Friday, February 15, 2013

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

Good Morning Everyone!!
Yesterday I gave you a sneak peek at today's pattern. I really like my little bag! Before we get started, I'll briefly tell you how this all came about. You may remember that I showcased Lisa of www.poldapop.blogspot.com in this Wednesday Showcase, http://rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-wednesday-showcase_26.html. She found out that we live relatively close to each other, so she emailed and asked if we could get together for coffee some time. It took a while, but finally over the Christmas holiday she was able to get away and we met. She is delightful. We talked about her business and I told her that she needed to get her PodaPop Swatch Purse made into a pattern. She put her pattern together, sent it to me and I gave it a test run. I gave her a few ideas for fine tuning. It's always a good idea to have someone else take a look at your pattern. My little version is below.
Mine is made out of quilting cotton that you can find at just about any fabric store. Lisa's is made out of decorator samples. More about that at the end of the post. I wanted to try the bag in fabric that most of us have at home or can very easily acquire.
I made my own bias trim out of some vintage fabric that I had. Very vintage as it is only 36" wide. Lisa's version has the credit card pockets and the coupon/cash pockets facing in the same direction. When she uses her bag, she likes to lay it out flat. My personal preference will be to have the cash/coupon pockets facing in the opposite direction to the credit card pockets so that when I open the bag I can just put my hand inside rather than opening the bag completely. This is just a personal preference. The bag is large enough to have the pockets full and still have plenty of room for a phone as well as my glasses. So this makes a great little grab and go bag. The lobster claw hook makes a great place to hang your keys while shopping and I even clipped the bag to the belt loop on my jeans while shopping recently. So much better than having to carry your bag around.
Today is a very special day. Lisa is launching her very first PoldaPop Pattern!!!  Today is her birthday!!!! Happy birthday Miss PoldaPop!!! To celebrate the launch and her birthday, she has put together a detailed tutorial on how to make the bag. The dimensions for each pattern piece are in bold letters right after the materials list. If you would rather have the pattern, Lisa is sponsoring a sale on the pattern which will run until February 28th. She's sharing the love for Valentine's as well as her birthday! You can find her pattern in her Etsy shop here, http://www.etsy.com/listing/123643702/sewing-pattern-zippered-scrap-wallet?. The introductory price of the pattern is a mere $5.00. After February 28th, the pattern will be $7.50. So you can make the pattern using the dimensions that are included with this post, save a little time and order the pattern, or, if you would rather not be bothered, she also has finished bags available in her Esty shop. Lots of options!!
The bag is quite easy to put together, remember it's just rectangles!
I hope you enjoy the post!

The PoldaPop Swatch Purse
This wallet features a zippered coin pocket, a detachable wristlet, 10 credit card pockets, and three cash/coupon pockets. It closes with a zipper and is large enough to fit a phone in addition to all your other wallet items. I like that I can take mine out of my purse for a quick trip to the store – I even attach my keys to the lobster claw hook when I don’t have a spare pocket!


Fabric scraps I use upholstery swatches from upholstery swatch books* or loose swatches (see note at end). You could also use home dec scraps and even quilting weight cottons

Interfacing (I use Pellon 911FF)

Fusible fleece interfacing (you will need this if using quilting cottons)

Invisible thread (optional)

All purpose thread

Double-fold extra wide bias tape (one package or make your own with 2” bias strips and a 1” bias tape maker)

7" all-purpose zipper

18-22” all-purpose zipper (needs to be good quality)

Swivel lobster claw hook (1.5”) and D-ring (3/4”) (I usually buy in bulk on Etsy)

Small binder clips (to hold together layers of fabric)

Fray Check

Pattern Pieces;
Exterior: 8.5" x 10.25" w/ rounded corners(1 fabric, 1 interfacing)
Background: 8.5" x 5.5" (2 fabric, 2 interfacing)

Coin pocket: 7" x 6.5" (1 fabric, 1 interfacing)

Wristlet: 2.5" x 14" (1 fabric)

Credit card pockets: 8.5" x 5" (5 fabric, 5 interfacing if needed)

