Scrap buster: Wallet

I’m sure no one’s managed to avoid noticing the Fashion Revolution campaign on social media this week. Such a brilliant campaign, and I hope it reaches a lot of people. I don’t think us sewers are necessarily the main target audience (that would kind of be preaching to the converted), but I think we’re good ambassadors in terms of communicating the value of sewing skills, and also emphasising the hard work behind, and also the value of a piece of clothing.

Although we can still try to pull our weight in terms of choosing fabric that’s been ethically produced, and also avoid waste. In the spirit of this, I’ve decided to work through my massive pile of scraps, starting with the fabric I had left over from my latest Inari dress. I used to make loads of zipper pouches and make-up bags for my now closed (not sure if it’s temporary or not) Etsy shop, and they are great as a smaller scrap busting project to do in-between making clothes. My favourite tutorial is this open wide zipper pouch from Noodlehead.

This time I decided to make a new wallet for myself, as my old one had been dying slow death for some time. Here is the result.

Wallet-4I hate big clunky wallets and carrying too much crap with me, so this is a very small one. I actually don’t even carry a handbag, and prefer to just keep all I need in my jacket pocket.

I used this tutorial from the blog ‘Japanese Sewing Blogs’. I like the design because it has an outside pocket perfect for coins. In order to turn it into a wallet I made the following changes:

  • I changed the size and dimensions of the pouch (the end result is ca 18cm by 10.5cm).  To achieve this, I cut out pieces A and B at 20cm by 23cm, and the lining piece at 20cm by 26.5cm. The wallet could do with being a little less wide perhaps, but that’s a matter of preference. The zippers were quite a bit longer than needed, so I just cut them off.
  • I added three credit card holders (see image below) to the right side of the lining, about 3cm from the top of the fabric. If you have loads of cards, you can just add holders to the opposite side of the lining as well.

It’s a bit mind boggling how this wallet comes together, but just trust the tutorial, and you’ll figure it out as you go along.


Because I keep a load of cards in the wallet, I didn’t bother adding any interfacing to it. The cards add all the structure you need.

In terms of scrap busting projects, there is such a wealth of inspiration online. I’ve also got a Pinterest board for fun and free kids clothing projects that require very little fabric.

What’s your favourite scrap busting project? I’ve been savings loads of teeny tiny scraps with the plan of making a small cushion or foot stool with. Know of any good tutorials or patterns for this?

14 thoughts on “Scrap buster: Wallet

  1. This is nifty as! Great in your splatter fabric! My scraps are used for various things – oil rags in the garage, undies, pocket linings, waistband facings, baby hats….. Do you mean you’d want to stuff your cushion with scraps or patchwork them into something? I love some of the Amy Butler cushion patterns. I’ve made the ottoman things couple of times…. I think its the Gum Drops pattern. Uses a metric crapload of filling……

  2. The Fashion Revolution campaign is definitely meant for a much wider/more general audience, but I don’t think sewers are “the converted” at all, unfortunately. There’s sooo much online chatter about new fabric collections, what drapes perfectly for such and such a pattern, omg have you seen the latest print from so-and-so, etc. and VERY rarely any mention of either the human or environmental impact of different fabric choices. I’m not convinced that the difference made by doing the final construction stages of garment production yourself is really as big as we like to think. I wrote a bit about it last year (and apparently haven’t managed to write a proper blog post since! :-/) .

    Nice scrap-busting, and it looks like a very sensibly sized wallet! I made one recently that’s too big for my coat pocket and now I’m regretting it.

    • Of course, you’re totally right Nina. I just meant that among a lot of the sewers I know, there is a lot of awareness of the messages that Fashion Revolution wants to get out there. And a lot of people make their own clothes which at least cuts out the high street middle man that is the main profiteer of this awful industry. But yeah, I massively generalised. We all need to be reminded of the hugely negative aspects of fast fashion. And buy ethically made fabrics! Great blog post! :)

      • I don’t know for sure but I assume the cotton (or rayon etc) for most fabric sold to home sewers is sourced just the same way as the raw materials for high street clothing, and I think there are as many problems in those earlier stages – they just don’t get the same attention because there aren’t the big one-off disasters like Rana Plaza.

      • The True Cost documentary is so good at highlighting the everyday struggles caused by the clothing industry. Totally agree that this is as important to highlight as big disasters. It would be so great if fabric stores were transparent with where fabric comes from, what chemicals have been used in the process etc. But I guess that will never happen voluntarily unless consumers put pressure on them. Or that there is legislation around it.

  3. I love this wallet! It looks spot on for the sort of wallet I like the carry around too. I’m sure I have some scraps and zips I could use to make one, too.

  4. This is so chic and cool! It’s such a challenge to use scraps, isn’t it? I’m trying to not over-buy fabric and to think of creative uses for scraps, but odd pieces can be really tricky to use, can’t they? I’m thinking maybe some scrappy quilt projects would be a good way to use up lots.

    • Quilt is a great idea too! I’m also trying to think of stuff to make for our wedding later this year. Yards, and yars of bunting is high up on the list :)

  5. I usually end up buying always less fabric than I need 1.70 for me always translates into 1.50 I don’t know why and I always need to resort to creative cutting to finish my garments! I was thinking I’ll make a quilt some day with the scarps I do have or make scraps crochet thread. Now I will add this wallet to my scraps busting project list :)

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