Travel document wallet - a tutorial

I'm off on holiday with my family very soon - so wanted to make myself a travel pouch to keep all the passports and tickets in.

I found the fabric on special a few weeks ago and couldn't resist! 
Then when I picked up our travel documents and tickets and saw the wallet they all came in..

I thought - now there's a quick project to use up the fabric!
Doesn't this look so much cuter?

So here's the tutorial - if you want to make one yourself!

First the materials you will need:
Outer fabric
1 rectangle 28 x 26 cm (11 x 10.25")
(card pockets) 4 rectangles 12.5 x 5cm (5 x 2")

Inner fabric
(base) 2 rectangles 15 x 26cm (6 x 10.25")
(document pockets) 2 rectangles 13 x 26cm (5.25 x 10.25")
(passport pockets) 4 rectangles 12.5 x 10cm (5 x 4")
(closing band) 1 strip 6 x 45cm (2.5 x 17.75")

Inside zip pocket fabric
2 rectangles 20 x 12cm (8 x 4.75")

1 zip 20 cm (8")
1 piece elastic 34cm (13.25")
2 rectangles of card 22 x 12cm (8.75 x 4.75")
Co-ordinating thread

(ignore the other longer zip in the photo - I didn't end up using it!)

So first you start with the smallest pockets. Those cut from the outer fabric.
Double turn one longer edge on each pocket and stitch - this will be the tops of the pockets.
Repeat this for the 4 inner fabric passport pockets.

Now you need to stitch the small card pockets to the bottom of 2 of the passport pockets.
Pin then stitch one 2cm (0.75") from the bottom :

Then match up the next card pocket with the very bottom of the passport pocket. Pin then stitch.

Now add all four passport pockets to the larger document pockets:

Place them so the bottom pocket will hide the base of the second one. Pin both then stitch along the base of each pocket.

Now double turn one longer edge of these pockets - pin then stitch to neaten the edge.

Make sure you finished the opposide edges on both sets of pockets - so you should then have two sets that will form the inside of your wallet. Pin these to the base rectangles of inner fabric and stitch along the outer edges:

Then place these two pieces right sides together - pin and stitch down what will be the centre fold of the inside of your wallet:

Now to the outer part of the wallet.

First you need to make the hidden zip pocket.

Pin one of your pocket pieces to the right side of the outside fabric. Centrally placed and about 3cm (1.25") in from the edge. (remember you're pinning this to the side of your wallet - so along the edge that is 26 cm (10.25") long.

Using a pencil and ruler - draw a rectangle where you want the opening of the zip to be:

Then stitch around this rectangle:

Cut along the centre of the rectangle through both layers of fabric:

Cutting the corners to the points like this:

Now push the pocket rectangle through the hole you just cut to the back of the fabric:

Press flat - then pin the zip to the back of the pocket - so it is showing through the opening:

Then stitch around all 4 sides using the zipper foot attachment on your machine:

Now turn your fabric over - and pin the remaining pocket rectangle to the one you just attached. Stitch around all 4 edges to make your pocket!

Now place your inner and outer fabric wallet pieces right sides together. Pin and stitch around the sides and the bottom. Leave the top open!

Trim the corners,

Turn right sides out and press. Then place pins up the centre seam of the inside of the wallet.
And stitch through both layers along this line. 

Push the card rectangles into either side of the wallet from the open top end. Then fold the ends in on themselves and pin then stitch closed.

Now your basic wallet is almost finished!

To add the elastic closing strap. Take your long strip of inner fabric, fold in half lengthways right sides together and stitch:

Turn the tube right sides out, then using a safety pin thread your elastic through the tube you just created - making sure to keep hold of both ends of the elastic!

Stitch the two ends of elastic together to form a circle:

Then push the ends of the fabric tube one inside the other and fold the raw edges in to neaten. Stitch:

Then finally stitch this elastic tube to the center back of your wallet:

Then fill up your wallet with your travel documents:

The zip pocket is perfect for some ready cash at the airport!

Then slip the elastic around your closed wallet  to keep it secure!

And you're all set for a big trip!!

The wallet fits perfectly into my new duffel handbag!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

I hope you liked this tutorial.
There are now over 100 Free Sewing Tutorials for all levels of sewing ability available on this blog.
To browse through these - go to 
My Free Tutorials Page.

Fijian Sunset part two

Here's the second and final part of my story - Fijian Sunset.  If you missed part one - read it here first!

