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Selfish Sewing



This little project reminds me of the saying “The cobbler’s children have no shoes,” though in this case, it would be “The cobbler herself has no shoes.” For YEARS, I have been using a small, leather wallet that does not work very well at all. It has slots for cards, but when I actually put cards in it, the fold-over flap doesn’t snap. Yet I have kept using it, despite the fact that I know how to sew and have seen probably dozens of free wallet tutorials online over the years.

I finally decided to do something about it on Sunday. My husband kindly took Parker to visit his mother for a few hours, so I figured, why not use that precious free time to make something for myself for a change?


I used the Zipper Card Pouch tutorial at Craft Passion. I have to say, I found the directions pretty confusing. At several points, I had to zoom in on the photos to get a better idea. The most tricky point was the first step involving sewing the lining to the zipper. Miraculously, I did not make any major mistakes, but the whole time I was making it I was thinking, “I will never make this again. Too fiddly.”  Yet, now that I have a bit of distance from it, I’m starting to re-consider. (I think if I make another one, I would not use such heavy fabric/interfacing). I used quilting-weight cotton and heavy interfacing for the exterior, and leftover twill/canvas from my never-ending slipcover project for the lining.

I didn’t have an metal zipper, which I think would look nicer, or any twill tape, but I stuck to my “use it or lose it” mantra and did not go out to buy new supplies. There is supposed to be a strip of twill tape on one side of the lining, to make a divider. I used strips of wide elastic on both sides instead, which I think would’ve worked great had I not inserted the lining pieces upside down (so the elastic is almost at the bottom of the pouch), and had I made the elastic just a bit tighter.

I also did not have twill tape to cover the raw edges inside. I tried using narrow seam binding, but it was a bit too narrow given the thickness of the fabric layers. So I just zigzagged the raw edges, and that worked fine.


All and all, now that I’ve used my wallet a bit, I do like it. It is smaller than my old wallet but more functional, with plenty of room for a stack of cards and a bit of cash. 


5 comments to Selfish Sewing

  • Lori

    Very cute! I’ve used craft passion tutes before and found them confusing as well FWIW.

  • this happened so much to me with jewelry – I had all the supplies at hand and yet never a necklace to wear :) the wallet is lovely, and I need one, too…

  • I love how your wallet turned out!

    I was contemplating sewing a wallet earlier this week. I use an ugly store-bought one that doesn’t real what I want. Not sure I’m up to par on sewing first, but maybe I’ll tackle that once we’re settled in CA.

  • MARY

    I tried that tutorial a while ago and had a lot of trouble following it as well. Yours turned out great!

  • […] few weeks ago, I decided the wallet I made myself too years ago was a bit too small, and had grown rather dingy. I came across this […]

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