i was introduced to these adorable and practical wallets in a post on very berry handmade. i crossed my fingers as soon as i saw her photos, thinking ‘pleeeeease tell me there is a free pattern for these’, and, hip hip hooray, there was. (as an aside, i love veryberry’s blog, and i wish i had access to all of the stunning fabrics she sources. you folks in the uk may want to check out her compendium of uk fabric shops…you’re so lucky!).
the tutorial for these is the work of confessions of a fabricaholic. it is filled with step-by-step photos and instructions to walk you through your first ever home-made wallet. thank you, fabricaholic, for sharing your marvy tute!
i’ve made a small collection of these now, and have learned a few lessons along the way. i’ve used medium-weight cotton for all of these, so i interface the interior and exterior main pieces, as well as the front and back of the zip-pocket, and the largest and smallest card slots. i interface both the interior and exterior tab pieces, as well. i’ve learned to cut the interfacing just shy of the seam allowances, as it becomes super bulky if you don’t. the exception, though, is the tab. because you trim the seam allowances away and it’s so tiny, i’ve found that full-sized interfacing helps to prevent fraying (i had to remake two tabs because they started to come apart after i turned them). and back to the card slots – i serged the top edges of the three pieces that remain exposed, just so they don’t fray.
i didn’t like the look of the round, silver snap that i used on my first take (and i found that it didn’t close very securely), so i went with what has become my signature sewn-in snap tab closure, which i’ve used on my phone cosies and computer cosies. i’d like to try a magnetic closure, but i wasn’t sure about the effect this may have on credit cards inside the wallet. i’m also playing around with the idea of using buttons with an elastic loop (because who doesn’t love buttons?), but i’ve become pretty loyal to the clean and simple snap tab, and i’m not sure i’m ready to abandon it just yet.
one other step i tweaked was the zipper insertion. i worked with a 3/8″ opening instead of 1/2″ – it’s surprising what a difference an eighth of an inch can make, but i do think it makes for a tidier looking zip (certainly tidier than the one shown above).
i’m still working on my edge-stitching. it’s just not that lovely, is it? i find the corners particularly difficult to navigate beautifully. i’ve noticed that very berry’s corners are perfectly curved and very smooth. how do you do it, very berry? what is your secret!? i know i need to work on symmetry and having my edges perfectly square. with all of the layers and the turning, this can be difficult to achieve.
since my adorable one-of-a-kind bookhou wallet is on its last legs (i’ve used the heck out of it for five years now), i think it’s time for a bespoke wallet of my own. now to choose some fabric…
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