Fijian Sunset - part two

Copywrite Jill Shepherd 2010

As Sally approached the table, the girl laughed and that simple sound stopped Sally in her tracks.  The words of the cafe owner rang in her head, something about everyone being happy.  Sally looked again at the happy couple, and realised that much as she would love to make the toad suffer in revenge for what he had done to her, she was not like him, and could not take away someone else’s happiness.  As she turned to walk away, she hoped fervently that the girl he was now with, was an innocent party in all this, and wasn’t part of the toad’s plan to trick her and steal her holiday.
            Sally returned to the small stretch of beach in front of her shack, where she spent the next two days, relaxing, swimming and reading an old paperback crime novel she had found in the corner of her room.  She tried not to think about the toad and his new wife enjoying the luxury at the other end of the beach.  Mealtimes were something she began to look forward to, as the cafe owner; whose name she discovered was Luke, seemed to have taken pity on her and would join her for a drink and a chat at the end of each meal.   He was easy company, and before long, Sally found herself laughing and smiling and perhaps even beginning to enjoy her holiday a little.
            The next day in the early evening, Sally was sitting at her usual table waiting for her meal as it was being cooked, when she saw a couple approaching along the beach.  As they drew nearer, she realised it was the toad and his wife, and they were headed straight for her cafe.  Sally froze, her eyes fixed on the couple unable to move.  When Luke appeared with her meal, he saw the expression of horror on her face and followed her gaze to the approaching couple. 
            When they reached the cafe, Sally looked on in surprise as Luke stepped in front of the empty tables and said, “I’m sorry, Sir, but we’re fully booked tonight.”
Sally felt a wave of gratitude to him, and watched on in amusement as the toad first looked up and down the deserted beach, and then back to the empty tables and chairs.
“But there’s nobody here,” he said, making a move to push past the owner and sit down. 
“There is someone here, look!” the toad’s wife spoke up, pointing at Sally, seeming to see her for the first time as they tried to sidestep Luke.
            The toad’s face dropped in recognition when he saw her. Clearly he had not expected to see her again, particularly not here in Fiji.   Sally smiled in satisfaction as Luke, politely but firmly moved in front of the toad once more and asked him to leave since there were no tables available for him.
            The toad’s face flushed bright red as he glared at Sally with a mixture of anger and embarrassment.  He then turned to walk back down the beach, pulling his wife, who was protesting and gesturing back at the cafe, clearly not understanding why they couldn’t eat at the charming local beach front restaurant.
Sally smiled up at Luke as the angry couple walked away.  “Thank you” she said.
“That’s ok,” he replied grinning.  “I don’t want to lower the standard of my restaurant by having undesirable guests here.” 
Sally laughed and lifted her drink in salute.  She suddenly realised, that now, she really was enjoying her holiday.
            Finally the last day of her holiday arrived.  Sally sat on the beach, her broken heart almost forgotten in this island paradise.  She understood now that she had not loved the toad, or she would not have been able to get over him so easily.  She realised too that leaving this small island paradise was probably going to cause her a greater heartache than she had felt merely a week ago when she had arrived. 
            Further down the beach, Sally noticed a small boat gliding into shore.  As the people aboard jumped into the gentle surf and pulled the boat up onto the beach, Sally watched as a girl came racing out from the palm trees that fringed the beach and flung herself into the arms of one of the men from the boat.  Sally smiled as she watched the joyful reunion of the young couple.  They hugged and then fell into a long and passionate kiss.  Sally almost felt she shouldn’t be watching, but when the couple broke apart, Sally leapt up in surprise as she recognised the young girl.  It was Luke’s wife!  But then who was this she was kissing?

