Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Design Dilemmas

I've had it in my head to make a smaller wallet for a while now. I want it to be a design that can work for men and women. Yesterday I had a go at it... OK, I had two goes at it.

I made the jean/striped one first. I LOVE the striped material, it looks great. I ran into a few problems though.
  1. The zipper pulled out of the seam. BUMMER!
  2. When I had my dad try it out he had a hard time getting it to close with all his cards in it. The problem was the space between the pockets wasn't big enough with the bulk all the stacked up cards created when the wallet was folded together.
  3. I think the jeans are too thick for a wallet that should fit in someones pocket.  
Cards are too cramped

Zip pulled out

plenty of space for cards

Take 2-

I spent some time pondering and then got to work on the second wallet. The design is essentially the same just the measurements got a rework. I tried slacks instead of jeans for this one, I'm going to give that a fail. I don't think the material is durable enough to use for a wallet. I might be able to reinforce it, but that would add more bulk to a wallet that I am trying to make less bulky.

The construction of this attempt was much better.
  • The zipper is secure.
  • There is plenty of space between the card pockets.
  • The wallet folds even when filled with cards.
  • I added a new pocket.
  • The bulk was cut down dramatically. 

The problems-
  1. The slack material isn't very sturdy. I don't like that the seam allowances show through the fabric. 
  2. I'm not sold on the placement of the zipper.
bill pocket and receipt pocket...
I would still like to alter the design so there is less bulk folded into the bottom seam of the wallet. On the larger wallets I make this isn't a problem. The two sides balance out, plus those wallets are designed to go in a purse. Maybe the design is altogether too big. I have to keep reminding myself that I am intentionally designing a 3 fold wallet. I can also make a 2 fold wallet that will be much less bulky.

I love the challenge of designing a new item. It's fun, exciting and at times so freaking frustrating I want to give up and throw it all in the trash. The good, the bad, and the ugly, it's all part of the story.

bulky bottom edge
seam allowance shows through


  1. maybe make the inside 1/3 a little (weeeee bit) shorter and only have cc slots in the middle???? (less cc slots means less bulk??)

  2. I don't know much about sewing but I happen to really like the second one. I don't see the flaws that you do and perhaps that's because I'm only looking at pictures.

    I like Sandy's suggestion for fewer slots but at the same time I like having specific slots for various cards - library, insurance, ID, debit,rewards, etc. Would it work any better to have the cards on the outer folds and the zipper on the inner? Which brings up another thought/questions - is the zipper intended as a coin pouch? You'll want to allow for the bulk of coin, too.

    Overall, I think you're on the right track and am excited to see more!

  3. You rock my world with your commitment to zippers. Seriously. I have put in ONE in my life, a direct result of my mother's fear of zippers. It was in my wedding dress. Man did that pucker. Now you have got me thinking about upcycling that dress. Keep inspiring me. If you change your name from Upcyling by Ash to Inspiring Girl, you'll still be the same gal. : )

  4. Laura Beaver UscherJanuary 17, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Have you though about using upholstery fabric with a light interfacing maybe? If the zipper is as a coin purse type idea- I say ditch it! I couldn't even tell u the last time i paid for something with cash! Also- go buy one of those cheap boys velcro wallets and look at that bc im pretty sure that the credit cards run vertical rather than horizontally as in ur pic and then they just have one slip in the middle part for the id to keep it slimmer... maybe that would work? i dunno- just a few thoughts! Ur sooo awesome ash ull figure it all out!


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