The Penny Inn wallet by Melisa Jane

Welcome to the Penny Inn Sew Along, with Ellen – Part Two! Please DO join in the Facebook group Sew Along running in conjunction HERE! I know everyone is eager to get on with Part Two since we are a little bit late posting, so I won’t prattle on!  Glad you are feeling better, Ellen…..over to you…


Pic-of-EllenHello Happy sewers…. it was a little tricky trying to cut this pattern into 4 sections, but I will do my best.  I’m sure most of you will work at your own pace. Some will finish early and others might sew along with the schedule.  Some may decide to do a Penny in the last week (Living on the wild side …loll). Please remember this tutorial is meant to be used in conjunction with the pattern.

So everyone should be on  their way to having their cutting and fusing done.  Now let’s get into some of my favourite pastime ……

Sewing …YAY!!

Tab and Wrist and Shoulder Straps. – These parts are straight forward.  I haven’t made a shoulder strap yet.  The Tab, I start with 2 squares and interface the exterior piece and use my 2 templates to draw on the outer shape and the inner shape and iron on some fleece. The line of stitching goes on the smaller template shape line. Drawing in the curve helps me to get a nicer curve result. For the best result I do a second line of stitching close to the first and trim the straight lines at 3 mm and pink the curves.  Turn, press and top stitch.

For the wrist strap, fold and iron as per the pattern and don’t forget to thread your strap latch on before seaming the ends together. Close the edges of the wrist strap by top stitching together, moving the latch around the circle as you go. Now, top-stitch the other edge in the same manner.  Fix the latch in position as per the pattern.

Strap and Tab

Before we start on the Flap and Body I want to talk about the Decovil 1 or substitute. There are 4 pieces to be cut and for the best result it needs to be cut exactly the same width.  I draw in all 4 pieces required and check them with a 9.5’ square quilting ruler to make sure their all straight and square. I’ve used the Non fusible Peltex for this wallet, I do like it, however I would have liked it a little stiffer.


Top Flap – Follow the pattern directions, matching the top flap pieces together. Seam together, using a 10 mm seam around three sides, leaving the top open. To get a nice shape, make sure you mark the pivots. When you have a shape that you’re happy with, again here I do a second row of stitches right beside the first row. Then clip corners and snip into the angles, reduce bulk in seams. Turn and press.

The Penny Inn Flap

Retrieve Decovil 1 and try it inside your flap for fit, making sure all seam allowance face to the lining piece.

Inserting your Stabiliser
Make sure you have it in as far as it will go and that you have a cm clearance for the seam.

Check for fit!

When you’re happy with the fit, if it’s a fusible type  then press it in now. If not fusible then put few pins in the top seam allowance to hold in place.

So this is where things get interesting….. In order for the body to be nice and straight and square. We have to match the width of the rest of the body to our top flap. Should be between 8” to 8 1/4” wide.

Flap Bottom – Retrieve your two pieces and pin together matching all sides, before seaming I turn in and iron my seam allowance on the long straight edge. I find it helps to have a pressed line to use when turning in seam allowance later.

Flap Preparation

At this point … I check the width against the top flap and adjust seam line if necessary.

Flap Preparation

Also mark all pivot points. When happy …go ahead and seam together making sure you fold out flat the seam that we pressed down.  After seaming check again against the top flap for the width, re-adjust if necessary. If happy go ahead and clip corners and angles and reduce seam allowance. Turn out and press flat. Retrieve your Decovil 1 and insert into the bottom flap for fit. With any luck it will be a perfect fit..if not, then you will have to take it out and reduce the size to fit.  If using a fusible type then fuse once you have the fit correct.

Penny Inn Flap

Magnetic snap  – if you want to try this kind of closure, then now is the time to install it into the lining side of the bottom flap. You will need extra interfacing or stabilizer on the lining side and install by centering left to right and top to bottom. Keep in mind that 1cm will be tucked under the top flap when seamed together and the bottom edge will need 2 rows of topstitching. I would suggest a strong snap here as there will be a lot of pressure on the closure when the wallet is closed, as a lot can fit in this baby.

Next we need to tuck in the seam allowance along the long straight edge, this is where the ironed  seam line we did earlier will come in handy.  Of course most of you will be using double sided tape, I’m not a tape person, but I hear it’s a wonderful thing to use. Once you have it tucked in neatly to your satisfaction then we need to top stitch to close.  Continue with top stitching the bottom flap on 3 sides as per pattern.

Penny Inn Flap

Following the pattern,  join the top and bottom flap pieces by overlapping 1cm.

Penny Inn Flap

Making sure the edges are even, top stitch all the flap. Leaving the very top of the flap open, and set aside for later.  Mine was tricky as I had to do top flap in white and bottom flap in navy and some sections in both…. navy in the bobbin and white as top thread.  I leave my lock in the flap to the very end.

