YAY it’s time for another sew along! Have you been wanting to make a wallet BUT are too scared to try because they look like they would be hard to make? Well Brandt’s Boulevard from the new Easy Street Sew & Sell range may be the perfect answer for you! Just fabulous to whip up for yourself, for a friend or two or to sell at the markets or in an Etsy store.
OK….so I sound like an advertisment! LOL Sorry about that BUT truly, it’s not at all difficult AND it’s quick to make too! PLUS with the help of Ellen here on the Blog and Rachel over in our Facebook group event, how can you not succeed? We know YOU can do it! 🙂
FEATURES: Brandt’s Boulevard is a super quick and easy project that you can whip up in a day or over the weekend.
Sporting 4 card slots, an ID pocket, a slip pocket for notes or bills, a zippered coin section and a smaller slip pocket…… PLUS a phone slip pocket that will hold an iPhone 6 Plus or a ton of receipts. Optional wrist strap completes the package!
Approx. size when closed: 18.4cm W X 10.8cm H X 2.2cm D (7 ¼” W X 4 1/4” H X 7/8” D)
For some inspiration, do pop over and see the tester pics here!
So….without further delay….lets get sewing! Over to you, Ellen:
Sew Along time again….. Whoohoo …. Hello ladies, Thanks Christine for allowing me to play with one of your newest patterns. I hope you’re all going to join Rachel Anaya from “Tiger in a Tornado” as leader and the rest of the Admins, in the “Brandt’s Boulevard” Sew Along. Starting on the 8th of February on the special event page. (To join the event, join the Facebook Group HERE if you are not already a member!)
So I’m sure you all have your pattern ready, please read the pattern 1 or 2 times first… there is always information in there that you will need to know. When I first got the pattern, I knew I’d make a few. So I made template pattern pieces out of cardboard Cereal boxes, you could also use template plastic or thin plastic cutting boards.
So now gather your materials and hardware. You can use a different closure eg: Twist lock or Magnetic clasp. Once you have chosen fabric, then you can cut out your pieces, yes… there seems to be a lot of pieces but half of them are interfacing Pattern pieces. Please re-read the interfacing instruction section so you know exactly what you’re doing.
Using name labels on each piece when cut, is a great idea and saves time in the long run. When fusing, also press in the seam allowances on the pieces that have been indicated to do so. I’m actually going to use this wallet at times to explain what NOT to do… loll.
Wrist Strap and Tab: I always do straps first, so I’m going to jump forward and do them now. I love how Chris does these wrist straps with no raw edges anywhere. Following instructions, you should have your Wrist Strap and Tab ironed in four folds. I suggest that you try your hardware on the tab and strap to make sure it’s a snug fit. Two times out of 10 I have to re-iron something and re-size it to fit.
So for the strap, make sure you have your hook threaded on the strap, unfold your ironed piece and line up the short ends, matching the folded lines, seam together, finger press the seam open.
Re-fold into an oval/circle and top stitch around the both edges, moving the hook as you go. Now move the hook to near where the seam is and fold and sew on the previous seam line to secure it in place. Grab your prepared tab piece and top stitch both edges and thread onto the D ring and seam to secure.
Tab Closure and Outer Body: Ok here’s where I admit that I didn’t take my own advice. Please don’t tell Christine, it’s a secret between you and me. When I cut out the interfacing I was playing play dough and puzzles with my grandson on the kitchen bench at the same time. I didn’t use the proper pattern pieces and then fused it before I remembered that the interfacing should not be in the seam. The thickness of this outer fabric also added to my grief….. Silly me … lucky I have and industrial machine, however the corners are not as crisp and defined as I would normally try to have them…. kicking myself …ouch!!
Onward and upward… If you’ve chosen to do a magnetic clasp then you need to install that now before joining the tab closure together. By my calculations the male should go about 3 cm from the raw edge of the lining at the angled end.
Retrieve your two Tab closure pieces and with wrong sides together, seam around leaving the short straight end open. Trim the edges and corners and turn out and press.
I pencil in the exact sewing lines, so as to get the exact angles around the end correct. Usually a light pencil line, I did this one darker for the purpose of photos. Then grab your outer body and make sure you have your seam allowance turned in at one end and I like to use a set square and the cutting matt to check it’s reasonably square.
