I consider my wallet to be a mini achievement on my path to organizational victory. There’s the basement, then the bedroom closet, the kitchen spice cabinet, and… my wallet. I think I’ll start with the wallet and work my way up!
When you make your own wallet, it can showcase your own personality. Because this project is designed for quilting cotton, your fabric options are endless. Our original fabric was a brightly colored quilting cotton with a fun typewriter key motif — originally from the Just My Type collection by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics. This is why we couldn’t resist photographing the wallet next to our antique Underwood manual typewriter, a classic that weighs just slightly less than a piano.
The finished wallet folds up in thirds and is secured with an elastic loop and button. We added a pretty optional monogram within the vertical accent band. Click here to download the full alphabet and brackets. This free download is available in six major machine embroidery formats.
The inside of the wallet features seven pockets. We made five of them full-width, which is just right for paper money. Two pockets at the bottom are smaller, perfect for credit or gift cards. The layering process for each of three pocket sections is the same, so you could certainly add more small pockets to your wallet’s layout.
Many people use digital store coupons on their phones these days, but this multi-pocket design would also work well as a handy organizer to help you sort and store any paper coupons, frequent shopper punch cards, gift cards, and more. You could even use the wallet’s elastic loop to hang the open wallet on a kitchen bulletin board, making it easy to drop new coupons/offers into the proper pocket. They’ll be easier to find, and therefore, easier to use. Never pay full price again!
The wallet finishes at approximately 8½” x 13″ when flat and about 8½” x 4¼” when folded.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and a standard presser foot; you’ll need an embroidery model to create our free monogram design
- Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional
- Zipper foot; optional
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ¾ yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton for the exterior and all pockets
- ⅛ – ¼ yard of 44″+ wide medium weight twill or similar for the accent band
NOTE: You need a piece large enough to hoop for embroidery if you choose to do the monogram; the exact size will depend on your machine’s available embroidery hoops. The finished accent band will trim down to 2½” x 14″.
- ¼ yard of 45″+ wide fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam Fusible Fleece
- 1 yard of 20″+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shir-Tailor
- ONE ¾” – 1″ button; we used a white button from our stash to coordinate with the round number motif in the fabric
- ONE thin elastic hairband; we used black
- Stabilizer for the optional embroidery as recommended for your embroidery machine
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- Embroidery thread to coordinate with the main fabric for optional monogram; we used steel gray
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- From the main fabric, cut the following:
TWO 9½” wide x 14″ high rectangles for the exterior panels
TWO 9″ wide x 8″ high rectangles for the A pockets
TWO 9″ wide x 6″ high rectangles for the B pockets
ONE 9″ wide x 7″ high rectangle for the C pocket
ONE 9″ wide x 5″ high rectangle for the D pocket
- From the fabric for the accent band, cut the following:
If monogramming, cut ONE strip big enough to hoop, it will be trimmed to 2½” x 14″ with the embroidery sitting at the bottom end of the strip.
If not monogramming, cut ONE 2½” x 14″ strip
- From the fusible fleece, cut the following:
TWO 4¼” x 8″ rectangles
ONE 3¾” x 8″ rectangle
- From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
ONE 9″ x 13½” rectangle
TWO 9″ x 8″ rectangles
TWO 9″ x 6″ rectangles
ONE 9″ x 7″ rectangle
ONE 9″ x 5″ rectangle
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Download the free font collection in the proper format for your machine.
- Hoop the twill fabric and stabilizer. Monogram the letter of your choice surrounded by the brackets.
- Trim the finished monogrammed piece to 2½” x 14″, positioning the embroidery so it is centered side to side within the 2½”” width. The bottom-most curve of the brackets should be approximately 2″ up from the bottom raw edge of the strip
Prepare and attach the accent band
- Fold back both long raw edges of each strip ¼”. Press.
- Machine baste the folds in place. We used our Quarter Inch Seam foot.
- Find one 9½” x 14″ exterior panel. Fold the panel in half (so it is now 4¾” x 14″) and lightly press to set a lengthwise center crease. Unfold right side up so the crease line is visible.
- Fold the accent band in half lengthwise and mark the center point at the top and bottom of the strip.
- Center the accent band, right side up, on the right side of the exterior panel, centering the strip over the panel’s crease line and using the accent band’s top and bottom pin points as additional guides. Pin the band in place.
- Thread the machine with thread to match the exterior fabric in the top and bobbin, which should be a contrasting color to the accent band. We used salmon pink in our sample.
- Edgestitch along both sides. This edgestitching should be as close as possible to the outer folded edges of the accent band, and so should be well out of the way of the machine basting stitches.
- Remove the basting stitches.
- Find the hairband. Center it within the accent band at the bottom. Pinch to form an approximate ¾” loop. Pin in place.
- Machine baste in place close to the raw edge of the fabric.
