Friday, December 18, 2009

Not a $20 Bill Mini Wallet [TUTORIAL]

Yeah, so, you know how when you go out with the three dimensional people for activities like drinking in a bar or drinking in a house or drinking in a country club because that is where people sometimes have weddings, you might swap out your normal Big Girl Purse for, say, a smaller more demure clutch?

Or maybe you're one of those whores who just ditches the purse and shoves all your necessaries down your cleave or maybe in your back pocket if you're wearing jeans loose enough to accommodate a layer of plastic.

And you're faced with that moment of What the Fuck Do I Do With My Credit Card and ID and this $20 bill just in case some rube bar doesn't take Visa?

Yeah, you know this moment in the Preparations for Going Out.

And, if you're me or like me or like most bitches I know, you take that $20 bill, wrap it around your ID and credit card and either throw it loose into your clutch or slide it into your back pocket, just tempting fate to come ruin your night by having these crucial items go missing. Or what if they get demagnetized? Does that still happen if the magnetic strips touch? I don't even know.

But, if you've had those moments and you're annoyed by them and you resort to using things like hair bands or binder clips or barettes or complicated currency origami to keep your necessaries together, this tutorial is for you.

Because this mini wallet, which is NOT A $20 BILL (see, worked that name in there so you could make sense of the title. You're welcome.), fits nicely into most clutches and super small purse things as well as your back jean's pocket provided you've left a little breathing space in those 7s for a thin layer of fabric and plastic.

If you're me, this is rarely an option because, friends, my jeans - they are tight. Yeouch.

Anyway, this is not about my questionable attire, this is about making sure that you have the means to pay for all those cocktails and, at a later hour, the necessary snacks and maybe, at an even later hour, some questionable entertainment on one of your city streets with lots of flashing lights - but that's not important. The important thing is that you do it with grace and style.

At least the amount of grace and style that can be garnered while you quickly and easily locate your Visa despite your crossing eyes and half-exposed rear end.

Moving on.

Not a $20 Mini Wallet Tutorial


2x 8x5.25" main pieces from main fabric
2x 6x5.25" pockets from contrasting fabric
1x 4.5x5.25" pocket from contrasting fabric
1x 4.5x5.25" pocket from main fabric

Step 1: Press the pockets

Fold the smallest main piece and two contrasting pieces in half horizontally and press.

Step 2: Sew the pocket piece

Place one of the large main pieces right side up and pin the smaller folded pieces, lining up raw edges and stacking the small main piece on top of one of the contrasting pieces as seen here.

Pressed edges should be to the middle of the main piece.

Sew a 1/4" seam around all edges.

Step 3: Attach the back

Place the other large main piece on top of your just-sewn pocket piece, right sides facing, pin and sew a 1/2" seam, leaving one short side open.

Step 4: Turn right side out
That's all. Just turn the thing you just sewed on three sides ONLY, right side out and press.

OK. So you had to press, but you get it. It's easy.

Step 5: Finish your wallet

Fold in half, lining up short edges, pin in place and sew a 1/4" seam around all sides, being sure to fold in and press the bottom edges for a clean finish.

Step 6: Load it up and hit the bars. Or whatever.
Your ID, credit card (even a non-Zappos one, though I don't know why you'd bother) should fit snugly on one side and your cash should slide in easily on the other when it's folded in half.

Like you can plainly see here.

So, from where I stand, it seems like you're ready to jump off the roof into your awesomest 7s and hit the town without dropping your Zappos card on the dance floor as you attempt an iffy move to show off your quad prowess and/or whale tail.

And don't even be telling me you don't know what a whale tail is because I know you've witnessed them thanks to the Supah Low Jeans trend which has yet to dissipate. Not that I'm not guilty of this horror, I'm just saying, I have rekindled my love with my belt collection and everyone is the better for it.

So, like, wear a belt and carry this wallet and maybe when you're out drinking your face off you'll make less of a horse's ass of yourself.

OH! And if you have a friend who falls victim to this sort of thing, and you still need to make her a gift for the holidays, you could make one of these up real quick like from leftover scraps in your stash and save us all a little eyesore in the new year.

And, if you have a friend that fits into any of the following categories, this thing might be good for them in the following situations:

New mom/Diaper bag wallet
Retired mom/Park walking wallet
Commuter/Laptop bag wallet
Student/Backpack wallet
Dog owner/Dog park wallet (hello, this is me)

Hiker/Don't get lost without your ID wallet
Snowboarder/Lunch costs $50 at Heavenly wallet



  1. Would it be bad for my image to admit that I never have this problem anymore, and if I do happen to go anywhere without my purse and clothes with no pockets, I always have a husband in tow to carry things for me?

    Yeah, my image as a swingin' club girl is totally in jeopardy now.

  2. Wait..I was pretty sure that's what husbands were for! HAHA!!

    So um, luckily, my boobs are still perky enough so that in the freak chance I lose my 20, I can still get a free drink out of the deal. ESPECIALLY if I go towards the horny old guys. Which is ew, but dang when you're broke I am not picky. Get your drink and hide. :)

  3. OT, but when I saw this today, it reminded me of your posts about your neighbors.

  4. Yikes! I clicked on that whale tail -- not something you want to see so early in the morning. Cute mini wallet Finny. Now I'm going to go wash my eyes out with soap!

  5. I like the way you laid out 'steps' for me to follow...I do better that way!

  6. Great project and tutorial! I'd like to add another idea to add to your list -- your wallet would also be good to hold gift receipts/cards.

  7. Thanks finny for the kick ass tutorial!!! I am sewing today for last minute gifts, you rock!

  8. I totally love this, seeing as the little wallet I bought to go in my wristlet is almost as big as said wristlet. And I can't just throw cards and cash into a bag all willy-nilly. So thanks, Girl Genius!

    Also, thanks for "whale tail". Never heard that one, but I'll laugh for the rest of the night now that I have.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.