

Difficult choice !

Vote !

The vote happens on my French blog, so all numbers will be adding up in one place. I created a special page there for English readers, right here : Poll for Origami Coat.

Both “French” and “English” votes are recorded there.

Thank you !

I’m hoping to do a quick muslin of the lining (to check if my size choice is the right one) and trace the pattern in the upcoming week. Alas, I’m not at home this weekend (Paris here I come !) so I won’t be able to advance quickly !

[box type=”info”] Poll is closed and the “winner” is version #2 !

Thanks a lot to everyone who voted, you did help me pick a design… Pretty sure I’d still be at it without you ! Thank you ![/box]

Poppy dress

This pretty poppy dress is the first dress sewn with my Petite Chérie (my 8 years old DD… No, that’s not her real name).

Petite Chérie was super proud of the result and wore the dress the next day, telling everyone who would listen (or not ^ ^): “I did it … with Mom. I cut here and there and I sewed here and there. ” She was delighted!

Pattern & Fabric

The pattern is in fact a sewing kit from Lalimaya called “Kit robe coquelicot”, here in size “8 ans” (8 years old). It’s a little A line dress with a unique poppy print.

Lalimaya is a small French sewing patterns company which offers patterns, kits and books.

This sew kit includes : (from left to right in the picture) the fabric and patterns for the facings, the “Poppy” fabric with the pattern already traced in the size that was ordered, two buttons and fasteners, instructions.

Price: 32 € to 35 € depending on size (2 – 8 years).

Kit Lalimaya robe coquelicot

Le Kit de la robe Coquelicot de Lalimaya

When I saw the kit, I immediately thought it would be a perfect and easy project to sew with Petite Chérie. And I totally fell in love with the beautiful print, which is a Lalimaya design !

I admit that the price might have stopped me but I took advantage of a 20% discount code at the time. When you think about the supplies and work done to make this kit an easy and fast sewing project : the price is reasonable. Especially since the quality of the printed fabric is beautiful. And a pretty dress like that in store is at least that price (in France anyway).


Nothing that has changed the design of the dress.

After measuring the pattern is was clear, as I expected, that the dress would be just a little tight for Petite Chérie who wears a size “10 years”… But the larger size for the kit was 8. So to get a little more ease we :

  • Added 0.5 cm on the sides of the dress on the front and back: from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom of the dress. You can see the red lines on the picture of Petite Chérie cutting the dress (see below).
  • Used a smaller sewing allowance. o,6 cm instead of 1 cm.
  • After fitting I also decided to make a hem slightly smaller (1.5 cm) than the one recommended in the instructions (3 cm), Petite Chérie is tall.

That’s it !


Nothing difficult. The dress has three pieces: a front and two half-backs. It closes at the upper back by one or two buttons. The sleeves and neckline are finished with facings. If you sew this dress yourself, it is done in a morning.

But before starting, I wasn’t at ease… Petite Chérie is 8 years old and at 8 years old it’s a bit difficult to stay focus for too long. So I told myself that if necessary we would make the dress in several short sessions.

That’s what we did, we spread it over the day.

It must be said that Petite Chérie listens to her mother… Sometimes… And with a pair of scissors in a child hand, horrible things (like cutting inside the dress pattern) can happen quickly. But I told myself that if I wanted her to gain confidence I needed to let her do things, under my supervision. I had to limit the “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh be careful !” “Noooooo not like that”. In short I was a little tense.

I let her cut the dress and she just asked for my help to cut the curves because she had trouble with the big scissors.

She assembled the dress all by herself and I did all the less funny stuff: serging, facings, sewing buttons, … Well of course there were some unavoidable not-so-straight seams but overall she did a very good job !

And all went well ! She learned some basics for cutting and sewing and she’s very proud to wear a pretty dress SHE made… I think that if all goes according to plan, she’ll embrace the dark side soon ^^.


Petite Chérie cutting the dress.

Petite Chérie sewing the back and front together.

Robe coquelicot Lalimaya

Front - Poppy dress

Dos robe coquelicot Lalimaya

back - Poppy dress

Détail of the butterfly on the back.

Robe coquelicot lalimaya

Worn by Petite Chérie