Ok, so if I’m being super generous, I’d say I’m an intermediate sewer. And that’s mostly because I am a quick learner and can pick up on things fairly easily. Aside from when I was little and my mom let me play on her sewing machine, I’ve sewn a total of 4 projects and two of those were the same thing. I’m also super stubborn. When I set my mind on doing something, I WILL do it and pray I don’t fail miserably. Sometimes that can be a flaw, but usually when it comes to being crafty it’s a good thing. So, when I couldn’t find a wallet-turn-purse that fit my needs (i.e. I could fit ALL of my discount cards, ID cards, bank cards, cell phone WITH case, and be able to turn it from a wallet to a purse for when I don’t have the diaper bag), I set to a search for a sewing pattern to make one. I knew there had to be something out there, I mean I know I’m unique but I’m not totally out there in my ideas. Someone had to have had the idea already to make a sewing pattern for this, right? So, my search began. I searched google, pinterest, more google, sewing blogs, etc. Finally I stumbled on a picture after weeks of looking for the PERFECT wallet. It could be dressed up or down, had hooks and straps and wristlet bands. It had a gazillion card pockets and zipper pockets and based on the measurements in the writeup, it would fit my phone too! So, I spent the $10.95 and bought the pattern… And then about an hour after reading through the PDF download and looking at it, I realized it was for advanced sewers. Crap! Yeah, I’m definitely not advanced. Like, not even close to advanced. The pattern called for interfacing and basting and rivets and stabilizers. I was at a loss. But, my stubborn butt said I’m GOING to figure this out. While searching the website that I bought the pattern from, looking at photos she had posted on her blog regarding the test phase, I stumbled across a note saying to join the ChrisW Design Patterns Group on facebook. Instantly I was thinking “oh thank you God! Hopefully someone there would be willing to help me.” So I submitted a request to join the group and secretly crossed my fingers and toes that I’d get accepted. The next morning, I received the notification that I had been accepted into the group. Yayyyy! Immediately I dove into all the posts, reading up on the wallet I wanted to make, looking at their advice for group members on the pattern, and browsing pictures of all the other creations. Did I mention I’ve NEVER done a wallet or bag before??? So yeah, I was feeling a bit like I was out of my comfort zone. I kept browsing and looking, reading the pattern over and over, youtubing what stitches were and what the heck was the difference between interfacing and stabilizers?! Finally, I went on the search for all of my supplies. Fortunately, the pattern recommended Emmalinebags.com for my hardware (absolutely LOVE this online shop – would highly recommend it for your sewing needs!). And I found a couple other things on there that would help my newbie-ness. I ordered my interfacing and stabilizers, all of my clips, and dragged my husband and kids to Joann’s to pick out fabric. Within a couple of weeks, everything came in and I was ready. I printed my pattern pieces and got to cutting.
Oh the cutting. I already had a rotary cutter and cutting mat so that made things a bit easier. I called my mom and asked for tips to cut the pattern exactly (which is REALLY important with this pattern – seriously everyone says to try to keep your measurements exact!!). It took me an entire day to cut everything out and do the interfacing to the noted pieces that required it (after youtubing how to do interfacing!). No joke. Granted I was being super slow and meticulous since, like I said, this was beyond my experience level. Even though I used the cutting patterns, I pinned the provided notes to my pieces too. And then I realized I still needed a couple more things. So, back to the store I went. And everything got put to the side for a bit.
Now, I know my own faults. And one of those is the fact I absolutely HATE having unfinished projects. I don’t like stopping on a project until it’s done. So I knew I’d need some time to devote to making this wallet. My husband, being as supportive as he is to my crazy quirks, said I could have this past weekend to work on it. All of my other projects only took me a few hours to actually sew, so I figured it’d be about the same for this one right? WRONG!
On Saturday morning, I set to work. By 9pm I’d only finished the outside of the wallet. Granted I had to stop and take breaks a few times, help with the baby, things like that. I realized after I was finished that the front was just a bit wonky. But it wasn’t terrible. So I kept going. Sunday morning I sat down to finish it. I figured “ok, so there’s an outside and an inside to this thing, so I’m halfway done right??” HAHA!! Oh boy. Yeah I didn’t think ahead to all the extra parts I’d be putting together. Not to mention I got to one part and realized I had cut a piece by the “finished” size and not the size I needed to start at. At one point I ended up redoing zipper pockets THREE times. I bent a needle. I somehow ended up with birdnesting quite a few times… I mean, it was an ongoing struggle. My deteriorating mental capacity by the end of the project had some pretty wonky seams too. I mean, if I wasn’t so dang stubborn I would have tossed it all and said “I’m not ready for this.” But I was bound and determined to finish it. And I DID! Well, all but the rivets that I still need to punch holes for. But those aren’t “needed” for mine, it would just be a nice finishing touch (they are recommended for heavier fabrics, all mine were quilting cottons though). Since I realized after the first day I needed to mark my seams and pivots, I have lots of quilters ink I need to wash off still too. Ha! But hey, I did what needed to be done and it worked considering I was out of my element.
So here it is… my version of Christine’s Penny Inn. With all the flaws and quilters ink and Wonder Tape showing still (and stickiness on the ID window that I haven’t gotten off yet either). Seriously, I took these pictures immediately after I’d finished. I think there’s still a couple stray threads I hadn’t clipped off yet. Yeah I have some wonky seams going on, it could be a lot better. But it was a learning experience and one I’m happy I did. I am thrilled I was able to accomplish it, and it couldn’t/wouldn’t have happened without Christine’s AMAZING pattern writing (seriously, without having a Youtube video sew-along, the tons of pictures were the next best thing) and the Facebook Group’s help and advice to my stupid questions. And now, thanks to this project and Christine’s website, I have a new sewing obsession! (sorry Babe! more bags and purses are probably in the future!!) Haha! If yall are interested in checking out Christine’s patterns, her website is HERE. And if you’re as obsessed with this wallet as I was and immediately want to do one for yourself, here’s the direct link to the pattern on her website! Also, keep an eye out (I’m sure she’ll post it on her blog) – she plans on doing a sew-along for the Penny Inn in the near future (she hasn’t announced a date yet). I hope to build up the courage to do this again, I absolutely love it and wouldn’t mind having a teal one as well. But I think I’ll wait until the sew-along just in case! 😉