YEARS ago (and I do mean that in all caps) I was reading a post on one of my favorite blogs. It was for an accordion wallet with a fancy frame and everything. No pattern was available then, much to my chagrin. When I was out Christmas shopping for donation gifts for the church Christmas tree (one of the tags I pulled from the tree said 'ladies' wallet') I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. I bought an extremely similar wallet so I could take notes and measurements and figure out how to make my own. I even ordered some frames (three, to be exact) because I always have high hopes for fast work and successful projects.
Obviously, as you've never seen me post anything of the sort, the notes are somewhere, and the frames have been wrapped in tissue paper, and I've been using this wristlet I made as my wallet. But a few weeks ago the pattern was released. And now I have a fun new wallet.
It irks me that I didn't center the diamonds with the little flip-lock part. My sister gave me this pink fabric several years ago for my birthday. I've been hoarding it ever since, just waiting for the perfect project. Something that wasn't going to end up being overly pink and foofy, but that would still be pink and fun.
I used an interfacing called decovil for this. It is definitely strange but awesome. It's stiff, and holds its shape, but at the same time is supple while being firm. It's a bit of an interfacing paradox. It's squishy but not really, but is. Whatever it is, it gets fused to the exterior fabric and is what gives the wallet it's body and structure.
I love how there's a lot going on in there but it folds up to this nice, slim little thing that isn't bulky at all.
I was hoping for a polka dot lining, but I had none stashed, and Joann's had none either, so I went with this black and white gingham. I'm really glad there were no polka dots. I love this. It's not perfectly straight, but that's perfectly fine. It's my wallet and I like it that way. I just realized I meant to switch out for pink thread but obviously forgot--oh well.
There were two options for the guts--a four pocket and a three pocket. I went for the three pocket version as too many pocket options leads to me being less organized.
The frame is glued on to the bag, but then also screwed on. Oddly, screwing in those bits was my favorite part of the whole thing.
One thing I was proud of myself for doing is checking my frame. The pattern calls for a 7 1/2 inch frame. Normally I'd have made this without considering measurements (and cursed a blue streak after the fact), but something told me I'd better check. Good thing, because my frame is 8 inches wide. I simply added that half inch difference to the cutting measurements and everything was pretty much fine (I wasn't as careful as I should have been towards the end, which made this the teeeeeeniest bit off, and also led to me having to hand sew the bias tape instead of machine sewing it).
Other than adjusting the size I made one other modification. Even though my wallet felt sturdy it didn't feel sturdy enough--I wanted something a little bit more rigid. So I cut two small pieces of plastic canvas and slid them in between the layers before I glued the frame on. Now it feels just right. And I feel kind of fancy using it. Like a real grown-up, with card pockets and everything.