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Fabulous Fabric Wallet: Double Bill Pockets, Six Card Pockets & Zippered Coin Pocket

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I’m privileged to have my dad’s wallet. It’s a wide fold-over style in soft brown leather with several pockets, his name embossed in gold along the top of one of them. I can remember him pulling a coin out of it to give to me. Even with all the digital options out there for transacting purchases on your smart phone, I still like to carry a wallet. Although leather is traditional, today’s wallets come in all shapes and sizes and substrates. We’ve created ours in a pair of gorgeous quilting cottons with lots of fully-finished pockets and a zippered coin pocket in case you come across a treat you need. Although, it’s likely to take more than just one coin these days! 

We offer a downloadable pattern set with all the pieces you need. You can be confident everything will come together with a perfect fit. Take the time to read through the Getting Started section a couple times so you can keep track of each layer of fabric as well as the corresponding pieces of interfacing.

After rolling the puzzle around in our brains for several days and creating enough prototypes to fill up the studio’s wastebasket, designer Alicia Thommas figured out the best way to insure all the pockets were beautifully finished… AND she did it with a minimum number of layers. Other than the back of the zipper tape and one hidden seam allowance, each and every pocket is beautiful inside and out. Around here, we call that, “wearing the pants of smartness,” which sounds much more elegant than simply, “smarty pants!”

As the title states, you get NINE pockets in a variety of sizes. There are six card slots, perfectly sized for credit, debit, and gift cards. The top edge of each pocket has a line of stabilizing edgestitching so they will hold up to sliding all those important cards in and out.

There’s a dollar bill pocket behind the credit card pocket tier plus a second dollar bill pocket behind the zippered pocket. You can stash lots o’ cash.

And, there’s a handy zippered pocket to hold coins and more. In reality, you can put whatever you want in the zippered area. It’s a great option for anything you want to keep a bit more secure.

The wallet folds up and snaps closed with a pretty pointed flap. The exterior is sleek and smooth… nothing to catch or snag as you slide it into another bag or tote.

We recommend taking the time to do a great fussy cut on your exterior panel fabric. We loved working the Florabelle Filigree from Joel Dewberry. The floral medallions were excellent focal points, with a stand-out pink medallion in the exact center, right where the point of the flap comes down to snap closed.

Our Fabulous Fabric Wallet finishes at 8½” wide x 4” high when closed and 8½” wide x 8” high when open.

Sewing Tools You Need


Fabric and Other Supplies

  • ⅓ yard EACH of TWO coordinating 44"+ wide quilting weight cottons for the exterior and the lining; we used Filigree in Sedona and Andes in Sedona both from the Florabelle collection by Joel Dewberry for FreeSpirit Fabrics
    NOTE: We recommend a dominant pattern for what will become the exterior (as well as some interior panels), like the beautiful Filigree floral medallions we chose; then select a coordinating petite pattern, like the Andes tiny triangles we chose, for what will be the main interior (as well as some other panel accents).
  • ⅓ yard of 20"+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shape Flex
  • ¼ yard of 45"+ wide mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Decor Bond
  • ONE apx. ½” snap; we used a Dritz® Mini Anorak Snap in Antique Brass
  • Appropriate setting tools for the snap; the Dritz® Mini Anorak Snaps came with their own setting tool
  • ONE 7" zipper
  • All-purpose sewing thread to match fabric
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • See-through ruler
  • Seam gauge 
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Small hammer to help cut hole for snap; we recommend a ball peen hammer

Getting Started & Pattern Download

  1. Download and print the Fabric Wallet pattern set.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern set download consists of FIVE 8½" x 11" sheets. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out each of the pattern pieces along the solid line.
  3. Using the arrows on the two parts for the Wallet Body, but together these two pieces and tape (do not overlap) to create the full Wallet Body pattern. The other three patterns are all single pieces.
  4. From the fabric for the exterior as well as some interior panels (the Filigree in our sample) fussy cut the following:
    Using the assembled Wallet Body pattern, cut ONE

