Somewhere between paper and felt lives a versatile and interesting substrate called Kraft-Tex – a paper product that washes, cuts, and sews like fabric, but looks and feels like leather as it softens and wears. Our friends at Fat Quarter Shop carry a range of it in vibrant colors as well as some muted naturals. They were generous enough to send us some Kraft-Tex samples with which to experiment … and play. And play we did. This stuff is fun! These Mini Wallet Card Cases are a fast and easy project and a great introduction to working with Kraft-Tex. You may also be able to find it at your local craft store.
Kraft-Tex has a distressed finish. One side of the product is smooth and the other side has a slightly sueded feel. To iron the product, use a hot iron (cotton/linen setting) and generous steam. We tested it both with and without a pressing cloth. Without gave the flattest finish.
It’s a dream to stitch with. We added an accent band with decorative stitches that wraps around and forms the snap tab.
When sewing with Kraft-Tex, it is important to remember that the perforations from pins and needles are permanent. This means it’s best not to use pins to hold the layers in place. Paper clips or sewing clips are a good substitute for securing the layers, and clear cellophane tape works well for holding layers in place until sewn.
To make the crisp fold lines needed for the card cases, we used a paper embossing tool. This tool is most commonly used in paper crafting along with a stencil to create a raised surface, but the small ball tip is also great for scoring a straight line without any worry about cutting or tearing the surface of the Kraft-Tex. To complete the fold, the side of the embossing tool is perfect for setting a final crease.
To cut Kraft-Tex, small, sharp paper scissors work well – especially for curves. You can use a rotary cutter and cutting mat for straight cuts. To help prevent the ruler from slipping, we used a wide ruler (6”) with Omnigrid Invisi-Grip applied to the back side of the ruler. It worked very well to hold everything perfectly straight when transferring the marked lines from the paper pattern to the Kraft-Tex.
There’s a free downloadable pattern below for both the main body of the wallet and the accent band. We’ve included helpful markings for the fold lines, snaps, and the pocket cut-out curves. The double pockets are sized to fit credit or gift cards, folded bills or business cards.
Kraft-Tex comes in lots of great colors, so if making these as gifts, it’s easy to customize them for each recipient with a special color combination and even with different decorative stitches.
Our Mini Wallet Card Cases finish at approximately 4¼” x 2¾” when closed and 4¼” x 5½” when open (excluding the tab).
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Open Toe Satin Stitch foot; optional but helpful for decorative stitching
- Zipper foot; optional
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Supplies shown are for ONE Mini Wallet Card Case.
- TWO 8½” x 11” sheets of Kraft-Tex or similar cuts in coordinating colors
NOTE: The main body pattern requires an approximate 5” x 10 piece and the accent band requires an approximate 2” x 10 strip. Cutting very carefully and butting the pattern pieces side-by-side, you can cut two body pieces from one 8½” x 11” sheet.
- All purpose thread to match both colors of Kraft-Tex
- 40wt rayon embroidery thread in a contrasting color for the decorative stitching; we used a silvery gray
- ONE size 24 cap style snap; we used nickel – you can also get colored caps
- Appropriate setting tools for your chosen snap; if using the SnapSetter kits, the size 16 also fits the size 24 snaps. In fact, snap sizes 16, 18, 20 and 24 all use the same size tool
- See-through ruler; a non-slip ruler is best or adhere a non-slip backing to your standard ruler
- Paper embossing tool; optional, but very helpful to crease the folds in the Kraft-Tex without any worry of tearing the paper; a point turner, yarn needle or bone folder are other options
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Small, sharp paper scissors
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Paper clips or sewing clips
- Clear cellophane tape
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download Pattern: Download and print out our ONE pattern sheet, which contains both the pattern for the main body as well as the snap band.
IMPORTANT: This pattern page is ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out each pattern piece along the solid line.
- As mentioned above, you can choose either the smooth side or slightly sueded side of the Kraft-Tex as your “right side.” We chose the smooth side as the right side for the main body piece and the sueded side as the right side for the snap band.
- Press the Kraft-Tex, using a generous amount of steam. A pressing cloth is not required, but in some of our tests, the iron did leave a very slight shine behind.
- From the Kraft-Tex for the accent snap band, cut ONE 1¾” wide x approximate 10” strip. We simply cut the full length of our standard sheet. This is the same width as the snap band pattern but includes extra length, which will be used later to best center the decorative stitching. The band will be trimmed to its exact pattern length prior to application.
- We also trimmed a tiny sliver from the outer edge of our sheet to insure we had a perfectly straight cut on either side of our strip.
- From the Kraft-Tex for the main body piece, use the pattern to cut ONE 4¼” x 9” rectangle.
- With the pattern in place, trace the upper and lower pocket curves.
- Using the small, sharp paper scissors, cut out both curves.
- Place the main body piece and its pattern side by side, being extra careful to be sure they align top to bottom.
- To transfer the fold lines from the pattern piece, place a ruler along the center fold line with the ruler extending across the Kraft-Tex piece. The ruler should be long enough to extend over both the pattern and the Kraft-Tex in order to hold both securely.
- Use an embossing tool or similar to score the Kraft-Tex. This will leave a distinct line, perfect for folding.
- Repeat to transfer and score the top and bottom fold lines in the same manner.
- Fold along an outer scored line (top or bottom to start), then further crease the fold, using the side of the embossing tool.
- Repeat to fold and crease the other two lines in the same manner.
