Zip it.

It’s amazing how a piece of fabric that lives in my pocket can get so filthy.

Dirty Wallet

I made this wallet in August based on Thimbleanna‘s purse thingy tutorial, and it served me well.


But after a semester of wear and tear, it was looking… well… worn and torn.
So I made a new one.


I used what I learned the first time to come up with this design—along with a few improvements, inspired by a wallet I saw in Maurices.

I’m not much of a seamstress. A sewing machine is more like a toy than a tool in my hands, but I love to play with it—and since I scavenged all the materials except a $1 zipper from the leftovers of other projects, this experiment was a pretty small investment. And thanks to Thimbleanna, Google, and a couple true seamstresses who helped me out, it was also a success!


Three-Pocket Wallet

  • 1/6 yd scrap fabric (mix and match as you choose)
  • 7” zipper
  • 2½x3¾” piece vinyl
  • 12×9” lining (optional)
  • 5½x3½” interfacing (optional)
  • key ring
  • button and snap (or fastener of your choice)

Begin with two 6×4½” pieces of fabric. If you’re feeling brave, you can cut two identical pieces of another material for lining (I used this dark blue fabric).


Cut one 5½x7” piece to hold the window – and a matching piece of interfacing, if you choose (my material needed a little help keeping its shape with the middle removed for a window).

Mark the center of this piece (you’ll be folding it later).

Window Piece

Make a 1½x3” template for the window and trace it, ¾” from either side of the center fold line. Draw two smaller rectangles 3/8” inside these, and then cut them out.

Window Piece

Cut diagonal lines to each corner of the first rectangle you drew.


Fold these edges along the lines and press.

Fold one long edge in ¼” too.


This is the frame for the vinyl window. For a stiffer pocket, cut a piece of interfacing to match half of this piece.

Window Piece

Fold in half and press again.


Center the vinyl window inside this piece. Pin carefully, then stitch closely around the opening. Sew along the right-hand edge, too (which you already pressed under).

If you want an ID card to fit more securely in this pocket, stitch along the right edge of the window opening now, ¼” from the edge.

Window Piece

Cut a 6×7” piece for the front pocket. Fold in half (now 6×3½”) and press.

Pin the window pocket to this piece, leaving space on the right. Top-stitch the pieces together, close to the folded edge.

(For the smaller ID pocket, stitch around the other edges of the window now, also ¼” from the edge).


For the phone pocket, cut a piece 4½x9”. Fold in half and sew across, ¼” from the fold.

(My piece is wider than it ought to be in the picture—I trimmed it later to match these dimensions.)

Phone Pocket

For the key ring, cut a piece 1¼x1½”. Fold in half and press, then fold each edge in to meet the pressed edge. Press again, and then stitch along each edge.

Key Ring Loop

To make a strap for the phone pocket, cut two 1½x3½” pieces of material. Sew them together on three edges (right sides facing), leaving an opening to turn the piece right side out.

Then top-stitch around, close to the edge.


If you’re making a lining, sew both of these pieces to the bottom side of the zipper.


Then attach the two main pieces of the wallet, as well as the phone pocket (right sides facing the zipper). Top-stitch close to the zipper for a neat, finished look.


Sew the two pieces of lining together ¼” from  the edge, leaving a gap to turn the project right side out.


Pin the layers of outer material together, lining up the ID pocket, centering the phone strap and placing the key ring loop close to the zipper.

Sew a seam around all three edges, with the zipper at least half open. Turn the project right side out and finish closing up the lining.

Attach a snap for the phone pocket—or whatever fastener you choose.


Since there’s no white in this print, I’m hoping it will stand up to the ravages of the semester better than my last wallet did.

But even if it does, I think I’ll be ready for another go at making something new come spring!



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