The Secret To Our Wonder Wallet Pattern

Wonder WalletLazies, Later this year will mark an unbelievable 10 year anniversary for one of my most loved patterns – the Wonder Wallet (WW). To this day, our Wonder Wallet pattern continues to enjoy huge popularity. Get a cup of coffee and join me while I share the secret behind this unassuming little design.

Later, we’ll see Susie Simser’s well-packed Wonder Wallet in the next installment of Show Us Your Lazy!

The Wonder Wallet was designed to meet my needs. One of my biggest complaints with ready-made purses, wallets and the like is that often times they are rigid, wasteful in their cumbersome design, and usually offer features I’d rather not have. Give me high function with a workable structure and don’t give me more than I actually need.

Let me give you an overview of this action-packed little cutie. The WW is just a bit bigger than a credit card at 4 1/4″ x 3″, and has four pockets: two for cards, one for cash/checks (folded) and one for coins.

The WW is designed to be thin, flexible, and truly be ‘wimpy’ from a structural standpoint to serve its intended purpose of more function than substance. Similarly, a zip top plastic bag is unsubstantial, but highly functional and flexible in its many uses.

Give it the ‘stuff’ test.
I know what you are thinking. I need a ‘real’ wallet. The WW can’t hold all of my stuff, it’s too small. You might be surprised how much this wallet can hold.

Let’s take a look at Susie Simser’s fully loaded wallet. After making a WW, transfer the contents of your current wallet, one by one, until you can’t fit any more. When fully loaded, my wallet looks a lot like Susie’s and is 1″ – 1 1/4″ thick. I can fit a dozen or more cards (license, insurance, credit, etc), cash folded in the back pocket and coins in the pocket in between. Great job Susie!

Susies Wonder Wallet closed Wonder Wallet

Next, you might be wondering how can you keep the coins in without a zipper or separate closure for that pocket. Woohoo! One of my favorite details in this design. The flap that closes the wallet closes the coin pocket at the same time.  Coins can’t escape when the wallet is closed.

Fast forward ten years and boy do I have a collection of stories, comments and whatnot about how this unassuming little design has been used that can raise an eyebrow and tickle a funny bone.

My favorite tale is the lady who carried one in her bra. That sure left me curious but I wasn’t bold enough to ask any questions. I did want to know, though.  Over here? Under there? Did she mistake the ‘Wonder’ part of the name and pack two where needed? I just smiled and matched her excitement with ‘That’s Great!’

Others:
– People carry them in their socks, pockets, jackets, undergarments, around the neck, wrist, and ankle. 
– Use them to ‘wrap’ gift cards.
– Others decorate packages with a bow and a wallet.
– Some make a wallet to match every purse. 
– Some make them with no intended purpose just because they are enjoyable and quick to make.
– Some showcase fabulous buttons.

Alterations:
– Interfacing – Adds bulk to the seams, be cautious.
– Batting – Cover piece only. Expand the project width 1/8″ to accommodate the thickness at the seams.
– Lengthen and widen for passport/travel documents.
– Round the corners of the cover flap.
– Add a vinyl pocket to the back for an ID holder.
– Add a shoe lace for a neck pouch
– Add elastic around the back for a wrist/ankle wallet.
– Working with thicker material? Add 1/8″ to the width of the project. Perhaps leave the second card pocket off to reduce bulk during construction.

The Wonder Wallet is the only wallet I’ve carried since its inception. It’s the perfect combination of easy to make, holds everything I need, fits in any bag, and is great for gifting. Invariably, when I run into Lazy Girls here and there, they start to rave about their Wonder Wallets.  I love hearing their stories and I’d love to hear yours, too. Post your story in the comments section below.

A big Lazy ‘Thank You’ to Susie Simser for sharing her project.

The Wonder Wallet pattern can be purchased here or from stores here.

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34 Responses to “The Secret To Our Wonder Wallet Pattern”

  1. Susie — January 28, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

    Wooooooooooohoooooooooooo! My Wonder Wallet is featured. :)
    I could have stuffed her a lot more than that too. I love this wallet and carry it all the time. I really would love to find the time to make one for every purse I have and every purse I’ve given for a gift. Of course these purses are all lazy girl design purses. :)
    Thanks Joan,
    Susie

  2. Janet Lutz — January 29, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

    In my quilt shop, “Lazy” is very popular and the Wonder Wallet tops the list! At the cash register, we get to see a lot of wallets pulled out of purses and it is really amazing the number of quilters that carry at least one Wonder Wallet. I saw an interesting WW one time – the customer actually sewed two of them back to back. It worked very well for her.
    Susie – that wallet looks pretty full. I think you need to make a trip to Calico Gals! Be sure to stop in next time you go to Homer. You probably drive right by!
    Janet

  3. Kathy Coleman — February 11, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

    Hi
    I made a wider version of the Wonder Wallet with two credit card holders side-by-side in each row. Gave one to each lady in my quilting group, The Bag Ladies, for Christmas last year. Also gave one to each of my cousins. Everybody loves them!!!
    I did the interfacing, too, but had it stop short of the seam allowances – no problem!
    Kathy

  4. Nancy — February 19, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

    I love the idea of the wonder wallet but how do I find the pattern to make my own?

