Thursday, January 05, 2012

DIY Wallet

As a Christmas present for my friend Beth I remembered that she had been looking for a new wallet.  I thought being the crafty person I am i would take a crack at it.  So this is my step by step photos of my process.

First and most important was getting the basic size down, I used a combination of my current wallet and several cards to decide how many pockets it needed an the size.  The tricky part is to take into account the bulk each layer would add.  I decided it would be best to work larger and trim it down as needed.  I made my paper templates for the sizes and started to get to work.  I decided on 3 rows of pockets making 6 total then a full pocket for cash and putting in some thick interfacing to help it hold the rectangular shape.  It was for a folding wallet.

After cutting my pieces with the rotary blade to ensure I had the most straight lines I sewed down the tops of the pockets to keep them neat.  Using my teflon foot to glide easily over the sometimes sticky cloth laminate I chose. Ideally if I  had my walking foot I would of used that instead since the teeth would of sandwiched and pulled the laminate cloth evenly despite the stick.

After all the pockets were stitched down I lined up all the pieces to check on the bulk against the wallet cover which would need to be the largest so I could sew over the edges to bind it all in.

All lined up before the interfacing and the middle line stitch where the wallet will fold.

Testing the size before I make the final middle seam stitch.

This is a place where I messed up.  I sewed the middle seam stitch directly onto the entire wallet minus the outer portion which you see hanging here.  I thought I was being brilliant then found I was not, since I also seamed up at the same time the open full pocket that is supposed to carry the unfolded cash. That was probably one of the most annoying seams I have had to rip out  I had to do it carefully as to not rip or mess up the integrity of the laminate.

This is after it was all squared away, with the full pocket unhindered by a needless seam.

Final test with some cash money and cards before I make the last binding seam.

The project is done!
To help keep the fold/crease with the interfacing in I folded it and waited it down for a week. You could also carefully score the interfacing kind of like you did for your foam board science project presentations.

I did normal inside out seams for 3 sides and left the bottom open where i folded the excess fabric over and top stitched it down to enclose everything.  That was one of the hardest parts with the laminate sticking and it being so narrow.  I used a good amount of low residue painters tape to hold it in place because I didn't want excess punctures from pins.  Small binder clips work well for this also just mind that they don't get caught on your sewing bed as you are doing it. 

The inside of the full pocket I lined with fabric as a contrast and to help stiffen up the laminate fabric. When you have two facing sides of laminate that can be bad news because they will want to stick together and depending on the quality they might stick to the point where it tears the laminate off of one of the sides.



  1. i love ur wallet!! u r very crafty lady. hooorah to u!!

    1. Thank you! It was a bit of a pain trying to work the seams so close to the edge with all the bulk.

  2. That's so cute. ^^ I'm thinking of adding a small hole for some trinkets. Thanks for tutorial.