Getting a cheap wallet is no problem these days. However, finding one that can carry all your cash and cards and still sits comfortably in your back pocket is not as easy.
If you’re looking for an alternative solution, you might want to consider a DIY wallet. The materials can be whatever you want them to be and the design is fully under your control.
This article will show you a standard 10-step guide on how to sew a wallet with pockets. Once you master this you’ll be able to create your own designs and adapt the dimensions to your specific needs.
Before you start crafting your own wallet, you need some materials and tools. For this DIY project you’ll need the following:
- Outer fabric
- Lining fabric
- Pocket pieces
- One wooden button
- Sewing needles or a sewing machine
- Interfacing fabric to reinforce the wallet
For this project, you should cut your outer fabric of choice to a 9.1 x 4.3-inch piece. The lining fabric should have the same exact length if you want the end result to look fashionable. You could use the same fabric for both the exterior and interior but it’s better if you go with a contrasting design for the lining.
The three pocket pieces that match the lining should be cut to the following specifications.
- 1 x 4 inches
- 1 x 5.25 inches
- 1 x 6.75 inches
Denim always makes a solid choice for pocket fabrics. You can also use leather from an old purse, skirt, or pair of pants. Keep in mind that it will come with different levels of flexibility.
How to Sew a Wallet with Pockets Step-by-Step
- Fold your pocket pieces. While pressing firmly on the fabric sew the edges and give a 0.25” seam allowance if you can. This is easier to do with a sewing machine, but a sewing kit will do.
- Put the second pocket on top of the third one. Align the bottom edges. From the folded edge of the second pocket, measure down about 1.6” and place a pin there for security. Do a straight stitch across.
- Place the first pocket on top of the second pocket again, by aligning the bottom edges. At this point, you should have pockets 1, 2, and 3 on top of each other in that order. Pin the pockets and sew another bottom edge. Give it the same 0.25” seam allowance as in step 1.
- Following the width of the pockets, fold everything in half. After you find the middle fold, pin it for security and sew a vertical seam.
- You can now do another vertical seam on one side of the previous one. A 0.3” spacing should do the trick. This is where the hard part actually starts. The following steps require even more precision if you want the end result to look perfect.
- The pockets can now be placed on top of your lining of choice. If your cuts were precise you should have a near perfect fit. Align the bottom edges to figure out the correct positioning. Perform a new stitch on the bottom edge and leave the same 0.25” seam allowance as used in step 1 above.
- Optional step. If you want to close your wallet, this is the point when you attach the elastic. Put it in a loop shape and pin it in the middle of the far right side of the pocket.
- Now it’s time to work with the outer fabric. Assuming it’s been cut to the desired dimensions, set it on top of the interfacing fabric with the right side up. Also, put the pocket section face down over the outer fabric. Sew together with a 0.25” seam allowance.
- To turn, use a knitting needle. It will allow you to push corners into points. Press hard on the fabrics while doing this.
- Optional step. If you want to close your wallet, sew a button on the front. Then you’ll be able to use the elastic loop to create a closing mechanism. You might not want to use a wooden button; chances are it won’t look good.
This DIY wallet design has enough room to hold four credit cards and a few bills in the first pocket. It’s not the hardest wallet either, meaning you could very well comfortably keep it in your back pocket.
You could use the same steps as above and replace ordinary fabrics with leather. Keep in mind that regular sewing machines don’t generally work well on leather. If you have leather-specific needles, you can proceed with the same 10-step scheme.
If you have any sort of experience with sewing wallets, this guide should be enough for you to know how to sew a wallet with pockets in your spare time.