One of the wonderful things about being a mom of small
kids is the richness of ideas that come from just hanging
out with them. Kids, especially enthusiastic and idealistic
little ones, have the best suggestions, mainly because
they don't know what impossible is. I have so enjoyed
making stuff for kids! But my wallet died on me a
fortnight ago and I thought it was time to make
something for me. True, it was in response to a
wardrobe emergency, but I started having fun making
my new wallet, so I made a few more because - and I
know it's a bad habit - mass-producing is oddly satisfying.
Way before I had kids, I made-and-sold a bunch of stuff
during the summer holidays between years at college. It
was hard work but some of the most fun - and so I had
some old patterns and -gasp!- my archaic catalog
Back then, though, velcro wallets were in, particularly
for my young market, but imagine me in church ripping
open a velcro wallet now at offering time! Not cool.
So enter snaps and zippers
and magnetic fasteners
- much better.
But back to my wallet. In spite of making wallets for
all my friends - girls and guys - back then, I strangely
felt drawn to the store-bought black nylon ones myself.
Looking back, almost all my wallets were black and
each time one died on me, I berated myself for not
having the foresight to have bought several identical
ones as backups. We each have our own wallet stories,
so I know some of you are nodding right now and I don't
need to go on. Suffice it to say that this time around I
decided to break away from noir and take some risks
with color. But maybe I could still keep the
No old pattern in the old velcro archives, so this
was from scratch, with dead GAP wallet as guide. I must
say I was pleased with how it turned out, even if the
outside zipper compartment just about did me in,
just as it did the now-dead wallet. Very fiddly.
Here's the inside. The blue section is hinged at the
base - the other side is a vinyl window for photos, not
that I update mine regularly - I still have pictures of my
now-four-year-old daughter at 11 months, and
no pictures of the other two kids.
I am happy that I get to keep all the compartments and
pockets and hiding-places the same so I needn't figure out
reallocating stuff from the old wallet. Yes, it is sad
when a person becomes this lazy.
But you're wondering about Orla - this fabric was
from Target - the new hip place for fabric shopping,
provided you are into repurposing table linen. My wallet
was from a single placement but I liked her napkins, too,
so I cut those up for another wallet
(the open one in the picture below)
and two others.
In a long ago post, I flippantly referred to something
called 600 denier nylon. This is what I use for my wallets.
It makes them rigid - I don't use interfacing at all - and
you don't need lining unless you want some extra color.
Also you can toss the wallets in the washing machine if
you want to and they won't come out crinkly (not that I
plan to do anything but spot-clean this lovely Orla fabric
on my new wallet, though). Still, this he-man toss-and-
wear thing seemed important to the guys I sewed
billfolds for in the past, although by the time some of
them felt ready to wash their very concave wallets,
well....umm... let's just say why even bother?
Anyway, this is 600 denier polyester/
I bought it by the tens of yards back in Singapore
when I trawled the warehouse districts on foot (and
bus) bulk shopping for bag-making supplies. Couldn't
you just see people's faces when I got on the bus carrying
this bazooka thing on my shoulder? It was a huge roll then,
replenished several times, but this is all that is left.
Fortunately I found at least one other place here in the
US selling something similar so I know
where to go when I run out.
All the edges are bound with an extra thick grosgrain
trim but I don't know where to buy that here yet
when my supply runs out.
So ready for the giveaway?
Unbelievably, this is ikatbag's 100th post so I am
giving away one of these long card wallets! They are
7.5" long and 3.5" wide when closed. There are
six credit-card sized pockets, one long zipper compartment
for coins, and four long pockets for bills, receipts
and other stuff. Leave a comment and your email
address on this post by Friday May 8 bedtime
(that's how clocks work in our house, sorry), just to say
hello. Better still (but not necessary) tell me your ideas
for what you'd like to see on ikatbag in the next 100
posts, or what you think you might like to buy (even if
I haven't made it yet!) if I ever got round to setting up
shop. International readers are welcome, too, as long
as your mailing address can be written in the English
alphabet. I always appreciate a link on your own blog
if you have one, but don't feel obliged to. And if there
are more than 50 comments, I'll pick two winners
and give these both away!
Finally, here's something else - I enjoyed making
these wallets so much that I thought I'd do 2 other things:
One, I'm offering this fourth wallet for sale, if anyone
wants it. It is 5" x 4" when closed and has loads of
compartments. In addition to the visible pockets in
this picture, it also has two sections for bills (or one
for bills and the other for receipts)
and a hidden outside pocket that's useful for an
entry key-card or bus pass - that's the vertical
black line three flower columns from the left
- can you see it?
Two, and this was the way my wallet orders went
back then, I can customize a wallet for you with
your own fabric. So you pick a wallet style you like,
and send me your fabric in the post, and I will
sew it for you. If you have special requests for
variations, we could work those in, too, My brother
always had interesting things he wanted his wallets
to have - a special hidden-velcro pocket for his guitar
picks, some curved edges here, some special shade of
denim there, for instance. So email me if you are
interested and we can talk about details like
cost and designs. Don't forget to comment for a
chance to win the long wallet(s) - I'll do a random
drawing on Saturday May 9th. Good luck!
* edited to add the last bit about the random drawing - duh.
Sorry about that. Can you tell I haven't done enough giveaways?