Thursday, April 19, 2012

Accordion Wallet/Clutch Pattern Review

    This is the first sewing pattern I've ever bought off of Etsy, and it was a great experience. The pattern cost $9(USD) and was emailed to me promptly in PDF file format. This pattern was designed and written by Napkitten and can be purchased from her NapkittenPattern Etsy shop. She also has a second Etsy shop for her handmade goods which you can check out here, and a crafty blog here.  
    If you are looking to make a wallet and size matters to you, then this pattern would be great for you. It's hard to tell the size of it from the pictures in the Etsy listing because there are no reference points for comparison in the images and it's actually a bit larger than I imagined it to be(which is never a bad thing when it comes to wallets). The finished size of mine is roughly 7.5" wide, 4.5" tall and 1.5" thick(when closed), it opens up really wide thanks to the accordion style sides. It has 5 divided sections, 6 card slots, and a zippered section for change or other small objects.

Materials I Used
pink thread
black thread
an 8" pink zipper
1 set of magnetic snaps
medium weight fusible interfacing
heavy weight interfacing
2 fat quarters of the black print fabric(for the exterior, accordion sides, and card slots)
2 fat quarters of the pink lily print fabric(for the inside sections and the inside of the flap)
1 fat quarter of the pink fabric with the smaller design(for the bias tape)
*the pattern gives instructions for adding a D ring and long swivel clip to make the wallet convertible into a wristlet but I didn't include that on the one I made

Tools Needed
sewing machine(with a regular foot and a zipper foot)
ruler(the pattern doesn't give you printable pattern pieces, just the dimensions of the pieces you friendly!)
marking utensil
scissors(optional rotary cutter and cutting mat)
needle(for the hand sewing)
pliers(for installing the magnetic snaps)
bias take maker if you have one(I don't)

    When I first opened the pattern files I'll admit I was a little intimidated. There are 32 pages in the document but that didn't seem excessive once I saw how much detail was put into each step. Napkitten made sure to include all the information needed to be able to follow the instructions without having me second guessing what I was trying to accomplish. There are also a ton of images, at least 5 pictures for each step and sometimes as many as 20, and they helped me a lot by showing me exactly what my project should look like at that stage.
    Since this was my first time using this pattern, as well as my first time making anything similar to this style, I made sure to double triple check that what I was doing was correct before doing it. This clearly made the whole process take a lot longer than it could have but luckily I didn't make too many errors as a result. I spent about 1.5 hours cutting the fabrics and interfacing(I marked the fabric and then cut pieces out with scissors, if I had used a rotary cutter this would have taken much less time). The actual construction took me an entire afternoon and evening, and then I was probably hand sewing the bias tape on for somewhere between 1 and 2 hours. I plan on using this pattern again soon and I will be sure to update how long it takes me the second time through.

    On a side note, this was my first time using bias tape and I made it myself using this continuous bias tape tutorial. The tutorial is great and has got to be one of the most efficient way to get bias tape from a square piece of fabric. My only issue was that the tutorial gives you instructions to make 1" wide bias tape, and Napkitten's pattern calls for bias tape that is 2" wide. Luckily I realized before I got to the ironing step(ironing bias tape without a bias tape maker is finicky), but I had started cutting so I ended up wasting some fabric. Once I altered the measurements to be a bit wider the tutorial worked perfectly.
    Ok so, I've never written a review for a sewing pattern before. I tried to include everything I think would be useful/interesting to someone who is thinking about trying out this pattern, but if I left out something noteworthy or there are any questions please leave a comment. If you'd like to read more about the wallet I made be sure to check out my blog post here :)


  1. Looks great!! how about a blue and green one?

  2. Thanke you for the review.
    As for the Biastape folding you could try the free Printable Bias Tape Maker from scientific seamstress or you can use a normel plastic cutter
    show on


  3. Perhaps you can talk more about how the sewing of the gusset is done. I have sewn other accordion type wallets and the stitching around the wallet in order to sew in the gussets is very painful. If this pattern has an easier way, I would definitely buy it! Thanks.

  4. this looks like a pattern I would like to use. Thanks for sharing

  5. Made one, and it's great. I will make another for a friend who has heavily complimented me on it. I found out what a difference an eighth of an inch can make when sewing this pattern. The instructions are understandable and detailed.