Cash/coupon pockets: 8.5" x 6.5" (3 fabric, 3 interfacing) (omit step 1 of tutorial if you are making your own pattern pieces)

Step 1: Print pattern pieces

Print out all pattern pieces making sure that the “auto fit” and “auto rotate” features are turned off on your printer. I have included a 2” x 2” test square so that you can make sure the pieces have printed correctly. Cut out pattern pieces. Trim background piece so that one side has rounded corners. You should have the following pieces: exterior, interior background, coin pocket, credit card pocket, cash/coupon pocket, and wristlet. The coin pocket, credit card pocket, and cash/coupon pocket pieces have notch marks to show where the fold should be placed.

Step 2: Plan what goes where.

Before cutting the fabric pieces, lay them out in different combinations to see what looks best where. Once you are satisfied with the layout you can cut the fabric to size.

Step 3: Cut fabric to correct size and apply interfacing where needed

Now you can cut the pieces to size. As you are doing so, figure out which ones will need interfacing and cut that, too. I always use interfacing on the cash/coupon pockets, and often for the background pieces unless they are very thick. You only need to apply interfacing to the thinnest credit card holders (interfacing can sometimes make it difficult to put multiple credit cards in a pocket). Do apply interfacing to the zipper pocket fabric and the wallet exterior. Remember, if you are using quilting cottons as your fabric, you will need to cut and apply fusible fleece interfacing to the exterior piece. Fold credit card, coin pocket, and cash/coupon pockets in half (wrong sides together) using the notch marks for placement. Press.

Step 4: Sew wristlet

Fold the wristlet in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. Open it up and fold one side to the middle (wrong sides together) and press. Fold the other side in to meet it in the middle and press. Fold it one more time in half so that the raw edges are sandwiched on the inside. Pin and topstitch at 1/8" on both long sides. Insert wristlet through the swivel lobster class ring. Place one raw edge of wristlet about ½” away from lobster claw ring and sew, using a tight zig-zag stitch. Bring second raw edge to meet it and sew this raw edge down with a zig-zag stitch.
Cut a 1.5” piece of bias tape and open it once. Slip through the d-ring and baste edges together.
Set both pieces aside.

Step 5: Sew credit card pockets

Fold all five credit card pieces in half so that they still measure 8.5”" across, and press. Place one credit card piece 1" down from the top of the one background piece. Pin and sew with 1/4" seam allowance along raw edges.
Place folded edge of next credit card piece 1/2 inch below the folded edge of the first credit card piece. Pin and sew with 1/4" seam allowance. Continue doing this until all five credit card pieces are sewn in place on the background.
 Measure down middle of credit card holders, 4.25" from each edge, and make some kind of mark to follow (chalk, invisible ink). Sew down your marking 2-3 times (for reinforcement) to divide the credit card holders in half making 10 credit card holders in all. Baste sides to the background with 1/4" seam allowance. Set aside.
Step 6: Sew cash/coupon/receipt pockets

Fold all three cash/coupon pockets in half and press. If you would like to add a label, a good place to do so is on the edge of the top cash pocket; sew that now. Take second piece of background and pin one of the cash/coupon pockets 1" from top. Pin and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Place the folded edge of the second cash/coupon pocket 5/8" below the folded edge of the first cash/coupon pocket. Pin and sew. Repeat for the third cash/coupon pocket, which should now match up with the raw edge of the background. Baste sides to the background with 1/4" seam allowance. Trim bottom corners of pocket to match background.

Step 7: Sew credit card pockets to cash pockets

I like to have my credit card pockets and cash/coupon pockets open in the same direction. If this is also your preference, sew top edge of the cash pocket background to the bottom edge of the credit card holder background, right sides together with a 3/8" seam allowance. If you prefer to open your wallet like a book, sew the bottom edge of the cash pocket background to the bottom edge of the credit card background (RST with 3/8” seam allowance). Open it up and make sure all layers and stitch lines are included. If it looks good, sew 2-3 along the stitch line again for reinforcement. Trim off excess seam allowance. The inside of the wallet is now complete. Look at it and admire how the fabrics blend and contrast with one another. So lovely! Then set it aside so that you can tackle the exterior.

