Wallets seem to be a common Instructable, and coupled with my need for a new one, I felt doing a would be a great place to start.
This wallet is unique in that it requires no fabric cutting, though acquiring the pieces will probably require the removal of stitches. It is also lightweight, durable, stylish, and quickly assembled. It's only real weaknesses being that the finished product is a little on the small side, and lacks rigidity.
- The back pocket of a pair of jeans
- The smaller, inner pocket often found in the front-right pocket of jeans
- A belt loop
- Thread in the color of your choice
- A sewing machine
Of course, one could always opt to hand-sew the wallet, but despite the difficulty of using a sewing machine on denim, I decided against it.
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Step 1: Cleaning the Fabric
You may have noticed a few dangly things on the underside of your fabric. I have no clue what the proper name for these are, if indeed there is one, so they will henceforth be referred to exclusively as "danglies" (sing. "dangly.")
First, grip the end of a dangly, or clump of danglies, in your non-dominant hand. Then, grip the scissors with your dominant hand and gently open them. Carefully situate the open scissors so that they rest under your fingers, near and around the base of the dangly (see picture two.) After you are satisfied with the position of the scissors, gently close them using your dominant hand. To finish, remove the scissors from the no longer dangly-infested area, and repeat the process on the surviving danglies.
Once a sufficient number of danglies have been severed from the host pocket, gently blow them off of the fabric and onto your workspace so that they are no longer my responsibility.
Step 2: Add the Mini-pocket
This pocket will be used to hold ID, credit cards, etc. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you measure before sewing!
To do so, first decide where you want the pocket to go. Then, place a card on top of the pocket, relatively well-centered. This should give you a good estimate of where to sew, but if you desire more accuracy, outline the area with chalk.
Once you've found an alignment, you like, sew along the left, right, and bottom of the pocket, leaving the top open for inserting credit cards.
Step 3: Adding the Belt Loop
The belt loop is a somewhat unnecessary addition, unless you're a big fan of wallet chains. In fact, I only added mine for the sake of decor.
If you wish to add the loop, simply go through the motions of the last step; finding a desired placement, and then sewing the belt loop. Here, one should only sew along the top and bottom, leaving the sides open to attach a lobster claw clasp, or other, similar device. Be sure not to keep the belt loop tight against the cloth, as this will make it difficult to attach a chain to.
I encountered extensive hardship in sewing this, having very little material to grab onto and push through the machine. Always remember to keep your hands clear of the needle on a sewing machine. Hand sewers will notice a distinct advantage at this point.
Step 4: Sewing Up the Right Side
In order to make sure your wallet stays folded and bills don't simply fall out of it, you'll want to sew up one side. This doesn't have to be the right side, of course, and which side you'll sew up will depend on your personal taste, and the design of your wallet so far.
Regardless of how you've designed your wallet, you'll want to fold the sucker before you start sewing.
If you've followed my design exactly, you'll want to align the wallet in the machine like so, so as to get the stitching as close to the rivet as possible. Again, because of the lack of material available for gripping, you will probably encounter difficulty if using a machine. Remember to be cautious, and if you feel at all uncomfortable sewing with the machine, try hand sewing, or ask someone else to sew for you.
Step 5: Sewing Up the Left Side
This step is optional because of the limited real-estate your wallet already holds. After sewing the left side up, I found that it was difficult to insert and retrieve bills, a problem that did not exist without it.
The only real difference between this step and the last, is that you'll need to measure before hand prior to sewing, in order to make sure the bills actually can fit in the wallet. After doing so, and marking with chalk if you so desire, simply sew right up along that side.
Step 6: Your Wallet and You - a Review of the Pocket Wallet
The Pocket Wallet is far from perfect, but it is, at the least practical. Over the last few weeks of ownership, I've found out quite a lot about it, outlined here.
- It's a bit of a head turner. The wallet has caught the attention of friends and retailers, but it isn't so garish that I get asked about it every time I take it out.
- The wallet is light. I've actually noticed a distinct difference in weight between older (faux) leather wallets, and I like it.
- Denim is really hard to sew.
- The wallet is flimsy, and can be hard to fit cash into.
- The wallet is short, so my paychecks don't fit exactly into it, and even bills stick out a little.
Obviously, the design could, and probably should, be improved upon. I plan on either making or forgetting about the following updates sometime:
- Making the Pocket wallet out of two back pockets, instead of one. This should give the wallet a little more space, allowing bills, checks, etc. to fit in more neatly.
- Dying the pocket wallet. I wear mostly black jeans, and yet, this wallet is blue. This mildly irritates me.
- A coin pocket, perhaps made out of another one of the smaller pockets. This would require a zipper, which I could reuse from jeans. It would be harder, however, to obtain a second small pocket.