A good friend of mine has made a New Year's resolution to make a budget and conquer debt using the Dave Ramsey Envelope System. Basically you create categories for your spending, such as groceries, gas, clothing and entertainment, and then spend from the appropriate envelope. When it's gone, it's gone. It's a good system.
I decided to sew her a pretty little wallet with pockets for each category so that she wouldn't have to carry a stack of white paper envelopes around in her purse.
It has six zippered pouches so that she can designate an envelope for each budget category, fill it with the appropriate amount of cash on pay day, and spend accordingly.
Each pouch has a tab at the top that she can write on to label each category.
And it has card slots at the back for debit cards and whatnot.
To make one you will need some fabric scraps and thread, a button, a small piece of thin elastic for the closure, and 6 seven inch zippers.
The zippered envelopes
To make six zippered envelopes we will make three larger square pockets with zippers down each side so that when sewn into the wallet like pages each "page" will make 2 envelopes.
Start by cutting six 8x8" squares of fabric. Sew one side of a zipper, face down on the printed side of the fabric, to one edge of the square. Repeat on the opposing edge with another zipper.
Now you'll have something that looks like this.
Place another one of the 8x8" squares face down and sew it's edges to the other edge of each zipper, creating a sort of sleeve or tube or fabric and zippers.
Turn tabs right side out so that you have something like this.
Pin two of the tabs with their raw edges facing out to the top edges of the zippered envelope.
Then stitch along the two open edges of your 8 inch squares using a 3/8" seam allowance. Make sure you leave the zippers open so you can turn the square right side out after sewing!
If all that made any sense you'll have something that looks like this.
Repeat the process to make 2 more of these.
The Wallet Cover
The cover of the wallet is a much simpler process. Start with two 9x10" squares of fabric.
Place them together, good sides facing in, and sew 3/8" from the edge. Leave a section open on one side so you can turn it right side out.
Turn it right side out, iron it smooth, and top stitch all the way around, close to the edge.
The Card Slots and Back Inside Pocket.
Cut seven 4x9" strips of fabric.
Sew two of them together, right sides together, leaving part of one long side open so that you can turn it right side out. Use a 3/8" seam allowance again.
Turn it right side out and iron it. Stitch the open spot closed. This will be a simple pocket on the inside back of the wallet. Put it aside for now.
Take three of the 4x9" strips and fold them in half lengthwise and press. Like this.
Top stitch along the folded edge of each strip.
One of the remaining 4x9" strips will be a backing piece for your card slots. Lay the backing piece down, printed side up, and lay the strips you just made on it, spacing them out like so. The bottom edge of the lowest strip should line up with the bottom edge of the backing piece underneath.
Pin and sew down the center.
Now pull back the strips and sew the bottoms of each strip to the backing piece one at a time. This will keep your debit cards from falling down too low in their pocket. I forgot this step the first time and had to rip out a ton of stitches and do it.
Take the last remaining 4x9" strip and place it over the whole thing and sew it, leaving a space open so that you can turn it. Use a 3/8" seam allowance again.
Turn right side out and press. Stitch the open spot closed.
Put a debit card in one of the slots on each side of the center line to measure how wide the slots need to be. Sew a line down each edge at the appropriate spot so that cards fit tightly enough that they don't fall out.
Putting it All Together
Okay...you've made all of the elements, all you have left to do is sew them together! Pin your card holder and your back pocket to the inside of the wallet cover, like this.
Then sew into place by stitching on top of the top stitching you made earlier when you made the wallet cover.
Slip a small loop of elastic in between the cover and the back pocket as you sew. This will be a part of the wallet closure.
Stack the three envelope pieces you made earlier on top of each other and pin and sew down the center of the wallet cover, like pages in a book.
And add a big fabulous chunky button to the front for your elastic loop to hold on to.
There you go. One New Year's resolution made pretty!
My friend doesn't know I've made this for her, (unless she, you know, reads this blog post...) but I do hope she loves it!
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