Using your ruler, mark the centre of the body and tab closure and position tab centred on the body with the raw edges even at one end and the shaped end protruding over the end with the seam allowance of the body folded under.
Now, do 2 rows of top stitching around the Tab closure.
Now follow the pattern instructions and install the underneath part of the Tongue Lock. Making sure the loop is closest to the raw edge. You can also use other closures, Magnetic or Twist lock. For these, by my calculations, centred 3 cm from the raw edge would be a good place. But you need to check your own measurements.
Now we are going to work on the inside pieces…. another confession, I like a wide opening on the zip pocket, so I left mine longer. Then I had trouble sewing the sides of the zip pocket. Designer knows best…lol… stick to the measurements. lol Grab your ID pocket strips and zip tabs, you know the fiddly little bits you keep losing.
Zip Pocket: Grab your zip and tabs and cut to length. Fix tabs on and check length.
Retrieve your pocket pieces. I jump around a little here so I didn’t have to keep changing thread colour. The topside of the zip pocket is the same as the main fabric.
Follow the directions and attach your pocket pieces and top stitch ONLY the length of the zip as Chris’s Picture shows. In my pics you’ll see I attached the 2 outer and then the linings.
Then I made the Slip Pocket, turned and pressed, then did top stitching.
Now I did make my zip pocket a little different here, you can choose to do it whichever way you want.
So fold it, so the 2 outers are together and the two linings are together as per the pattern. Now for mine, I closed the lining completely. Graduating the seam allowance so that it’s a little bigger at the bottom and also taking a larger seam allowance along the bottom of the lining trim off some of the seam allowance. This is all to make the lining of the pocket a little smaller so it will fit inside better.
Then on the outside part I only sew the side seams, leaving the bottom completely open.
Neaten the seam allowance. Then fold the outside down over the lining, finger press all seams and the poke the zip tabs out and give it a good press.
Now, along the bottom, just fold up the seam allowance to the inside and press. This will be seamed closed a little later.
Centre your zip pocket on the slip pocket making sure the bottom edges are even. Now attach by top stitching the ends only. NOT the bottom yet.
Again for top stitching purposes I’m jumping around.
ID Pocket: Grab the fiddly bits and proceed as per the pattern to make up your ID window. Attach the ID window to backing; make sure you have pressed the seam allowance under.
Top stitch around the window to define the area, making sure you go past the bottom of the vinyl by 8 mm. Press, being very careful not to melt the vinyl.
Card Pockets: You should already have prepared these pieces, go ahead and sew them together with the non top stitched one first. Placing the others on top at 1 cm intervals. The last being sewn down under the top layer. Baste around the outside. Press.
Backing Piece: Go ahead and attach the card pockets to the backing piece as per pattern and then top stitch and fold the backing piece under leaving 1.6 cm of the backing piece visible on the top side. Make sure your top edge is even and press.
I decided that I needed to trim some of the excess layers from inside the ID pocket, before attaching. Then attach and top stitch that seam, making sure your top edges are even, then top stitch across the top and baste the side and bottom.
Attaching pocket pieces to Body Lining: Retrieve body lining and with the end that has the seam allowance turned under, pin the zip pocket 1 cm below top edge, sides aligned. Top stitch across the bottom, (closing the bottom opening if you did it my way), and baste the sides.
Position the card pocket section to the bottom of the body lining, aligning the bottom and side edges. Pin or clip in place.
When basting, I sometimes find the machine drags the pocket out of position so to avoid this I start sewing in the opposite direction (see pic) and then turn the item back the correct way and continue basting.
Joining Body pieces: Yay…. not too much left now… Pin your outside and lining body pieces, right sides together. With the 2 ends that have the seam allowance turned under together. Make sure these edges are even. We need to seam the other three sides together. To get an even line and square result I pencil in a dotted sewing line around the outside. Check with the set square to make sure it measures the same across (all the way along) and that it will end up square.