- Flip this sewn panel to the wrong side. Find the 9″ x 13½” rectangle of lightweight fusible interfacing. Center the interfacing so there is fabric showing evenly beyond the interfacing along all four sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the sewn panel.
Prepare the interior pocket panel
- Find the remaining 9½” x 14″ main panel.
- Using a fabric pen or pencil, draw in the following guidelines: ½” in along all four raw side edges as a seam allowance guideline, a horizontal line 4½” down from the top 9½” raw edge, and a horizontal line 9″ down from and parallel with the top 9½” raw edge.
- Find all the pocket pieces and all the remaining lightweight interfacing pieces.
- All the pockets are made in the same manner, so you can sent up an assembly line to finish each using the same steps.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse an appropriately-sized interfacing piece to the wrong side of each pocket piece.
- Fold all the pockets in half, retaining the 9″ width of each piece but with varying heights. Pin along the both sides and across the bottom of each of the six pockets, leaving an approximate 2-3″ opening along the bottom edge for turning.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch down both side seams and across the bottom of each pocket. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock the seam on either side of the 2-3″ opening.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowances on each pocket.
- Turn each pocket right side out through its 2-3″ opening. Using a blunt-end tool, such as a long knitting needle, chopstick or point turner, gently push out the corners so they are nice and square. Press each pocket flat.
NOTE: Keep track of your pockets so you know which are the A, B, C and D pieces.
- Find the three pieces of fusible fleece and the main panel with its marked guidelines.
- Place the fleece onto the wrong side of the main panel. Centering each fleece panel within the guidelines side to side and top to bottom. The two slightly larger panels go in the top and middle sections, the smaller panel in the bottom section. There should be slight gaps between the panels as shown in the photo below to allow for easier folding.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the fleece panels in place.
- Find the C and D pockets. Place the D pocket on top of the C pocket, aligning the bottom and sides of the two pockets. Pin together.
- Find the center of the D pocket, measuring side to side. Draw a vertical line, dividing the pocket into two sections.
- Topstitch along the drawn line through all the layers. Remember, this line goes only from the bottom to the top of the D pocket (the bottom pocket of the two-pocket unit). If possible, use a lock stitch to secure the start and end of the topstitching seam. If your machine does not have this feature, leave the thread tails long and knot at the back to secure.
NOTE: As you go through these steps, it’s helpful to refer to the drawing above to keep track of the A – D pocket positioning.
- Find the fused main panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Place this first pocket unit (C/D) at the bottom of the main panel. The top edge of the pocket unit should sit ½” below the 9″ marked fold line. The bottom edge of the pocket unit should sit 1″ up from the bottom raw edge of the panel. The sides should each be approximately ⅛” in from the seam allowance guidelines.
- Edgestitch along both sides and across the bottom of the pocket unit to completely attach it to the panel. Pivot sharply at the corners.
- Find the remaining A and B pockets. There should be two of each.
- Place a pocket B on each pocket A to create two A/B pairs. As above, align the sides and the bottom edges of the layered pockets.
- Place one pair in the center section. The bottom edge should ½” up from the lower horizontal fold line. The top edge should ½” below the upper horizontal fold line. The sides should each be approximately ⅛” in from the seam allowance guidelines. Pin in place.
- Place the remaining pair in the top section. The bottom edge should ½” up from the horizontal fold line. The top edge should 1″ below the top raw edge of the panel. The sides should each be approximately ⅛” in from the seam allowance guidelines. Pin in place.
- Edgestitch each pocket unit in place along both sides and across the bottom. Always remember to pivot at all the corners.
Assemble to finish
- Place the front and back panels right sides together, aligning all four raw edges. The bottom of the exterior panel (with its monogram and hair band) should be matched up with the top of the interior pocket panel (with the A/B pocket pair on top).
- Pin in place along the all sides, leaving an approximate 7½” opening along the bottom of the interior/top of the exterior edge.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the perimeter. Remember to pivot at all the corners and lock your seam at either side of the 7½” opening. This size of opening means you are essentially just stitching around the corners and leaving the majority of this side open.
NOTE: We used our Zipper foot for this seam because of the bulky edges of the pockets sandwiched between the layers. This foot allowed us to get in close for a nice, straight seam.
- Clip all the corners and press open the seam allowances.
- Turn right side out through the opening. As above for the pockets, use a blunt-end tool, such as a long knitting needle, chopstick or point turner to gently push out the corners so they are nice and square. Press flat.
- Press in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Thread a hand sewing needle with thread to best match the fabric and slip stitch the opening closed with even, tiny stitches.
- Fold the wallet into thirds to close, following the previously marked lines. It should fold easily since there are breaks between the pieces of fusible fleece.
- With the wallet correctly closed, stretch the elastic loop around the base and mark the placement for the button.
- Stitch the button in place.
- Remember to wash away or erase any marked guidelines still visible on the inside.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild