I’ve been editing some sewing patterns by a designer I adore, whose bag designs blow my mind. And though someday, maybe soonish, I do intend to lock myself in a room for a day to make one, I remain somewhat intimidated by all the fiddly details that go into sewing a really extraordinary accessory. But it’s been on my mind. And she’s been encouraging me to just do it already (and she’s right, I should).

I was in this mindset when I stumbled onto a link to Dog Under My Desk’s Get Carded Wallet pattern, so I bought it. Because it’s adorable, and I decided that the $14 for the pattern would certainly be worth it. And because I knew I’d have a whole day to myself last weekend when the guys were away overnight. And because it only requires a couple of fat quarters and some interfacing and a zipper, and I had all that at home already. A good first step before making a larger bag, right? Right.

You guys, this pattern is amazing. Not only does it include a step-by-step photo tutorial of the whole shebang, it also includes some variations I found very appealing (like making a pleated change pocket instead of a ruffled one, and a fabric ID pocket rather than a clear vinyl one), and it involves engineering I found so very clever.

I don’t know how many hours it took me to sew this. I do know that I did almost nothing else after I finished the eye masks in the early afternoon last Saturday, and that I went to bed around midnight. The outside is part of a piece of sale fabric I picked up at Spool of Thread a few months ago. The inside is a fat quarter I’ve been hoarding. This was my first time using fusible interfacing, and I managed to fuse it successfully only less than half the time, so that’s confusing. But whatever, I worked around it. I didn’t have the one piece of sew-in interfacing the pattern calls for, since I only had fusible, so I wowed myself with cleverness by fusing two pieces together into one, non-sticky, very firm piece.

Anyway. I woke up Sunday morning and made coffee and then finished the wallet in a mad dash of stitching and snipping and turning-out and public radio. And this is what I had:

I’m so proud of it. Really, I’m proud of myself for not backing away when I saw how involved it is to make something like this. It is involved, and it probably took me like ten hours to make it, but it’s also quite simple. Just one step after another, like anything. And beyond being happy with the making, I’m happy with the product. Part of the reason this project appealed to me in the first place is that I’ll be traveling so much in coming months, and I prefer to travel with a smallish, lightweight wallet (my usual wallet is big and heavy, because for some reason I can’t manage for it not to be, and for some other reason it seems grown-up even though that’s really dumb). Most smallish lightweight wallets don’t have the right assortment and/or arrangement of pockets, but this wallet does. It’s perfect, I tell you.

As you read this, I’m winging my way to Southern California for Craftcation, wallet in bag. I hope some crafty pals notice it, because I’m ready to brag.

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