Wallet tutorial

Here's hoping that I've come up with a simple project you may like - no zips - introducing...the fabric Wallet!

I was a bit worried about all the layers that need sewn through, but taking it slowly (and not sewing over any needles) and my machine didn't complain at all.  This may not be the prettiest wallet design out there, but it is quick and easy, and it works!    My man can testify to that as he's been trying out the prototypes....  This one has had a few outings now, didn't embarrass him at the pub, and of course, survived being sat on....

Requirements :
Wallet exterior and first interior fabric   9 1/2" x 4 3/4"
Fusible wadding / fleece  9" x 4 1/4"
Firm fusible interfacing 9" x 4 1/4"

Cash divider fabric  9 1/2" x 8"
firm fusible interfacing 9" x 3 3/4"

Card pockets fabric 9 1/2" x 18 1/8"
(optional clear PVC pocket is 9 1/2" x 4" folded in half along the width)

Closure tab fabric 2 x  2 3/4" x 1 1/2"
interfacing and fusible wadding 1" x 2 1/4"

Popper / snap fastening

Starting with the card pockets, take a marker (a Hera marker is perfect for this) and mark out the following sections.

The extra 1/8" accomodates all the folding, every time I tried with just 18" one end would be short...  just make sure when you come to the last fold and are ready to press the concertina as a whole, match up the two bottom edges first.  

Using these lines as your guide, and an iron to press as you go, fold up like a concertina.  You remember, fold then flip over, fold then flip over etc.  (It helped me to remember that each pocket is only just deep enough for the card to sit in, its not going all the way down!!)

Once you've given that a good firm press so it all stays put, you now need to mark out the card pocket widths.  You want the pockets to be good and tight around the card.  That way, when your man takes his wallet out at a busy supermarket checkout, all the cards don't fall out and scatter.... (prototype one was not too successful...)

Starting with a line marking the centre (width is 9 1/2" so your centre line is at 4 3/4") then do a line half an inch either side.  Then, with the centre line as your starting point, do another line 4" to the side to make your card slots.  Once you've marked these lines out, pin your fabric together in a few places so there's no shifting, and sew along your marked lines.  I found it very helpful to do this stage with a credit card handy to check each time that my pockets were still wide enough, but a nice neat fit.  
If you are adding the PVC pocket, then you'd want to position it on top (cut edges together in line with the bottom of the card pockets fabric folds).  A Teflon sewing machine foot is usually advisable for sewing through plastics, but these are just a few short lines, so taking things slowly it went okay.

Card pockets ready to sew

Cash pocket and closure tabs ready to iron

Now lets take our cash pocket section.  Fold in half length ways, and place your firm interfacing up to the fold, still leaving a 1/4" clear around the remaining 3 sides.  Iron on following manufacturers instructions. Iron your interfacing and fusible batting to your two closure tab pieces, and to the exterior and interior pieces. 

Interior and Exterior pieces ready to iron.
For the wallet exterior you have the option to do anything - piece a couple of mini blocks together, cross stitch, embroider....  In the interest of getting this done (I could take forever playing about with the exteriors...) I went for something very simple but I think kinda cool.   I used a black solid, and stitched a few simple lines in different coloured threads on it.  If you want to try this too, this is what happened..

I drew some random lines on paper to follow (I wanted straight lines, and without something to follow that was never gonna happen...) and I marked the corners of the wallet fabric just so that I knew where the edges would be.  I pinned the paper to the batting side (fused to fabric in last step) and followed my lines, putting different coloured threads in the bobbin each time.  

Carefully tear away all the paper and tidy (tie) the thread ends and that's the exterior done.  

Take the two closure tab pieces, right sides together, and sew round 3 sides.  Turn right way out, press and top stitch around the sewn edges.  

Now to assemble all the parts!  Interior down first, right side up.  On top, always lining up the bottom edge, next place the cash divider piece (folded edge to top!), then place the card pockets piece right side up.  On the right hand side, place the closure tab with the cut raw edge to the outside as diagram above.  On top of all that place the exterior wrong side up.  Carefully pin it all together.  
Now you need to sew round the edges, remembering to leave a gap (about 3" should do it, room for turning out).  I found out its easier to leave the gap a the top where you aren't sewing through ALL the layers.... 
Turn right sides out and hand stitch the opening closed!

Starting with the sticking out half of the popper snap fixing, (okay so I have no idea what you are supposed to call it) sew it on the inside end of the closure tab.  Reason we're starting with the "outie" bit is cos it means that you can use it to mark the position of where you need to sew the other bit...  Just close up the wallet, pull the closure tab over to closed position, and press down hard on the back of the popper you just sewed in.  That should leave a mark, which now shows you exactly where you want to sew the other half of the popper snap fixing.

You want to stitch them tight, and you also want to check you have them the right way round first....  
Et voila!  Fabric wallet done.  


  1. This is so cute! I'm going to try it out, and I"ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the tutorial. :D

  2. I've been looking for a tutorial for this type of wallet. I'm so happy I found your blog with the easily downloadable tutorial! THANK YOU!!