    Using the Credit Card Pocket pattern, cut ONE
    Using the Zippered Pocket pattern, cut ONE
  5. From the fabric for the interior as well as some other panel accents (the Andes in our sample) fussy cut the following:
    Using the assembled Wallet Body pattern, cut ONE
    Using the Credit Card Pocket pattern, cut TWO
    Using the Zippered Pocket pattern, cut ONE
    Using the Snap Flap pattern, cut TWO
  6. From the mid-weight fusible interfacing (the Décor Bond in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 1” squares to reinforce the snaps
    Using the assembled Wallet Body pattern, but following the dotted stitch line rather than the outer solid line, cut ONE
    Using the Zippered Pocket pattern, but following the dotted stitch line rather than the outer solid line along the top and the sides and the center fold line along the bottom, cut ONE
    Using the Snap Flap pattern, but following the dotted stitch line rather than the outer solid line, cut ONE
  7. From the lightweight fusible interfacing (the Shape Flex in our sample), cut the following:
    Using the assembled Wallet Body pattern, but following the dotted stitch line rather than the outer solid line, cut ONE
    Using the Credit Card Pocket pattern, but following the dotted stitch line rather than the outer solid line, cut THREE
    Using the Snap Flap pattern, but following the dotted stitch line rather than the outer solid line, cut ONE

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Fusing the interfacing

  1. Following the detailed list of cuts in the Getting Started section above, pair up an interfacing panel with its appropriate fabric panel.
  2. The only fabric panel that does not have a matching interfacing panel is the zipper pocket lining panel. In addition, do NOT fuse the interfacing panel to the zipper pocket exterior panel at this point. It needs to remain free to allow it to work as a template for creating the zipper window further on in the instructions.
  3. In all cases, the interfacing should be centered so there is ¼” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing.
  4. Once properly placed, follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse.
  5. On the Snap Flap pieces, interface one piece with the lightweight interfacing and one piece with the mid-weight.
  6. Find one of the 1” interfacing squares. Trim it into a triangle shape and fuse it at the point of the Snap Flap triangle with the mid-weight interfacing. This reinforcing layer goes over the main layer of interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric panel.

Setting the snap half on the exterior body

  1. Find the main exterior panel, which should have its interfacing panel fused in place. Set the panel right side up and flat on your work surface. Overlay the panel with the Wallet Body pattern and use the pattern’s guide and a pin to mark the center point for the snap half.
  2. Transfer the pin point to the fabric panel with a mark from a fabric pen or pencil.
  3. Insert the pin all the way through the panel, then flip over the panel and set the remaining 1” square of interfacing in place over this marked point. As above with the Snap Flap, this extra layer of interfacing acts as reinforcement for the snap.
  4. Using your favorite method, cut a small hole at the marked point. We used the cutting tool that is part of the Dritz® Mini Anorak snap set along with a ball peen hammer.
  5. You can also use a rivet cutting tool, an awl or even a tiny pair of scissors to cut the hole.
  6. Insert the snap stud from back to front through the hole.
  7. Place the cap ring over the stud and seal.

    NOTE: Snaps are really quite easy to insert. The hardest part is making sure you have your placement correct. And, since we included a placement guide right on the pattern piece, your job is even easier. If you are brand new to working with metal hardware, we have a great tutorial on Inserting Metal Snaps as well as Inserting Metal Rivets, which are quite similar to snaps.

Credit card pockets

NOTE: As we move through the construction process, re-thread as needed to insure you are always working with matching thread to the fabric panel on which you are stitching.

  1. Find the three credit card pocket panels. Fold each panel in half lengthwise and right sides together. Pin in place, leaving an approximate 2” opening on the long side of each.
  2. Using a ¼“ seam allowance, sew both sides and across what will become the bottom of each pocket. Remember to pivot at the corners and to leave that approximate 2” opening along the bottom for turning.
  3. Clip the corners and turn the pocket right side out through the opening. Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A chopstick, long knitting needle or point turner works well for this. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press flat.
  4. Along the top edge of each pocket (the folded edge is the top edge), edgestitch all the way across the panel. This edgestitching stabilizes and reinforces the top of each pocket to help it withstand the pulling it will endure as cards are inserted and removed. As noted above, re-thread as needed with thread to best match each pocket fabric. We also recommend a slightly lengthened stitch for this edgestitching.
  5. The Wallet Body pattern has helpful color-coded lines for the placement of each pocket. You can transfer these lines to your fabric panel with a fabric pen or pencil or you can simply measure the distances and use your ruler to confirm placement.
  6. Place the upper pocket in position first. Remember the top is the folded edge with the edgestitching. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  7. Keeping the slightly lengthened stitch, edgestitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. This seam seals the opening used for turning.
    NOTE: We continued to use our Quarter Inch Seam foot, stitching with the guide slightly off to the side as this is not a ¼” seam; it is an edgestitch, which should be approximately ⅛” from the pocket’s edge.
  8. Following the guide lines on the pattern, set the second pocket into position. The top of this pocket is ½” below the top of the first pocket. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom. Then stitch in place as above.
  9. Following the guide lines on the pattern, set the third pocket into position. The top of this final pocket is ½” below the top of the second pocket. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom. 
  10. Stitch in place as above.
  11. Measure and draw a vertical line, using a fabric pen or pencil, down the exact center of the pocket tier.
  12. Stitch along the drawn line through all the layers to create the six finished pockets.
  13. Set aside the exterior panel.

