Once upon a time, I found an Etsy shop that made beautiful wallets.  And I wanted one. And I bought one because it was only £10 and did everything that I wanted a wallet to do, but couldn’t find in a shop. Plus it was handmade.

Then I found out that the wallets this lady sold were from a free pattern (a pattern which the designer said was okay for people to use for commercial use as well- a very rare find these days), but to my eyes, it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too complicated.  But apparently that’s how I roll.

Let me take you back to when I first started knitting. I discovered a yarn shop in Edinburgh, bought some Alpaca yarn because it was soft, then went online to ebay and looked up alpaca mittens to buy. Because it was my goal in life to one day be able to knit mittens, and I thought somehow that having a finished pair would spur me on to actually replicate them. So what if my mental processes are a bit fucked up when it comes to crafts?

The point is, I bought this wallet knowing full well in the back of my mind that I would one day be able to replicate it. Somehow, some way.

Enter Christmas.

I found this amazing fabric shop in Cambridge (CallyCo) and said to myself that this year, I would sew people things rather than knit them.  I thought this would be cheaper, but then, as always when you start a new craft, the bitch is in all the wee bits and bobs you need to buy just to begin.  I think I spent around £200 on fabric, cutters, boards, snaps, clasps, buttons, ribbons, interfacing, elastic, etc, etc, etc. Cheaper….ugh.  But at the end of the day I finally had a finished project.

I give you, my x-mas pressies of 2010:

Kira's Wallet

Inside- note the card holders, zippered coin pouch, and two bill pockets

Claudia's Wallet

Mom's wallet

Roughly 40 hours of my life

Kira's Crochet holder

Crochet holder closed

All the bits

As you can see from the last picture, I ended up making 6 wallets, two coin pouches, a tote bag, and a make up case (on bookshelf) with attachable cupcake pin.   And I still have a lot of fabric left to make some other really cute things.

I’m not sure if I should do a few more wallets, or branch out and try to tackle a few different kinds of bags.  I’m leaning towards bags.  Things I discovered in this: Magnetic snap closures are freaking expensive for what they are.  Snaps are a lot cheaper, but a hell of a lot more scary to use. I did half the wallets with snaps and half with magnets. The snaps (once I destroyed several tabs trying to figure out how to make them work) were great- WHEN THEY WORKED! But for one wallet, it just didn’t stay put. I kept hammering, and it kept…hammering a hole through my fabric. Then the plastic snap thingy holder broke. Now I’m debating a snap tool thing, but am far too poor.  Also, the people at John Lewis don’t really know as much as you’d like. I asked them for the strongest, thickest interfacing (something I had never used before) and the lady gave me this light fairy gauze stuff that she said was really good because it had criss crosses on it or something for stability. I ended up with a very limp wallet.  Also, didn’t know that iron on interfacing sticks best with a wee bit of spray water on it. Whoops.