Back to School: Media Wallet
July 28, 2013
School is coming! School is coming! (Depending on where you live, the school year may have already begun.) I used to love the new school year as a kid -- all of the fresh new school supplies so full of promise were like magic to me. Of course, within a few weeks, things would always start looking a little ragged and due to mediocre organizational plans, I'd have a hard time finding half of the things I had stashed in my various notebooks and pouches.
Now as an adult, I still love school supplies, but I'm a little better at organization. And thank goodness. Because now that I have to keep track of things like SD cards and USB drives and specialized connector cables, I really need to have my act together. And to help me keep all of my digital storage and cables organized, I came up with a media wallet that I can drop in my bag and take with me anywhere -- without having to worry about things falling out or getting jumbled.
Te begin, I started with a piece of 8.5" x 5.5" craft foam. I rounded the corners by nudging a round object -- in this case, a tulle spool -- up to the corner and tracing it, then clipping the traced edge to form my curve.
Then I used my craft foam as a pattern to cut the outer covering of the wallet -- out of a denim scrap from a pair of jeans my husband no longer wears.
To start on the inside parts of the wallet, I first cut:
- A piece of wide grosgrain ribbon to span the center of the wallet from top to bottom. (Hooray for scraps!)
- Four 5.5" x 3.25" rectangles in a cotton print.
- Two 5.5" x 1.75" rectangles in the same print.
I first stitched the elastic to the grosgrain ribbon on each side, then basted the grosgrain into place, centered on the foam.
To make the interior pockets, I first sandwiched a 4" zipper between two of my 5.5" x 3.25" rectangles and stitched the zipper into place. I then turned the fabric right side out, pressed it and topstitched. I sewed one of the smaller rectangles to the oter side of the zipper and pressed it outward as well.
I repeated the whole process for the second pocket.
Then, I stitched a piece of elastic on top of one of these pocket assemblies, creating three separate segments by stitching the elastic down at intervals along the elastic. (Don't worry. I'll go over the whole thing with a lint roller once I wrap up the stitching. :) )
To make the backing for the pockets, I cut two pieces of a different cotton print using the craft foam as a guide, and cutting them wide enough to overlap the grosgrain by 1/4".
To finish the pocket prep, I laid each pocket assembly face down and overlaid the pocket backing on top, also face down.The zipper assembly will be bigger than your backing -- they're easier to assemble with a little extra length to the smaller piece.
Then I basted them together and trimmed away the excess from the pocket assembly.
Next, I aligned the long straight edge of each pocket assembly with an edge of the grosgrain ribbon centered onto the craft foam. I stitched through all thicknesses with 1/4" seam allowance, then flipped the pocket right side up and top stitched the seam.
Once both pocket pieces were in place, I basted around the entire rounded rectangle.
Next up, I prepped my exterior fabric by cutting a strip of one of my cotton prints and stitching it onto the denim diagonally. Of course, you could do anything you like here -- appliques would be super fun. Then I basted this piece to the back side of the craft foam, being mindful of my interior zippers to avoid dangerous and dramatic needle breakage.
Next up: the zipper. I used a 14" zipper. I unzipped it and began stitching it to the wallet at the center of one end of the grosgrain ribbon, folding up the edge of the zipper so it made a right angle. I worked my way carefully around the curved edges as I stitched, and as I approached center of the other side of the grosgrain center, I stopped and snipped the bottom off the zipper, making sure my zipper pull was well above the clipping point.
I gently split apart the zipper at the bottom, being careful not to pull very much apart, and finished stitching the first half of the zipper into place, folding the bottom edge at a right angle just as I did at the beginning.
I sewed the second side of the zipper the same way, and then tested it by zipping and unzipping it to close my wallet.
The last step was cutting a piece of bias from the secondary cotton print and edging the entire wallet, encasing all raw edges and the zipper selvage. I am not going to lie: This was the trickiest part. I hand stitched the bias on the outside because it was proving too cumbersome to do so with the machine. So, this is a good point to grab a thimble and put on a movie to watch.
But then ... it was all done! And I am ready to run about town, sharing files and saving data at a moment's notice and without having to scramble through my bag looking for things. Hooray!
This project can be customized in hundreds of ways. You could use colored elastics to contrast your fabrics. You could use a home dec fabric for the exterior. You can use any combo of cotton prints to create wallets customized to your (or your kid's) personality. Happy digital travels!
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