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Just the Essentials -- An easy wrist wallet for life on the go!

June 10, 2012

Necessity is the mother of invention. When I first started running, I was on a constant hunt for a way to carry my keys, driver's license and other necessities in the easiest way possible. I tried various things out, including shoe wallets and arm bands, but I never really loved any of them. Of course, I finally took matters into my own hands, and developed a wrist wallet of my own. I liked it so much, this is now how I always carry my cash and cards -- not just when I'm running!

Here's how to make one for yourself:

You'll need a little bit of swimwear/activewear fabric. Since I make a lot of my running gear, I have an epic stash of lycra scraps. The key is that it needs a lot of stretch. You'll also need some t-shirt scraps, and a short zipper. (Any zipper 4" or longer will work -- you can trim any excess length.)
This version works great on a 7" wrist. It's got plenty of stretch, so there's some flexibility to the size. It's also easy to adjust measurements to customize your fit.


- Cut 2 rectangles 3.5" x 5" out of your activewear fabric.(You want the greatest stretch across the 3.5" width.)
- Cut 2 rectangles 3.5" x 5" out of your tee shirt scraps. I like to use the sleeves of a t-shirt and leave the bigger pieces for other projects.

1-wrist-wallets.jpg- Last, cut a 5.5" x 8" piece of your activewear fabric.

2-wrist-wallets.jpg
Time to start sewing!

(A quick note on pictures: I was making three of these concurrently, so steps may be shown in different fabrics as we go!)

First, fold your long rectangle so the 5.5" edges meet up, right sides together.

3-wrist-wallets.jpgStitch along the 5.5" edges. I suggest using a stretch stitch, as this seam will wrap around your wrist.


4-wrist-wallets.jpgTurn your tube right side out, and set it aside. I like to align my seam so it sits along the center of what will be the middle of the underside of my cuff.

5-wrist-wallets.jpgTo set in your zipper, sandwich it in between your activewear fabric and your t-shirt fabric. The t-shirt scrap should be on the underside of the zipper and the activewear on top. Stitch along the edge, catching in all three layers. You may need to move your zipper pull out of the way at some point to keep your stitching smooth. Repeat this step for both sides.


6-wrist-wallets.jpgFlip all fabrics outward, away from your zipper, and top stitch along each side of the zipper. You may be tempted to press your fabrics out, but I wouldn't advise it. The elastic fibers in activewear fabrics will often melt under even low heat.

7-wrist-wallets.jpgGrab your tube that you set aside earlier, and place it on top of your zipper section. Situate it seam side down with one of the open ends approximately 3/8" to 1/2" to the right of the zipper.

8-wrist-wallets.jpgStitch down the tube 1/4" from the raw edge.

9-wrist-wallets.jpgNow, fold your tube to the left and top stitch 3/8" from the folded edge. This will hide your raw edge, and it will give you a bit of reinforcement for your cuff.


10-wrist-wallets.jpgNext, baste the remaining open end of your tube to either edge of your open zipper section.

11-wrist-wallets.jpgYou can give your cuff a size test once the basting is in place and adjust if needed. Keep in mind, it will get a little tighter as you finish the wallet.

12-wrist-wallets.jpg

13-wrist-wallets.jpgOpen up the zipper before the next part, or you won't be able to turn it right side out!

14-wrist-wallets.jpgFold your wallet closed, right sides together.

15-wrist-wallets.jpgAnd then stitch around the three remaining edges, being careful not to catch your cuff in the stitching.


16-wrist-wallets.jpgTurn it right side out, and voila! Ready to roll!

17-wrist-wallets.jpg
Here are the other two finished samples. The first is my favorite color -- zebra!

18-wrist-wallets.jpgAnd the second is a little Hawaiian number to enjoy through the summer, and during the winter when I need a boost.

19-wrist-wallets.jpgI love these handy little cuffs -- they're great for running and travel, and when I'm using one, I always know where my wallet is. (I am a perpetual nervous wallet checker.) I never take a bag with me anywhere on quick errands -- I just grab my wallet and my phone and go! And speaking of phones, you could always make a larger version if you need to carry your smartphone, but remember -- these aren't water resistant, so sweat or inclement weather can get to your electronics.



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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on June 10, 2012 8:55 PM.

Getting Ready for Baby: Receiving Blankets was the previous entry in this blog.

Tools: Fabric Markers is the next entry in this blog.

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