Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wallet Tutorial

By popular demand on crafster, I finally made the tutorial for my wallet. =)
Good luck, and feel free to ask questions if you have any!

- Two types of fabric: one can be thinner, with a nice pattern and the second more sturdy but plainer. I have no idea what’s the name of the fabric I was using, but it was canvas-like and stiff. I imagine denim will do the job, or anything else you can find.
- Zipper
- Magnetic (or other) clasp
- Glue stick
- And whatever you use for your sewing

Fabric Pieces:
(s) = sturdy fabric (p)= pattern fabric
measures in cm

2- 18.5 x 19 (s) this will be your base
1- 18 x 16 (p) this will be your coin pocket
6- 18.5 x 4.5 (p) these will be your card slots
1- 18.5 x 16 (p) this will be your bill pocket liner
2- 10 x 2~ (s) this will be the base of your strap *
2- 10 x 2~ (p) this will be the outer part of your strap
2- 18.5 x 16 (s) one piece will be for your bill pocket and the other for your coin pocket *
4- 9 x 2 (p) these will make the ribbons around your wallet.

~ Or larger depending on the size of your clasp.
* Do not leave leek

Step 1:
Cut out and label (very important!) all the pieces you’ll be working with. Don’t forget to leave a leek unless otherwise mentioned.
Step 2:
Insert zipper and pocket 1cm from the top of a “base” piece
I, myself, followed an amazing tutorial for this part, here’s the link:
Since my sturdy fabric was… well sturdy, I couldn’t fold over such a small piece like shown in the tutorial, so I just cut it right along the edge of the rectangle and later “covered it up” with some acrylic paint. What you can also do is cut it along the edge and (before sewing on the zipper) make a contour with the patterned fabric.
NOTE: make sure your pocket is sewn on with the pattern on the inside. (the first time around I made the mistake of having it inside out and had to improvise a solution)
- Onto the back of the coin pocket, glue the piece of sturdy fabric intended for that purpose. This will make the wallet less flimsy. 

Step 3:
Make the top 6 card slots.
- Fold over one edge of your 4.5cm pieces and sew a straight line close to the edge. 
NOTE: before sewing along an edge, iron the fold first.
- Repeat for all the other card slot pieces.
- Now, starting with the top slot, sew the pattern fabric onto your base; sew on the second and third slot making sure that the third is 9cm from the top.
- Sew a straight line in the middle to separate the 3 long slots into 6 shorter ones. Leave the outer side as it is, it’ll be taken care of later.

Step 4:
Make bill pocket.
- Fold the lining fabric in half and iron (fold the 16 cm side). Once again, the patterned side needs to be inside.
- Fold over and sew the two top edges. One as is, and the second one with the sturdy fabric inserted into the fold. 

Step 5:
Sew on card slots onto the sturdy fabric of the bill pocket pocket following step 3.
Make sure the lining fabric is out of the way, you don't want it sewn on as well, you want it dangling behind for now.

Step 6:
Attach bill pocket to the base
- Now that your card slots are sewn on, glue the back of the lining fabric to the back of the sturdy fabric. (the half that's touching it when it's folded) Glue the other half of the lining to the base of your wallet. make sure that the bottom of the card slots is aligned with the bottom of the base.
- Sew on the upper edge of the bill lining to the base (the edge that's not sewn on to the other strip of sturdy fabric)
- Now sew along the sides of your entire base, in this way, closing the sides of all the slots and bill pocket.

 What it looks like from the back
 *Note, when I took this picture I had not yet glued the sturdy fabric onto the back of the coin pocket.

Step 7:
Make a pattern on the outer side of your wallet.
This is done on the piece of “base” fabric (18.5 x 19) that we haven’t touched yet.
I decided to just sew on a solid rectangle of patterned fabric, but if you have other ideas, feel free to improvise!

Step 8:
Make strap and add the magnetic clasp.
- Round off one side of both sturdy fabric pieces
- Glue each of the patterned fabric pieces over a sturdy fabric piece.
- On one half of the strap cut slits to insert magnetic clasp, leave the other intact.
- Insert magnetic clasp on strap. There is a bit on clasps here It’s fairly straightforward.
- Sew both sides of strap together. You might have to do this by hand. My machine couldn’t work around the clasp.

Step 9:
Finishing the strap.
- Secure the strap on one side (18.5 cm side) of the “outer base”.
- On the opposite side, secure the second half of the magnetic clasp.
- Both clasp and strap should be centered lengthwise and about 3cm from the side. Before sewing it on, make sure the strap is long enough to go around without being too tight.

Step 10:
Sew both sides of wallet together.
- At this point I cut the leek of both sides of my wallet, leaving them 18.5 x 19cm. You can cut a bit more or less depending on your zipper or anything else that may have gone wrong/changed in your design. Don’t worry about the flailing ends.
- Glue the two sides of the wallet together
- Fold over and iron the leeks on your 19 x 2 pieces of patterned fabric.
- One by one, glue and then sew on these “ribbons” all around your wallet. Make sure you get the strap out of the way when you're sewing the ribbon around that edge.
- Wash off any glue that might be showing and you’re done!

It’s really not as complicated as it sounds, bear with me, this is my first wallet and first tutorial. I would love to see what you guys make of this! And please feel free to comment on my tutorial (not enough detail? Too much obvious info? Pictures?) and add any suggestions you might have!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Anything is possible if you set your mind to it

Even making your own wallet!

For a while now, I've noticed that my wallet was falling apart and I wanted to find one with more card slots. Then, just the other week I discovered ... and fell in love! All the nifty projects on that site inspired me to get my ass off the couch and take matters into my own hands...

So here is my first home-made wallet.

I was amazed at the amount of measuring, calculating, planning, re-planing, and on-the-go fixes this took! This gave my brain cells some long-needed exercise. But despite (and in a way, thanks to) all the complications, I had a LOT of fun making this.

Measures 19.5 x 9.5cm

12 card slots
Coin pocket with zipper

Pocket for bills

Magnetic clasp

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fresh, fresh exciting!

I love spaghetti with tomato sauce, or, frankly, any other sauce. However, any sauce I buy invariably ends up moldy somewhere in the back of the fridge. This is mainly because I'm the only one in the house who consumes it (and partially because I sometimes loose things in my fridge). I tried buying smaller quantities of the stuff, but somehow, I can never manage to eat if fast enough. So I found my solution in making fresh sauce.

I once got the craving for pasta and, realizing that there is no sauce in the house, but that there are tomatoes underhand, I decided to improvise. The first time I did, I was in a hurry and simply diced a couple of tomatoes and threw them on the pan, along with fresh parsley. Not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, with some grated parmesan (and when I say some, I mean a small mountain of it, because it's just so damn good) it was quite next to restaurant-style delicious.

Now, when ever I make pasta, it has to come with the fresh, home-made, tomato sauce to which I add an ingredient or two every time. (Today's magic ingredient was sweet onion, giving it a subtle and marvelous taste) However, despite the fact that my recipe grows and changes a bit every time, I try to keep it simple, fun and fast to clean because, usually when I make pasta, I'm starving and I want food now, not in an hour!

Try experimenting a bit on your own, you don't always need a recipe to tell you what to do, to make something worthwhile!