I’ve been needing something in which to stash my stuff when I get to leave the ginormous diaper bag that I usually lug around. A friend of mine showed up one day carrying a wristlet with a phone pocket. Ta da! Exactly what I need! Since I don’t like to buy stuff, I decided to make one. I found this tutorial from the perfect pictures of Pinterest, which was totally excellent! It’s clear and fun, and I really like the gather detail on the front.
If you want to make one, make sure you visit the Noodlehead blog for the full tutorial, but I’d like to share how I made a few adjustments to make this wristlet work better for me. I’m wanting to use it as my regular wallet, so I needed a few additional features.
The first component I added is an extra layer of pockets on the inside, so that all my cards, chapstick, and papers could be organized. I just followed her excellent instructions for the first pocket, but made the second one a little shorter. I also made three pockets across by putting in two lines of vertical stitching instead of one. If you do this, make sure to leave a little extra room on the edges, for the seam allowance when you sew the bag together.
Being a mom of three little ones, I need a strap so that I can hang this bag off my wrist. Chasing kiddos with a clutch in my hand just does not sound like a fun idea, actually it sounds like a good way to loose my important junk.
So, there are a couple of ways to add a strap. One way is to just sew a strap into one of the side seams (you can use the same measurements for the wristlet loop, just skip some of the steps). The way I chose to go was to make a a detachable strap.
The first step is to make a small loop to hook the strap into.
- You start with a rectangle of fabric measuring 3″ x 4″. Fold the fabric in half long ways, with wrong sides together, and press.
- Take the two long outside (raw) edges and fold into the middle, press. You should have a skinny strip of cloth, with no raw edges and only right sides showing.
- Topstitch along the edge opposite the fold, pretty close to the edge.
- When you assemble the bag, line up your short, raw edges, with the raw edges of the bag, in between the sides of the bag. Make sure to sew over the strap when you sew around the edge of the bag, maybe even back stitching over that part to make sure it’s secure.
Then to make the wrist loop, cut a strip of fabric 3 inches wide and anywhere from 10 to 14 inches long. I made mine 14 inches long, and it’s a little to long for me, and I think about 10 inches would have been better. Follow the same procedure for folding and pressing as you did with the loop.
- Slide a swivel hook (I found mine at Joann’s, in the area with the purse handles) onto the strap.
- Open out the ends, and pin with the right sides together. Sew with a small seam allowance.
- Turn it back in so that the strap is folded in the lines you previously pressed.
- Topstitch along the open edge, like you did with the loop above. Just slide your hook out of the way as you sew around.
- Fold the strap around the hook and sew close to the edge of the hook. This is just to keep your hook from sliding around on the strap.
If you want to just attach a permanent loop to your wristlet, follow the steps to make the small loop, only with the larger size fabric. Super easy!
I also added a pocket on the back for my phone. Since, you know, one can’t survive without a phone for a few hours. So to add a phone pocket, cut an extra piece of fabric that is 14 x 5.5. Cut a piece of interfacing to 7 x 5.5. Then, I just followed the tutorial’s instructions for prepping the pocket. Once that was taken care of, I basted the pocket to the outside back piece with the right sides together. Make sure your basting is very close to the edge, so it won’t show when you finally assemble the bag.
Finally, the flap is a fabric piece 4 x 4.5. Mine is only that size because I had a scrap and it worked. This is not an exact science. The only important details are that it be long enough to overlap with the pocket, and thin enough not to get caught in the sides when you sew it up at the end. So it needs to be about half an inch smaller than the width of your bag pieces.
- Fold this piece in half width-wise, with the wrong sides together.
- Sew around the sides and across the folded edge. I like to make the corners curve, but that’s not important. Turn inside out and topstitch close to the edge.
- Baste onto the top edge of the back panel of the clutch.
- Add some kind of closure. I recently discovered how easy it is to punch in snaps, so that’s what I did. You could also use velcro or a cute button.
And there you go, a functional, cute wallet! And it was so quick to make, I’m itching to make a bunch more. Really, the Noodlehead tutorial is fabulous, and so easy to understand which I think made the process so very fun.