Seam the three sides; I always do a second row just outside the first. Grade the seams. This is where mine will be tricky as I didn’t leave the interface out of the seams allowance and it’s thick. Naughty me…
Play with the seams, finger pressing, playing with the corners can help when turning. OK turn… Play and Press some more being careful not to melt your vinyl. Retrieve your decovil/peltex stabilizer, fuse the body stabilizer interfacing to the fusible side of your decovil to make it non fusible. Then slip it in to the body for fit. You may need to trim to get to fit perfectly. Put your hand in and try to make sure all the seam allowances are on the body lining side.
Once you’re happy, don’t forget the wrist strap tab, top stitch all around closing the open end as you go.
NOW HERE is an interesting part. Even in testing I don’t remember seeing this part … loll… I have never done this on any of the ones I’ve made. Loll Till now, it does actually get the wallet to sit better in the middle. Sew 2 lines across the body at the given measurements in the pattern. Don’t know how I missed that; don’t tell Christine…loll…
Last thing to do is insert your outside Tongue lock piece. If you have the prong ones, they are sharp. I suggest not doing a big hole. I put the outside piece on the edge and centre it. Poke a tiny hole with my unpicker and put the tiniest dob of glue, then insert the prongs and push through. Make sure it looks even and bend over prongs with the end of my tweezers and make sure its flat. The outer twist lock can be installed now centered 3 cm from the edge. But just check if you like that position and adjust if necessary.
Tah Dah you’re done.
Thanks again for having me and taking the time to read my adventure. I hope I have been able to help anyone that maybe having a problem or just entertained you for an hour or so … Please come and join us at the Sew Along. Well it’s Hooroo from me … Thanks Christine.
PS I’m thinking of doing the Uptown Girl in March. Who’s with me?
WONDERFUL! Thank you for all your hard work Ellen! I really LOVE your Brandt’s Boulevard!
If you don’t have it already, you can grab the pattern for the Brandt’s Boulevard HERE!
Do you LOVE the Brandt’s Boulevard but don’t sew?…Just pop along to our brand new Buy and Sell Facebook group where you can find plenty of awesome people who do! 🙂 Sellers, you are most welcome to join us there too!
Until next time, happy sewing!
Great pics and instructions! LOL Ellen, I think I missed the final line sewing in the middle last time too! I’d better make sure to do it this time! 😉
Thanks Rachel… I have no idea how I missed that. I haven’t done it on any of mine.. Lol lol except this one. Lol hope the sew along will be awesome!
Thanks Ellen. Fine instructions and lovely clear photos! Hope I get time to do the sew along. Signed up, but already have two things cut out and ready to sew (Feb bag for BOMC and an Amy Backpack). Need to get myself in gear and whip them out…one was started for the long finished Amy Backpack sew along that was last month. Ah well, I will get there….really enjoyed Ellen’s guest blog!!! I am dismally behind on my blogs. Maybe I can get one done this evening.
Thank you Ellen. Great blog as always, full of wise words, hints and tips. And a fun read too!
Thanks Ellen!! Great instructions. I am working on my first one and I love it so far! 🙂
Thanks Ellen, love the instructions. Out of town now, but plan to start upon my return. I know it will be fun!
Always enjoyable, constructive and informative fun SALs from you Ellen – I’ve printed off my pattern and now I shall beat a hasty retreat back into my sewing room and share my day with you!
I think the reason some miss (including me)the two seams that make the wallet sit better is because we might have used the tester version of the pattern. There were some improvements made that I now see, after making a few. LOL. Always good to write “Final” in the final version so we know that one is the one with all corrections and improvements.
Thanks Judith. I know what its like to be behind I have learnt to put things aside and get back to them later.. I have an Abby’s Alley and a Brandt’s Boulevard and 3 or 4 NCW’s wiating for attentiion. lol
Thanks Susan… Sometimes I think there is a little Jibberish in there too …. but hey thats me…Loll
Thanks Jana Its a great little pattern!!
Thanks Cindy… Look forward to seeing your Wallet or two!!lol
Thank you Elaine, I hope everyone can take some small piece of something out of my Guest Blog, even if its just a laugh!!lol
That is true Norma.. I’m a shocker for keeping the old versions. I should delete after getting a new one. I got into trouble doing a penny for this exact same reason…. Silly me..
Of course with this one, I think I just got to the lock and went DONE! loll
Thank you every one for your lovely comments!!!! To Christine Thankyou for such a great pattern!!!!!