Project Eleven: Improved Wallet with Flap Closure
After designing and sewing the Perfect Wallet for my brother, I was itching to tweak the design and sew another one, I’d had a few ideas for yet more improvements. When I realised my very good friend Nicky’s birthday was coming up, I suddenly had the perfect reason to get sewing!
This time, the improvement I wanted to make was to change the closure from a magnetic clasp inside the wallet (which got in the way of the card slots and zippered pocket) to a flap closure on the outside, still using a magnetic clasp (I love magnetic clasps, they really finish a wallet off nicely).
I used the same black cord from the boy’s old trousers for the outside, and then added some random applique flowers using the fabric that would be on the inside of the wallet. Nicky likes blue and turquoise colours, so hopefully she will like this.
If you want to make this wallet you will need to follow the Perfect Fabric Wallet Tutorial, but with the following amendments:
Please note I always use quarter-inch seam allowances in my sewing, and my tutorial measurements include this.
You will need a small amount of fabric that co-ordinates with your wallet for your flap, I can’t remember the measurement of the piece I used, but it doesn’t matter, as long as it is long enough and wide enough for the magnetic clasp.
When you get to step two, attach one side of your magnetic clasp to the right side of the outer wallet fabric, about an inch in and halfway down the right short edge.
Now make your flap. Take a square of fabric double the width you want your finished flap to be and long enough to fold over the wallet and reach the magnetic clasp on the outer wallet (plus your seam allowances, don’t forget your seam allowances).
Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and press. Iron on some interfacing and attach the magnetic clasp through one side about half an inch down from the top. Once the magnetic clasp is in place, fold the square over again, right sides together, and sew up one long edge and then round the magnetic clasp. Here you can finish it off how you like, with a square flap, a rounded flap like mine (I just drew a rounded line to follow on the wrong side) or a pointed flap.
Remember to leave the bottom edge open, and when you have sewn the other two sides up, turn the flap right sides out, press and topstitch around the whole thing. Next baste it to the left side of the outer wallet fabric, about half way down, with the magnetic clasp facing up. In order to get the flap lined up with the magnetic clasp on the other side, I attach the flap clasp to the fabric clasp, with the outer fabric folded like it will be in the finished wallet, and align my flap that way.
Now you can get on with following the rest of the steps in the Perfect Fabric Wallet Tutorial, just ignoring all instructions for attaching magnetic clasps, as you won’t need to. When you come to sewing the outer fabric to the inner fabric, with right sides together, make sure the flap is safely tucked away inside the fabric sandwich.
A note on topstitching: I’m not very good at sewing straight lines, and it’s most glaringly obvious when I try to topstitch with a contrasting fabric, so I usually topstitch in thread that blends into the fabric, but the end result can be a bit boring. While appliqueing this wallet, I suddenly thought “why not do the topstitching in a zigzag stitch too?” so I did, and you can see the results on the photos. It won’t work for everything obviously, but for a funky wallet like this it looks awesome.
Happy Birthday Nicky!