Sally’s mind was a whirl, as she turned and searched the beach and the small cafe for the handsome, kindly owner.  How could his wife do that to him, Sally thought in horror.  They seemed so happy together, she had even been envious of their relationship it had seemed so good.  She turned back to the boat, to see the couple walking hand in hand up into the trees.  Sally felt sick to her stomach at the girl’s blatant disregard for her husband, with such a public display of affection for another man!
            At lunch that day, Sally sat awkwardly eating her food, wondering what on earth she was going to say to the owner when he joined her for their regular drink and chat.  Should she tell him?  Or was it really none of her business.  He seemed as happy as ever, and had not mentioned the unusual absence of his wife as he cooked. 
            After the meal, Sally tried to make conversation, but was unsure of what she should or should not say, and quickly ended up making the excuse that she had to pack her bag for her boat trip back to the mainland tomorrow.  A crazy excuse since she really had no luggage to speak of whatsoever!
            By the evening, guilt was gnawing away at Sally’s insides.  She really couldn’t leave without telling Luke what she had seen, could she?  Over the week she had become very fond of him as they had chatted and gotten to know each other.  She couldn’t bear the thought of him being hurt as she had been by the toad.  Sally made up her mind to tell him that evening.
After her last swim in the sea, the sun was beginning to lower in the sky.  The brightness of the day slowly gave way to the more subtle tones of evening and Sally went inside for a shower and then dressed for dinner. 
When she emerged from her room and turned to walk the few steps across the sand to the cafe, her breath caught in her throat.  She saw a single table and two chairs, moved down to the edge of the water.  It was set with a brilliant white table cloth, and a small vase with a single, beautiful island flower stood as the centrepiece.  The rays of the setting sun, bathed the scene in a golden light, and the sun glanced off the sea in a million golden sparkles.  It was the perfect romantic setting.
            After her initial surprise at the setting, Sally then faltered, wondering who it was set up for.  Her heart then sank as she realised that Luke and his wife must have decided to have a meal together tonight.  Perhaps his wife was feeling guilty for her earlier indiscretion.  Whatever the reason, Sally knew that she had no place here.  She turned to go back into her room.  Oh well, she could manage without dinner tonight.  A good night’s sleep, then tomorrow would be the journey back home, to reality.
            “Sally, wait!” she heard a voice call as she reached for her door.  Turning around she saw Luke, dressed in smart beige shorts and a white shirt open at the neck.  She was suddenly struck by how handsome he looked, then a wave of anger rode through her at the thought of how his wife was cheating on him.  He ran up the beach towards her, a look of worry on his face.
“Don’t you want dinner tonight?” he asked, seeming to be almost pleading with her to say yes.
Sally looked at him, then down at the romantic table setting by the sea. “Oh, no, I’m not really hungry, you and your wife enjoy your meal in private,” she said, and felt her heart squeeze as she looked into his warm kind eyes.
“My wife?” he said in puzzlement.
Sally looked at him in confusion.  What had he just said?  “I assume you’ve set the table for a romantic meal with your wife,” Sally said.
Luke looked at her frowning, then his face opened up in understanding.  “You think that Sarah....” and then he laughed, a big, hearty laugh that came from deep inside him.
Sally just looked at him, more confused than ever. “What is it? Why are you laughing at me?” she demanded.
“Sarah isn’t my wife” he explained. “She’s my sister!  We run the cafe together.  Or at least we did.  Today her fiancé returned from the mainland and they tell me they will be leaving in a week to be married and live over there.”  He shook his head, still chuckling.  “You thought she was my wife?” he said again.
            Sally felt like a huge weight had been lifted from her chest.  So his wife wasn’t cheating on him.  He didn’t even have a wife!  Relief washed over Sally as the truth of the situation sank in.  But then her eyes turned back to the romantic table setting, and then back to Luke.
“Then who’s that for?” she asked, holding her breath, barely daring to hope, as a sudden understanding of the past week hit her consciousness. 
            The handsome cafe owner took her hands and looked into her eyes.   “For us, Sally.  From the moment I saw you walking along the beach towards me a week ago; I have not been able to stop thinking about you.  You are simply beautiful,” he said.
Sally’s eyes filled with tears.  This week had been the happiest time she had known.  She suddenly realised why.  It was because of this man.  Was it possible to fall in love in such a short time, she wondered?
            Looking out to the table by the sea, framed by the spectacular Fijian sunset, Sally felt the world of possibility open up before her.  She let Luke lead her to the table and into a new life.
The end
I hope you liked my story!  Please do leave me a comment and let me know what you thought!
If you enjoyed this short story - then please do come back on Sept 1st when I start publishing my first romance novel chapter by chapter each day over 3 weeks.
Stay tuned for Laura's Dream - set in the beautiful south of Spain!
Hope you had a great weekend!

Fijian Sunset part one

This weekend I thought I'd post something creative but different! 
Here is a short romance story I wrote last year!
Part one today - part two tomorrow!
I'd love to know what you think!

