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Necessities On The Go Mini Wallets
I love watching old black and white re-runs of the original TV police series, Dragnet. The most famous “catchphrase” from this series is Detective Joe Friday’s iconic line, “Just the facts, ma’am.” But, here’s your little-known-fact-of-the-day: he never actually uttered this line! Since old myths die hard, we’ll continue the parody as the theme behind this cute little mini wallet. Sometimes you need, “Just the necessities, ma’am.” When you’re running out the door, you need a little pouch to hold the essentials, like cards, cash, and a shopping list. You could even toss one into a larger bag.
These quick and easy mini wallets make great gifts for any occasion – especially when a gift card or a little cash is tucked inside.
The inside includes a sewn-in-place pocket for credit cards or ID plus a divider panel to create two additional sections.
Each of our samples was made with two fat quarters. Visit our friends at Fat Quarter Shop to check out all the latest collections offered as fat quarter bundles. Or drive into your scrap stash for some pretty little coordinated cuts.
These mini fabric wallets are fun to make, great to give, and cute as a bucket of kittens!
We made samples in two completely different color palettes. Like a fresh coat of paint, brand new fabric makes all the difference.
Making them as a gift? Customize each one to match your recipient’s favorite colors and themes.
Our mini wallet finishes at approximately 6″ wide x 3¾” high. As shown above, this is wide and deep enough for a smaller cell phone, however it would not be the best option if you are trying to fit one of the larger phone models.
We offer a downloadable pattern below so you can get the perfect curved top for the flap.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot.
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Supplies listed below are for ONE mini wallet.
- Scraps or TWO Fat Quarters – one print and one coordinating solid; each exterior piece needs to be approximately 8″ wide x 11″ high – larger if you are planning a specific fussy cut and you will also need smaller scraps for the divider panel and credit card pocket – see the cutting requirements below
- Scrap or ½ yard of 20″+ wide medium-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shir-Tailor
- Scrap or ⅛ yard of ½” – ⅝” sturdy twill tape or similar
- ONE elastic hair band
- ONE ½” – ¾” button; we used a ½” faux wood button purchased locally
- ONE 1″ split ring
- ONE 2″ carabiner; optional
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and Print: On The Go Carrier Top and On The Go Carrier Bottom patterns, which have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: Each page in the PDF is of ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out each piece along the solid line. Butt together the two pieces (do not overlap) at the points indicated by the arrows. Tape in place to create the full pattern.
- From the fabric for the exterior and credit card pocket, cut the following:
Using the pattern, fussy cut one exterior panel
ONE 5″ high x 4½” wide rectangle for the credit card pocket
- From the fabric for the interior and divider, cut the following:
Using the pattern, fussy cut one interior panel
ONE 7″ high x 6¾” wide rectangle for the divider
- Cut one 3″ length of twill tape.
- Trim the pattern along the dotted seam line to reduce its size.
NOTE: If you want to preserve your patterns, print TWO copies of the PDF. Assemble and keep one at full size for the fabric panels and trim back the other to use for the interfacing.
- From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
Using the trimmed pattern, cut TWO panels
ONE 2″ x 3½” rectangle for the credit card pocket
ONE 3″ x 5¾” rectangle for the divider
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Center a corresponding interfacing piece side to side and top to bottom on the wrong side of both the interior and exterior pieces. You should have ½” of fabric extending beyond the interfacing all around. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Fold both the pocket panel and the divider panel in half widthwise and press to set a center crease.
- Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Place the top edge of the corresponding interfacing along the crease line of each fabric piece so it is centered side to side. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
Make and position the pocket
- Place the fused pocket piece wrong side up on your work surface.
- Fold in each long side ¼” and press well.
- Fold in half, right sides together, and pin along the top raw edge only.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the top edge only.
- Turn right side out through the open sides. Press flat. The folded edge (not the seamed edge) is the top of the pocket.
- Place the interior panel right side up and flat on your work surface. The pocket should be centered on this panel, approximately 1½” in from each raw side edge. The top of the pocket should be approximately 3″ down from top curved raw edge of the panel, which is about ¾” below the horizontal line where the flap will fold closed. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Slightly lengthen your stitch. Make sure the machine is threaded with thread to best match the pocket in the top and bobbin.
- Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, sharply pivoting at the corners. This will close the open sides of the pocket used for turning. Use a generous backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam, ie. at the pocket top. This is a stress point for the pocket and it’s smart to secure the seam well.
Place the elastic and key ring tab
- Fold the lining panel in half vertically to find the exact center point of the top curve. Pinch a tiny fold at this point or mark with a pin.
- Fold the elastic hair band and center it at this marked center point.
NOTE: A hair band can move around quite a bit and is hard to pin. We found holding it in place with a bit of painter’s tape was a good solution. The tape is easy to remove when you’re done and leaves no residue.
- Machine baste the band in place within the seam allowance, ie. slightly less than the ½” seam allowance you will use to sew front to back.
- Find the 3″ length of twill tape and slip it through the key ring. Fold the tape, matching the raw ends.
- Position the keyring loop along the left side, just below the top edge of the sewn pocket. This position is approximately 1″ below the horizontal line where the flap will fold closed. The raw edges of the tape and the fabric are flush and the loop is facing in towards the middle of the panel. Machine baste in place within the seam allowance.
Assemble front to back and attach button
- Place the exterior panel right sides together with the interior panel, sandwiching the pocket, hair band, and key ring loop between the two layers.
- Pin in place all around, leaving an approximate 4-5″ opening along one straight side for turning.
- Re-thread if necessary with thread to best match the fabric. Re-set for a normal stitch length.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter, remembering to lock your seam at either side of the opening. Pivot at both bottom corners and go slowly around the top to maintain a smooth curve.
- Clip the corners at a diagonal, being careful not to cut into your seam.
- Trim the seam back to ¼”.
- Clip the top curve, being careful to not clip through your stitching.
NOTE: For more information, check out our tutorial about Sewing Smooth Curves.
- Turn right side out through the opening. Use a long, blunt-end tool, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner to gently push out and square the corners and round the upper curve.
- Press well, turning in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Flip over the panel so the exterior side is facing up. Position your button so it is centered side to side. The center of the button itself should be approximately 3″ up from the bottom straight edge of the clutch panel.
- Hand stitch the button in place through all the layers and knot securely.
NOTE: If you are new to this technique, we have a tutorial: How To Sew On A Button.
- Find the fused divider panel. Fold it in half, right sides together. Pin along both sides.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides.
- Clip the corners and trim the seams back to ¼”. Turn right side out, gently push out the corners, and press flat.
Placing divider plus final fold and seam
- Flip over the panel so the interior side is now facing up.
- Place the divider at the bottom of the panel. The divider should be positioned with the folded edge along the bottom and the raw edges along the top.
- Center the divider so it sits ⅛” up from the bottom edge of the panel and is centered side to side. Lightly pin in place.
- Fold up the bottom of the panel so what was the bottom edge now sits just below the horizontal line where the flap will fold closed. The side edges of all the layers should be flush. The raw edge of the divider is hidden within what is now the bottom fold of the mini clutch. It will secured in the final seam.
- Pin the along both sides through all the layers.
- Lengthen your stitch.
- Edgestitch the folded clutch along both sides and across the bottom through ALL the layers, pivoting at the corners. As you did with the pocket, use a generous (but still very neat) backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam. You are going through quite a few layers, so go slowly and use the hand wheel to walk across extra thick areas if necessary.
- Fold the flap down into position, looping the elastic over the button. Press well.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Aimee McGaffey
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I’ve just made one of these for a friend’s daughter; I edgestitched along the curved edge as well and – before folding – along the bottom edge of the panel. This extra stitching gives the edges just a little bit more rigidity. A lovely project; doesn’t use much fabric and quickly done. Thank you for the pattern!
@Caroline – Thanks for your positive review – and for adding your tip about the edgestitching.
Ditto what Belinda said!
Ditto what Belinda said! But one for me, too! I can no longer drive due to my vision, so I have less that I need to carry. Phone, debit card and Medicare card, and I can hop on a scooter and roll! I love it!
@Momo – Ditto on our thanks
@Momo – Ditto on our thanks for such great support. We do hope you’ll give these little cuties a try!
I love this idea. And I have
I love this idea. And I have a lot of large scraps that will work well for this purpose. This will make great gifts for my grandkids and daughters in laws.
@Belinda – Thank you so much
@Belinda – Thank you so much – they are fast and fun to make!