Sunday, May 15, 2016

An Abundance of Wallets

This is the Necessary Clutch Wallet (pattern available for purchase here) by Emmaline Bags. I've made 5, but one went off into the world before posing for a picture, so here are wallets 1 and 3-5 (back to front, left to right). Wallet #1 is for myself, to go along with my Blossom shoulder Bag. They just look like they were meant to be made together.

As you can see, I like fussy-cutting to match pattern pieces. #3 is matched at the back /flap seam, but kind of opposite - brown diamonds matched with colored diamonds. Can you tell? #1 and #4 were fussy cut so the flaps line up with the bodies in front. #5 was supposed to match up as well, But the strip in the center of the flap is matched just about as perfectly as you can get.

Some inside shots. In #1 I accidentally inserted one zipper backwards.

Rivets vs. stitching side flaps

On #5 I used rivets. On all others I stitched up the folds of the side flaps. Rivets were easier to install, and I like the look of them, but I haven't road-tested that wallet, so I hope they'll hold as well as stitching.

Security snaps

I'm a member of the NCW ADDICTS Facebook group, and I've seen some wallets with "security tabs" holding the two dividers together so the wallet doesn't gape as much when open. I believe the ones I've seen are attached with Velcro, but snaps look nicer and don't lose their "stick" after a while.

WITH TAB. Pros: Looks nicer, and can be used even if there is something tall or thick between the dividers. Cons: Isn't as easy to snap, and also blocks access to the front zipper (but that wouldn't be a problem if you only use 1 zipper as per the pattern - see argyle wallet above).

NO TAB. Pros: A lot easier to snap. Just press the pockets together, and the two halves of the snap are already lined up. Cons: Less capacity for stuffing the space full.

Peltex in body vs. not

Wallets #1, #3, and #4 have Petlex (ultra-firm stailizer) in the border around the flap. Wallet #5 has Peltex in the entire flap, and also in the body (everything you see from the outside while the wallet is closed).

So, do I like Peltex in the body? Yes and no. Pros: The wallet looks smoother and can probably withstand more aggressive handbag-living. The picture below shows how the un-Peltexed wallet (grey) lies flatter than the Peltexed (orange). Cons: I prefer Peltex 70 (non-fusible) to 71 (fusible), because the fusible makes the fabric look crinkly. Yet for this wallet, the 70 is very fiddly to insert, align juuuuuust right, and baste in place. And in the almost-last step of attaching the zipper pockets, it's very thick to sew through. It almost didn't fit under my presser foot.

I personally don't think a wallet needs Peltex in the body, and the pattern doesn't call for it. But in the Facebook group discussions, most people say they use it, or some comparable stabilizer.


Again, see picture above. Grey wallet's snap is 3/4". Orange's is 1/2" and also slim. After making #1 (grey) I though the snap was kind of big and bulky. But after making all others with 1/2" snaps, I realize they are much harder to close. The 3/4" just clicks right in to place and seems to have a stronger hold. The 1/2" (especially the slim ones) require more fiddling to close them, and even peeking to make sure you're lining up the snap's halves just right. Only #1 is road-tested, but hopefully the smaller snaps won't open too easily and spill the contents. One modification I've made to the pattern is moving the snap closer to the edge of the flap, and higher up on the body. That way it doesn't strain so much when you stuff the wallet a little fuller.


Most of the fabrics in these wallets came from Walmart. A few came from Jo-Ann, one came from Hobby Lobby, but the rest came from Walmart. The selection isn't as big there, and not all Walmarts sell fabric, but it's cheaper there ($3.97/yd vs $5.99 or $8.99 or even $12+, and $0.97 for fat quarters vs. $2.49.) Plus some of them are super cute. As for notions, I'm buying them mostly online these days. I bargain shop on Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay, because there usually aren't many options in stores.

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