Fijian sunset  
 By Jill Shepherd    Copyright 2010

“I’m sorry madam, you must be mistaken.  A Mr and Mrs Hunter checked in under that reservation number about an hour ago.”  
            Sally flushed red with anger and embarrassment.  How could he?  She had won the holiday, not him!  She knew she should never have let him make the hotel booking.  How much of a fool had she felt the day before their trip when a friend had brought the paper to show her a wedding photo, of her boyfriend getting married to another woman!  That same friend had persuaded her to come to Fiji anyway, alone.  To get away from things and forget the toad who she had thought she had loved!  But now, it would appear she hadn’t gotten away from him at all.  He was here, using her prize holiday as a honeymoon for his new wife!  The nerve of the man.
            Sally turned and walked out of the hotel lobby and onto the beach.  Well at least if bad luck comes in threes, then that’s it done for me she thought, trying to see a bright side to her situation.  First my boyfriend marries another woman, then the airline loses my holiday luggage, and finally I arrive to find my ex has stolen my hotel room too!
            She walked along the beach for a while, carrying her small backpack, which was all that she had to last her for the week’s holiday.  Her swirling thoughts and anger made her largely oblivious to the stunningly white sandy beach, gently sloping into the shallow inviting turquoise water. 
Ahead, she saw a small cafe, where a man stood in front of it looking out to sea.   Sally approached him, and on seeing her, he smiled broadly, bright white teeth shining out from his deeply tanned face.
“Bula,” he said in greeting as she approached.
            “Bula,“ Sally replied, remembering that was the Fijian greeting that seemed to mean everything from ‘Hello’ to ‘Bless you’ when someone sneezed.  “Do you know where I can get a room to stay?” Sally asked hopefully.
The man nodded and gestured to the next building along the beach.  Sally thanked him and walked a few paces further to find a young girl, sweeping out a simple room.
            “Is this room for rent?” Sally asked politely.  The girl looked up, and giving her the same warm smile the man at the cafe had, she nodded.  She named a price, and Sally handed over enough cash to cover a week.  The girl’s smile got impossibly bigger and she promised to return soon with fresh towels and the key.
            Sally spent the rest of the day sitting on the beach in front of her little room wondering what on earth she was doing here.  She walked the few paces to the cafe next door for lunch and again for dinner.  It appeared that the cafe owner and the young girl who had been sweeping out her room were a couple.  Sally watched enviously the easy camaraderie between the two, the warm hugs
and genuine laughter as they cooked and served her delicious food.  Things had never been like that between her and her so-called boyfriend, Sally thought sadly.
            As the sun set over the sea, Sally sat sipping her drink, alone.  A stray tear spilled over from her eye and trickled its way down her cheek.
“Why would such a beautiful girl be so sad?” she heard a voice ask.
It was the cafe owner.  He pulled up the chair next to her and sat down.  He had brought two drinks with him.  He pushed one in front of her.  Then, lifting the other to his lips took a long gulp, set down his glass, looked at Sally, and waited.  Sally looked into his darkly handsome face.  There was something safe and welcoming about him, and Sally heard herself starting to speak, as she gradually told him her story.
“Everything happens for a reason,” he said once she had finished her story.  “Don’t be sad.  I’m sure he isn’t.  You must enjoy your holiday too.”  And with that he took the now empty glasses to the back of the cafe where Sally saw his wife wiping down the small bar as they closed up for the night.
            Enjoy my holiday, Sally thought with a bitter laugh.  Some holiday this was, with her ex-boyfriend and his new wife staying in luxury, while she slept in a basic shack, alone, on the beach.  That night, Sally went to bed tired and angry.
The next day she woke up feeling much the same and quite unable to get the image out of her head of her slimy ex with his wife, enjoying her holiday in the luxury resort at the end of the beach.  The more she thought about it, the angrier Sally became, until something inside her snapped and throwing her dress over her bikini, she strode out along the beach towards the resort with a dark determination.  She intended to confront the toad, and demand he give her her hotel room back.
            On reaching the resort, Sally stormed up from the beach towards the elegant sun loungers spaced out around the sparkling pool.  Her eyes roamed over the few people relaxing in the early morning sun, the odd hotel staff member gently sweeping up a stray leaf or flower that had the temerity to land on the spotlessly clean white tiles around the pool.  Finally her gaze settled on a young couple sitting at a small table under the shade of an exotic looking tree.  Copious amounts of pink flowers were gently snowing down around them and they looked the picture of happiness, gazing into each other’s eyes.   Just as you would expect newlyweds to look.
            Sally’s stomach churned as she watched the scene.  Torn between blind anger at the man sitting there who had lied to her and used her and also jealousy as she watched how happy and in love the couple outwardly appeared to be.  That should have been me, Sally thought, her anger once again spurring her into action as she set off determinedly towards their table.
End of part one.