At Your Sewing Machine
Add the decorative stitching to the snap band
- Select two decorative stitches for the snap band. We chose Heirloom Stitch 04 and Heirloom Stitch 12 from the selection on our Janome MC9900, set to a 9mm width. Each brand of machine has a different selection of decorative stitches. Test your chosen stitches on a scrap of Kraft-Tex to confirm the stitches themselves as well as the appropriate width and length settings.
- Thread the machine with the contrasting rayon embroidery thread in the top and bobbin. If possible, switch to a decorative stitch foot; we used the Janome Open Toe Satin Stitch foot. Kraft-Tex is a very sturdy product with a nice stiffness, so it did not require any stabilizer.
- As mentioned above, we chose the sueded side of the Kraft-Tex as the right side of our decorative snap band.
- Stitch one outer row to start. We used Heirloom Stitch 12 on each side of our snap band strip. Using the edge of the foot as a guide, edgestitch the length of the strip.
- Re-set and stitch the opposite outer row.
- Switch to your center stitch selection; we used Heirloom Stitch 04. Center the foot between the two outer rows of decorative stitching and sew the length of the strip.
- This accent band is the feature embellishment on the mini wallet card cases so it is important your stitching is precise and even. This is never a problem on our Janome machines, but if you feel your first attempt at stitching on the band is not your best, try, try again! The band uses just a small amount of the Kraft-Tex so you should have plenty with which to work.
- Transfer the fold lines from the snap band pattern piece to the stitched snap band in the same manner as you did above for the main body piece. Place the pattern and the Kraft-Tex side by side. The ends of the snap band will extend beyond the pattern piece on each end. Center the band to best feature the stitching, then trim each end with a rotary cutter to match the length of the pattern piece.
- Place a ruler along each fold line and use the embossing tool to score the Kraft-Tex.
- There are five fold lines to transfer and crease on the snap band.
- As above, fold at each scored line, then crease using the side of the embossing tool. Notice that one end of the band is folded in the opposite direction. This end is part of the tab for the decorative side of the snap.
Add the snaps to the accent snap band
- Fold the bottom end of the snap band (the single ¼” fold). Fold the top tab end (the second fold line at the opposite end). With both ends folded, fold the paper pattern in the same manner and use the pattern to mark each end of the snap band for the two halves of the snap.
- We used Size 24 decorative cap snaps for our sample. These snaps have strong prongs that can go through the layers of Kraft-Tex but are not so long as to create extra bulk.
- Place the Kraft-Tex in position over the pronged side of the snap, and gently work the prongs through the Kraft-Tex. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to complete the snap or, if you’re brand new to working with snaps, take a look at our Sewing with Snaps tutorial.
- The decorative cap side of the snap will be applied through two layers of Kraft-Tex at the tab top of the band. The remaining side of the snap is applied through a single layer (just above the folded edge) at the bottom of the band.
Attach the snap band to the main body piece
- Find the main body piece and place it right side up and flat on your work surface. With the creasing, it won’t lay perfectly flat – just make sure the pockets are not yet folded into position.
- Center the snap band right side up on the body piece.
- The center fold of the snap band should align with the center fold of the main body piece.
- The ends of the snap band should be folded under. The bottom fold-under on the tab should not exactly align with the left fold line of the card case. At the top of the band, the first small “fold” is not really a fold; this ¼” should actually be flat and should extend slightly to the left of the fold line on the card case. The tab fold (the second top fold) should sit slightly to the right of the card case fold line. If all this positioning is making your head spin, just remember that you want the top and bottom folds of the accent band to be slightly off-set from the folds of the card case in order to allow the band to better wrap around the bulk of the card case. Only the center folds are perfectly aligned. In addition, that upper ¼” flat raw end of the accent band needs to extend toward the center of the card case so it will be caught in the edgestitching that attaches the band to the case.
- When positioned properly, tape the accent band in place.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the accent band in the top and to best match the main body piece in the bobbin. We re-set for a slightly lengthened straight stitch (3.0mm). You’ll remove the tape as you sew.
- Start stitching at a bottom corner, pulling the bobbin thread to the top to avoid any noticeable knots.
- Stitch across the end. If you find you are too close to the snap, you can adjust your needle position. Or, you can do all of this topstitching with a Zipper foot.
- As shown in the photo below, you are stitching just to the left of the card case fold. As described above, this positioning of the seam is important in order to allow the case to fold-up properly.
- Pivot and stitch up the long side, then pivot and stitch across at the top, again making sure you are staying just to the left of the card case fold. This is the seam that catches the top raw end.
- Pivot and stitch down the remaining long side, ending at the corner where you began. If possible, use a lock stitch to secure or leave the thread tails long and knot at the inside, trimming the thread tails close.
- The illustration below shows the position of the large rectangle you are topstitching to secure the snap band to the body of the case.
Fold the pockets and stitch to finish
- Once the decorative snap band is stitched, you can fold the pockets into place. Use sewing clips or paper clips to hold the layers in place.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the main body in both the top and bobbin. Keep the slightly lengthened stitch. Starting at one corner, edgestitch through all layers of the first side. To avoid knots or tangles, pull the bobbin thread to the top, and start stitching about ¼” in from the corner. Reverse the stitching to the edge and then stitch forward to secure the ends.
- Continue stitching across the pocket, through the center, and across the other pocket, removing the clips as you sew.
- To finish, stitch all the way to the end, then reverse stitch about ¼”. Trim all the thread tails very close. Repeat for the second side.
- Here’s a view of the inside with both sides complete.
- Fold the case in half and fasten the snap. Press the folds in place, using the iron with plenty of steam.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Notes: Michele Mishler