Zippered pocket

  1. Find the two fabric layers for the zippered pocket, the one interfacing layer, and the zipper. Also collect the Zippered Pocket pattern piece and a pencil.
  2. Place the interfacing over the top half of the pattern piece, aligning the edges of the interfacing on the dotted seam line.
  3. Trace the zipper window onto the right side (the non-fusible side) of the interfacing.
  4. Place the interfacing into position on the wrong side of the exterior zippered pocket panel. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
  5. Place the exterior zippered pocket panel (with the drawn box) right sides together with the lining zippered pocket panel. The raw edges of both layers should be flush. Pin together the layers.
  6. Stitch along the perimeter of the drawn box, using a shortened stitch length, through both layers.
  7. Again following the drawn lines, cut through the center of the box, then clip into each corner. You are cutting through both layers.
  8. Turn the pocket right side out through the window opening, smoothing the corners of the box. Your layers are now wrong sides together. Press flat.
  9. Place the zipper behind the opening, centering the coil in the window. Pin in place. 
  10. Re-set the stitch length to normal. Edgestitch the zipper in place, using a Zipper foot. Go around all four sides, opening and closing the zipper as necessary to keep the zipper pull out of the way of the needle.
  11. When finished stitching the box around the zipper window, open the zipper about half way.
  12. Fold the pocket in half, exterior sides together. You should now be looking at the right side of the lining with the zipper sewn in place behind the window. Pin in place along both sides and across what will become the top of the zippered pocket.
  13. Switch back to a standard presser foot. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the top, pivoting at the corners.
  14. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
  15. Turn right side out through the open zipper. Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A chopstick, long knitting needle or point turner works well for this. Press flat.
  16. As you did above to add edge stability to the credit card pockets, run a long of edgestitching along the folded edge of the zippered pocket, which is the bottom of the pocket and so will the dollar bill opening.
  17. Find the main lining base panel, which should already have its interfacing fused in place. Pin the completed zippered pocket along the upper edge. It should sit ¾” down from top raw edge and be centered from side to side. Remember, the seamed edge is the pocket top and the folded edge is the pocket bottom.
  18. Edgestitch up one side, making a sharp pivot at the corner.
  19. Continue edgestitching across the top and down the opposite side. The bottom remains free as this is the pocket opening.

Create and place the snap flap

  1. Find the two snap flap triangles. Place them right sides together, aligning the raw edges all around. Pin in place along the two angled sides.
  2. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the two angled sides, making a sharp pivot at the point of the triangle.
  3. Clip the point of the triangle, being careful to not cut into the sewn seam. There’s that little reinforcing triangle of interfacing.
  4. Turn right side out through the open bottom. Push out the top point so it is nice and sharp. Press flat.
  5. Edgestitch along both angled sides. Remember to re-thread to matching thread if need be.
  6. Find the exterior panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. It should already have one snap half in place and the credit card pocket tier in place.
  7. Place the triangle snap flap along the top raw edge of the main exterior base panel. The raw edge of the flap should be flush with raw edge of fabric panel. The flap should be centered side to side.
  8. Machine baste in place very close to the raw edges.

Layer, fold, and edgestitch to finish – and add the second half of the snap

  1. Following the Wallet Body pattern guide lines, find the two main fold lines on both the exterior and the lining base panels. Fold along these lines and press well to set a crease. On the exterior panel, you are folding wrong sides together and pressing. On the lining panel, you are folding right sides together and pressing.
  2. Unfold and place the exterior and lining base panels right sides together. Pin around all four sides, leaving an approximate 3” opening along one side.
  3. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch around all four sides. Remember to pivot at each corner and to lock the seam at either side of the 3” opening.
  4. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
  5. Turn right side out through the side opening. Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. As above, a chopstick, long knitting needle or point turner works well for this. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press flat. Pin closed the opening.
  6. Switch to a Zipper foot, which will help you better maneuver past the pockets. Move the needle position to the right. Thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior in the top and to best match the lining in the bobbin. With the exterior facing up, edgestitch all around the perimeter, using a slightly lengthened stitch. This closes the opening used for turning.
  7. Fold the the credit card pocket panel up into position, following your pressed crease lines. You can also double check the fold position on the original pattern piece.
  8. Pin in place along both sides.
  9. Re-thread the bobbin so you now have thread to best match the exterior in both the top and bobbin.
  10. Edgestitch along both sides to secure the pocket in its position. You are stitching directly on top of your original edgestitching seam.
  11. At this point, we recommend putting a few cards, coins, and bills into the various pockets to give the wallet some bulk. This better simulates what a naturally full wallet will be like when marking for the final snap.
  12. Fold the wallet closed and bring the point of the flap down into position over the existing snap half. Using the remaining snap half (the cap), determine the proper position on the point of the flap.
  13. Transfer this mark to the flap with a fabric pen or pencil.
  14. Following the same steps as above, set the remaining snap half into position.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas   
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (18)