Step 8: Sew zippered change pocket into exterior fabric

Fold pocket in half, wrong sides together. Place fold of pocket 1.25" from the top raw edge of right side of the exterior. Open up the pocket so that the wrong side faces up and pin in place.
Place a strip of 1/2 wide clear tape 1/2" from the fold in the pocket fabric and 1/2" from each side.
Sew around the rectangle.

Peel off the tape, cut open the rectangle and pull pocket fabric through the hole to make a window for the zipper.
Glue, pin or baste the zipper in place.
Sew around the rectangle using invisible thread (or not!), sewing the zipper in place. You may wish to use a zipper foot for this.
Fold the pocket fabric in half and pin. Before removing your zipper foot, sew across the top of the zipper window one last time to hold the pocket fabric in place (so as to prevent it getting caught in the zipper). Change back to your regular foot and sew around the sides of the pocket with a 1/4" seam allowance. You may want to sew around the edge 2-3 times for reinforcement.

And, Voila! Zippered coin pocket:

Step 9: Sew exterior to interior

Use binder clips to "pin" exterior to interior wrong sides together. If the edges don't quite match up, do a bit of trimming. Make sure that the credit card pockets are at the top, matched with the zippered coin pocket. Sew around edge with ¼ seam allowance. Sew across the wallet where the credit card pockets meet the cash/coupon pockets to create a fold line for the wallet.

Step 10: Attach Zipper

Get out your good quality zipper (seriously, don’t use the thrift store zipper for this. I’ve made this mistake for you. You’re welcome.) Trim top of zipper to just above the zipper stop and apply Fray Check so that the ends don’t fray. Open zipper and place right side up on wallet interior. The top zipper stop should be placed ½” away from the center fold line. The zipper teeth should be placed 5/8” from the edge of the wallet. Pin the zipper tape to the wallet.

Sew zipper tape to wallet so that the stitches are in the middle of the zipper tape. Make a new zipper stop approximately ¾” from the edge of the wallet. Trim excess zipper tape.

 Step 11: Create tab for zipper tail

Cut a 2” piece of bias tape and open it up. Fold both edges in ¼” and press. Fold in half and press again. Sandwich the zipper tail inside the tab and stitch closed.

Step 12: Sew bias tape

Press bias tape. Open bias tape and pin the more narrow side to the exterior of the wallet. When you get back to where you started, cut bias tape so there is a 1-inch overlap. Fold under one end of the bias tape and pin. Place d-ring tab under the bias tape to the right of the coin pocket zipper.
Sew around the bias tape 3/8” from edge of wallet making sure that that you don’t catch the zipper teeth on the interior side. Fold bias tap over the edge of the wallet. Pin to the interior wallet and slip stitch the edge to the zipper tape.

Close the wallet and admire your fine work!


Interior decorators and upholstery shops are sometimes willing to give or sell old swatch books, swatches, and scraps. If using upholstery swatches from upholstery swatch books, you will first need to cut out the swatches and remove the paper backing. Some of the backings will come off with gentle pulling but most will need extra help. I use an iron (set to wool/silk) and steam to get them off. Apply the iron to the paper for 20 seconds (move it around) and then pull the paper off. If it doesn't come, try more heat/steam. Every once in awhile you'll get a particularly stubborn label; if multiple visits from the iron don't work, put it aside and move on.
*This tutorial is provided for personal use only. If you would like to make these wallets to sell, please contact Lisa at poldapop@gmail.com for a license.

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  1. Realy fabulous thanks to both of you.

  2. Thanks for all your help, Rhonda!

  3. I need a new purse! The finished item is really cute.

  4. That is very cute. I love all of the details. I may have to try this!

  5. After searching the net for a zippered wristlet purse, your fabric pic caught my eye. Then Lisa's pattern and your tutorial, made it really became a traveling wristlet for my upcoming journey to the East Coast. Thanks Rhonda!

  6. Thanks for sharing this, can't wait to make one. Love the pattern and easy to follow instructions. Thanks again.