Penny Inn Flap
Moving on

Body Shell – retrieve your 2 body linings, right sides together – pin together with the T at the top measure and mark your line as per pattern. Mark the centre from left to right and insert the tab with 3 mm protruding.  Very important if your tab has an exterior side that it is facing down or away from you.  Just check here that your width is the same as the flap. Now seam from the drawn line .. up on the left side  .across the top ..and down on the right  to the drawn line. Sewing over the tab a couple of times to strengthen as there will be some pressure on the tab when the wallet is full.

Th Penny Inn Body Shell

Penny Inn wallet Body

Next we need to attach these lining pieces to the exterior body. Lay the exterior on the table in front of you with top at the top and right side facing up. Separate the bottom half of your lining pieces and lay onto the body matching the tops. I forgot to take a picture of this but Christine has a good photo on step (e) in the pattern instructions. Pin together  and check width against flap here.

Body Assembly

Penny Inn assembly

Leaving the top open (this is where the flap goes in) sew down the sides to the join. Swap to the bottom side, and sew around leaving a 6” opening on the end to put in the stabilizer. Step (g) in the pattern has a good photo of this. My last pic here is what it should look like now.  Check the flap again and make any adjustments if needed.

Penny Inn Assembly

The Penny inn

Insert Flap – checking that you have your exterior facing the right way, ( exterior facing exterior ) insert the flap into the top of the body. It should be a snug fit.  When you’re happy with the fit, seam across. I like to turn it out and check that it’s all sitting ok before turning it back and clipping corners and reducing bulk in the seams. I had a little trouble with this one for some reason, for the life of me I could not get my corners where the flap joins to the body to sit straight… I have little nipples sticking Hopefully the strap band will cover them. Give it a good press and turn in the seam allowance at the bottom.

Penny-Inn Flap/Body Assembly

Body Stabiliser

Stabilizer –   Prepare your Stabilizer for the body, as per pattern placement, sew the base onto the body piece.  Picture above.  If using a fusible kind, the fusible side goes away from you with the base on top.  Now fit  it into the wallet body, keeping all seam allowances to the lining side. I used some long tweezers (maybe even a chop stick or knitting needle) to help me get those suckers into the right place. It’s tricky getting the corners to sit nice.  The seam will be closed later but does need to be secured in some way at the moment by either double sided tape, pins or wonder clips.  Fuse the stabilizer to the body and give the whole thing a really good press. Attaching the inside body snap can be done now, following placement directions in the pattern. These 2 next pictures show the interior and exterior of the wallet up to this stage.

The Penny Inn outer Shell

Exterior of the Penny Inn

Strap Band – Prepare strap band by folding and ironing the edges in to meet at the centre, then folding in the ends and fit against the body to make the correct width. Top stitch the ends and sew in position as instructed, keeping in mind if you’re going to use none, 1 or 2 small D-rings. Don’t forget to put the D-rings on before sewing down.

The Penny Inn Strap Attachment

Flip Locks and Snaps – you can install the flip lock and snap now if you wish , but I’m leaving my tab snap and outside flip lock piece to the end, so I can  make sure they line up correctly.  I do need to install the inside part of the flip lock now. If using a magnetic snap, you need to do that now as well.  With the end that is still open in front of you, start with marking with a pin the centre point between left to right, and measure down from 6.6cm and put a dot where these two points meet. This will be the centre of the inside part of the flip lock. Take the backing piece and centre it and mark the 2 points that the prongs will go through. I like to strengthen the area by sewing a box in between the two prong hole marks. See picture:

Flip Lock Installation

I use my unpicker  to make a small hole where the mark is, be careful not to make the hole too big. Try the prongs in for size and position. When I think I have it right I take it out and dab a small spot of glue on the hole and then put the prongs back in. Make sure it’s in the right spot and level before the glue dries. On the back put another drop of glue around each prong and put on backing piece.

Penny Inn Flip Lock Installation

Bend your prongs down …..I found these were quiet hard to bend,  I found a pair of round nose pliers to start the bend and then use the flat end of my long tweezers to help bend the prongs the rest of the way. Double check before you tighten the prongs, that your lock is level. Next these prongs need to be covered  to protect the surrounding fabric. Christine has ironed on a couple of layers of interfacing. I have glued a small piece of headliner over it.

Penny Inn Flip Lock Installation

Well this is quickly turning into the length of a large  Sorry about that. However I hope it’s helping some of you to achieve a lovely end result.  Thanks to Christine for designing this feat of engineering.

So I think this is enough for now and hope to see you all when you join me for Section 3. Please come over to the Facebook page and share your progress. Happy sewing. Hooroo from Australia.



Thank you Ellen, as usual you have done a great job!

Please DO join us in the Sew Along over in the Facebook Group events! We would LOVE to have you! PLUS don’t forget to share your progress pics with us and  join in the friendly chit chat! 🙂

If you haven’t got your copy of the Penny Inn Wallet pattern yet, you can grab it here!

You can find Part One HERE, Part Three A HERE, Part Three B HERE


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  1. Chris, It is fun to be part of this sew along (even if I am behind because I am still dithering over my fabrics and because I just finished cutting out and fusing all my pieces for a Snazzy Slouch. Thanks to Ellen for such clear directions and photos. I love these sew alongs – I always learn some great new tips.

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