  5. Anita — February 22, 2007 @ 9:30 pm

    Okay, how does one order this pattern?? Thank you.

  6. Joan — February 22, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

    Hi Anita and Nancy,

    All of our designs are available at independent quilt shops. Check with your local shop or check with one of the many shops with online stores.

    There is a great list of stores here:

    http://www.checkerdist.com/wheretobuy/wheretobuy.cfm

    My best!
    Joan

  7. Lynn — March 1, 2007 @ 9:03 am

    I thought I would find a free pattern for your cute “wonder wallet”. I can’t find it! Was I wrong??

    Lynn

  8. Joan — March 1, 2007 @ 9:41 am

    Hi Lynn,

    The Wonder Wallet pattern can be purchased at your local quilt shop or online in a lot of places.

    Here’s a good resource to find a store near you:
    http://www.checkerdist.com/wheretobuy/wheretobuy.cfm

    Joan

  9. Sappho W — March 1, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

    Is this something a beginner w/out a sewing machine can do by hand??? =) I’m interested in this since it is a small project but wonder if I can do this by hand.

  10. AJ, upstate NY — March 1, 2007 @ 7:06 pm

    I must have made well over one hundred of these. I have the ones that I use, including one made out of the “money” fabric that has dollars on the outside and coin fabric for the coin purse.
    I made a whole bunch of them for a cat group I was in, every kind of cat fabric that I could fine. For my redhat club when I was in that. Found eye chart fabric and made them for the gals where I had my LASIK done.

    I need to make something now to replace my “big wallet” that has a place for my Palm Pilot and cash and card. My old one does not have a coin purse, but it will when I am done designing a new one!

  11. Joan — March 2, 2007 @ 10:37 am

    I couldn’t find your free pattern for the wonder wallet.

    Joan

    - – – -

    Hi Joan,

    The Wonder Wallet pattern can be purchased online here.

     Joan Hawley, Lazy Girl Designs

  12. Annabelle — March 3, 2007 @ 10:02 am

    Is the pattern for the Wonder Wallet for sale? I can find it on the site.
    Thanks.
    – – – – –
    Hi Annabelle,

    The Wonder Wallet pattern can be purchased online here.

    Joan Hawley, Lazy Girl Designs

  13. Jean Kinney — March 5, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

    I love the Wonder Wallet pattern and have made at least 20. I like to cut them out in batches and then sew them at my leisure. I found that they are a perfect fit for my Razor Cell Phone. I also use one in my purse just for my stamps.

    My 7 month old chihuahua puppy saw me making them and wanted one of his own. I fill it with treats and he enjoys the challenge of getting the WW open and then finding the treats.

    I add a piece of warm and natural to the cover after it is folded and pressed. This batting is 3 1/4 by 5 inches. I stitch it to the sides of the cover and then trim the corners. After stitching I clip the fabric at the base of the warm and natural to make it easier to turn and press.

    My cover fabric piece is lengthened a bit. I keep all the other measurements the same. This increase makes the wallet just a little larger and the Warm and Natural gives it just the right amount of body.

    P.S.
    Even with the extra length for the cover, I can still get 2 Wonder Wallets from a fat quarter by turning 2 of those coin pocket pieces against the grain.

  14. Pauline — April 1, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

    I can tell you where she put the wallet because I use the same method for keys when I don’t have a pocket available, notes, cigarettes, lighter, folded paper money, flower seed packs, etc. This was the most used method of carrying stuff when you didn’t have a purse or pocket to use. Saw it alot in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Surprised you didn’t know about it. You place the item on top of your breast, under the bra or slip just before the strap. Works.

  15. linda maker — April 9, 2007 @ 11:12 am

    i also have carried this wallet inside my bra in nightclubs and shopping malls. works out great just dont wear tight fitting tops it can show a bit if you have a lot in it.

  16. Cindy — June 5, 2007 @ 10:11 am

    What dimensions did you use for the 2 credit card ww? I would love to make a full-sized wallet for this.

  17. Debbie — July 2, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

    I have discovered the wonder of the wonder wallet…and have made matching checkbook covers to use as gifts. I would love to know what the measurements are to enlarge the pattern. Thanks

  18. Kimmy — July 11, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

    If I’m planning to give a gift card to someone, I make a wonder wallet in fabric that reflects the receipents interest. The gift card will be used and may be forgotten, but they will still have the wonder wallet to remember the occasion.

  19. Mary — July 16, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

    I made my mother(84 yrs. old) a Wonder Wallet with her name embroidered on the front. She uses it to keep all her dr. appt. cards and medical information. It is bright colored and easy to find in her purse.
    A great gift for the elderly.