kitkat10304 said:
kitkat10304's picture

The first picture that shows the credit card pockets is wrong I think. The instructions say to pin each panel wrong sides together but the picture shows the panel right sides together! Confused me so sought advice who confirmed the picture and instructions don't match. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@kitkat10304 - Thanks for the heads-up. Yes, there was a tiny typo there and we've fixed it. The picture is correct. We do proof each project many times through but with thousands of steps and measurements flying across our screens every day, every once in awhile, one gets through. Thanks again for letting us know. We're anxious to hear how your pretty wallet turns out. 

softsewer said:
softsewer's picture

I seem to think that the pattern for the exterior has the snap position in the wrong place, it looks like it will end up near the fold of the wallet instead of near the top, am I reading this incorrectly. 

anne.adams said:
anne.adams's picture

@softsewer: We're not seeing what you are seeing. If you look at the photo of the assembled pattern under Step 4 in the Getting Started & Pattern Download section, you'll see the snap position there. It's not near the fold. Compare that to some of the beauty images at the top of article where you can see in the finished wallet that the snap is in the same position as on the pattern. Does that answer your question?

Roseanne said:
Roseanne's picture

Hello, thank you for another inspiring project. I finished making this wallet yesterday in purple batik fabrics, turned out so nice. I am gifting this to a customer service rep in NY (I live in TX), for her kindness with my watch repair. If I could show a picture, I would, I am so very pleased with finished project.

Best regards & keep inspiring us

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Roseanne - You are so welcome! We're glad you had such a great experience. We'd love to see a picture. If you follow us in social media, you can post an image so we can all be inspired. We are sew4home on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and sew4home_diy on Instagram. 

Dorothy said:
Dorothy 's picture

Hi there. Would you recommend against using a thicker fabric like canvas? I was contemplating using canvas or outdoor fabric because of how it wears and weathers elements and just eliminating the interfacing except for the snap reinforcement, but I'm wondering if the seam allowances would then be too bulky. Any thoughts, wearers of the pants of smartness?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Dorothy - We didn't test this design with a thicker fabric, so we can't give you a guaranteed answer, but.... there are a lot of layers going on. Adding the extra thickness of something like canvas or outdoor fabric (even without the interfacing... the interfacing we specify is on the thin side) is indeed likely to cause you some frustration. It wouldn't be our first choice. Sincerely yours, Wearers of the Pants of Smartness 

Doreen Tavares said:
Doreen Tavares's picture

i don’t see my question from yesterday, so thought I’d try posting again. I can’t get my printer to print the pattern in its full size. Can the project be done w/dimensions instead? Thnk u.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Doreen - We've double-checked the pattern bundle and it is delivering from our server without a problem. In your printer's set-up window, make sure "shrink to fit" or anything similar is not clicked - and make sure it is set to print landscape not portrait. Some printers will default to portrait and shrinking to fit a page, and you have to make sure to adjust those settings each time prior to printing. We did this as a full pattern in order to insure all the little pieces would fit together properly and so we don't recommend (and we actually don't have) simple cut dimensions -- you also need all the guidelines and template markings. 

Doreen Tavares said:
Doreen Tavares's picture

Thank u so much, Liz Johnson. My printer was way off. In fact, so much so that I had to call HP & they did all the necessary adjusting to make it comply to just the format u provided. Can't wait to start on the wallet now. Thank u again for the terrific pattern!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Doreen - Excellent... now you're all set for lots of great projects with downloadable patterns 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Rowena - You are so welcome. Let us know if you give it a go!

Catherine B said:
Catherine B's picture

What length zipper, pls? I don't see it on the materials list. Thanks!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Catherine - Please refresh the page when you have a moment. The listed zipper is 7". Let us know how yours turns out.

Caroline from France said:
Caroline from France's picture

This is gong to be this year's Christmas present for my son's girlfriend! But only after I've made one for myself, of course. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Caroline - Thank you... and, yes!... first one for you. Post a picture with us on social media if you can - we'd love to see your finished wallets. We are sew4home on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and sew4home_diy on Instagram.