  20. Marty Hyne — July 30, 2007 @ 8:41 am

    I am going to meet about 20 people whom I have never met before except on an Internet Forum. I have made 20 of the Wonder Wallets in various fabrics/themes to match the personality of these ladies as gifts. I have made the famous Neck Coolers in men’s tie type fabrics for their husbands who will accompany them. They are SO MUCH FUN to make…it is hard to stop.

    Thank you Joan. And thanks to the lady who gave me the pattern for a birthday gift.

  21. Dee Wagner — September 20, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

    I just ran across this site for Wonder Wallets and was wondering if you have a like pattern for tea bag holders? I’ve been looking high and low for a pattern so I can carry my tea bags in my purse and this looks like a close match. I could buy one, but I’d rather make one myself as that’s what I do…sew. Please help me out or if possible direct me to where I might find such a pattern. Thanks so much, Dee

    – – – – –

    Hi Dee,

    Here is some info about using the Wonder Wallet design for just such a thing:

    http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/blog/?p=711

    I think it’s a great idea!

    Joan

  22. Pauline — September 23, 2007 @ 11:40 pm

    Had to laugh at the comments about putting the Wonder Wallet in a bra. I’ve used that method for carrying stuff ever since I can remember. Yeppers, learned it from my Mom and my Grandma. That’s where they always put stuff to be carried when they didn’t need a purse.

    And that is why I have the Wonder Wallet pattern. My pockets are always taken up with keys, lip gloss, emergency candy, etc so I need somewhere to put my cash without breaking a fingernail while digging in a pocket. My friend said, “you can even put it in your bra”, and I was hooked.

    I’m on my way right now to make my first one. I’m looking forward to this adventure.

  23. Starla Steckbeck — April 6, 2008 @ 7:47 am

    Enjoyed your web page. By the way, where did you find eye chart fabric? And in your searching, did you happen to find fabric with eyes on it?
    Starla Steckbeck

  24. Diane — May 23, 2008 @ 1:17 am

    I just made my first Wonder Wallet. It was so easy! I love all the ideas of other uses. Now I will be digging thru all my scraps. Thanks for such a great “invention”.

  25. kathy — July 5, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

    I received this wallet for my birthday from my sister. I found a great use for it. I collect those punch cards from almost every establishment as there promotion. I sometimes receive two or three because I always forget where they are or leave them in another purse. I use this wallet specifically to carry them so when I go there I can pull it out while in line to check out. great idea for gifts

  26. Dee Murray — September 21, 2008 @ 8:48 am

    I ordered the wonder wallet pattern because this site said i could add a vinyl pouch for an id and a shoe string to make it a neck wallet. However, the pattern gives no instructions for any alternatives. Can you hlep?
    – – – – –
    Hi Dee,

    To add a shoestring, I’d sew it in place after the wallet is done. Simply stitch it along the seam allowances before turning. Possibly zig zag it in place along the seam allowance. For the vinyl pocket, simply make a pocket from vinyl, add it on top of the cover so it ends up on the back and assemble as usual.

    Joan

  27. Shari Hall — December 11, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

    Hi Joan
    I recieved your Wonder Wallet pattern a few weeks ago. I couln’t wait for it to come. I am making several for Christmas gifts. I & another lady have a card making class once a month & I’m making some for the ladies, & family & myself of course. I put a tab on the side to add a ring or clip so they can clip it to a bag or purse or their belt tab. I love it they are great! Thanks so much!

  28. dan — December 14, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    i got a kick out of my sister in law while on vacation at a beach resort and in her bikini she put this wallet into her bra. somehow got it down far enough that it was not one bit noticable. that took talent. i told her gave her points for that. she laughed.

  29. Karla Hartzell — February 25, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

    Have you a tea bag wallet yet? I need a largeish sized version for houseing bath teas and a small metal canister for the loose leaf botanical blends, seperate from the paper filters.

    Do you have a pattern for a teabag or losoe leaf tea wallet?

  30. Molly — November 18, 2010 @ 1:30 am

    I got so excited to see that this pattern is up again.. I love these wallets for Christmas gifts! They are perfect to throw in your pocket or purse.. and can be made out of any fabric, which makes them really customizable. Can’t wait to make some more. Kudos!

    -Molly

  31. kaholly — May 17, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    I made all my friends and family members wallets as gifts and they just love them!
    Some are even coming back for seconds since it’s been so long. Great pattern.

  32. Shari — September 7, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    Hi Joan
    It’s been awhile. But I have to again say I love your wonder wallet!!! I have made over 50 of them friends & familly For gifts & for just about anyone. My husband has me give them to his clients, he’s a Realtor. I have use one all the time & I don’t use a purse very oftenl
    So just wanted to say thanks again. I might alter it a bit & make it a little wider & a another section so the bottom would fold out & maybe have a zipper inside or outside or both. I’ll try to take pic & send you one. But it’ll be awhile. When I have my wallet out to pay for something the clerk says oh what a pretty wallet did you make it? I say yes. I just love that.

  33. Faith Levister — October 27, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

    I would like to know where I can buy this pattern or if it'”s a tutorial? is it considered beginner or advanced? I would really like to try to make this. Thank you, you can reach me on my e-mail address. God Bless

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