I do hope you'll come back tomorrow to see how the story ends.....

Click here to read part two!

Back to School Dress - Tutorial - Guest Post from Adithis Amma Sews

Dear Readers of Creating my Way to Success'',

First of all, I would like to Thank Jill for having me over here and be able to share my views and ideas with you! Thanks Jill!

I am Lakshmi AKA Adithi's Amma from Adithis Amma Sews - Cute Confessions of a Sew Addict. My blog is about Sewing, Fashion, Trends and Pattern Making. I enjoy sewing and feel it is quite therapeutic! I sew to fill up my Family's (Read Darling Daughter, Dear Sister, Mom & MIL and bit for hubby and self too!) Wardrobe! and also love making handmade personalized gifts to near and dear ones, thus started this adventure into sewing, which i soon realized to be my passion!

I was introduced to sewing by my aunt when i was about 12 yrs and have been sewing on and off till my college days, after graduation and post-graduation i had weaned off sewing! Got Married, had my darling daughter, took a sabbatical from the Boring S/W engineer job (No offense to all techies out there, i didn't enjoy my stint as S/W Engr, that's all !) Viola! it was a blessing in disguise, during my free time i started to sew and was drawn into it, deep enough to take up a short-term pattern drafting course, and then there was no looking back! Adithi's Amma Sews was soon born and has loads of tutorials already on board. In fact you can find almost all of basic Indian Clothing tutorials like Saree Blouse, Salwar, Dhoti Pants/Cowl Pants, Angarkha, Anarkali alongside generic ones like Cowl Neck Drafting, No Pattern Skirt , to name a few.  Please do check them out!

Now enough of my blah blah, let me get on to what i have got for you readers today, a tutorial on how to draft and sew an Back to School Dress" for your tiny tots!  It is an Adjustable Summer Dress!

Would you like to have a look at what are we going to make today ! Here we go !!!

Entire Dress set with Headband and Belt!

I saw Lonsdale Dress @ sewaholic and was inspired by it. It was quite easy to knock off the look for my darling daughter, the actual pattern of it (from what i saw of the sketch) is quite different from what i have drafted (my draft does not have seams at Center front and does not need gathers at busline as we are sewing for tiny tots!)

First let us see the pattern Drafting Part of it,

Now that we have drafted the bodice, lets get on to Cutting of pattern pieces on fabric

We would need 1 front bodice piece cut on fold, and 1 back bodice piece cut on fold

For the skirt part, you can have plain rectangle fabric (width = 1.5 times your waist * length as desired) or you can also have circle skirt or in fact any style of skirt. In this tutorial i am using plain rectangle fabric cut for 15"length across the entire width of fabric (42" inches), the excess will be pleated to match the waist round of bodice!

Cut pattern pieces marked with stitch lines!

Now lets get on to sewing part ...

First we shall finish front bodice, to let the Tie Straps go in we need to have a slit, so we shall make a buttonhole at Center front right beneath the stitch line at top! Let us interface this area to make it stronger once it is slit open!

Finished ButtonHole at Center Front


Now let us finish the open top edge using bias strip

Now let us move on to the Back Bodice, all we need to do here is create a casing for elastic and also create 2 loops for the straps to pass through at the back

The following step is a bit tricky, and if you can't get it out, don't worry, this is just to ensure the stitch does not show on right side where the loops are attached, so you can directly just fold the loop and tuck in raw edges on both ends and pin it in place and top stitch on the right side, easier way of doing it, but the stitch shows on the right side, though it will not be easily visible once the elastic is pushed through the elastic casing and the back becomes gathered! You need to flip to the RS of back bodice, then to get the raw tucked edge top stitched upon, without catching the top layer of the loop, carefully slide the presser foot, through the loop as shown below,

Now let us insert the elastic into the casing!

Now that the back bodice is also finished, it is time for us to join the front and back bodice at side seams!

You can finish the seams in whichever way you would prefer, i have overlocked them and have also overlocked both the top and bottom end raw edges of the skirt.

Instead of serging raw edges, it can also be just folded twice and get a clean finish, simple!

Now that we have finished the hem, let us join the seams of the skirt (you may as well join the seam and then finish the hem, it is up to you!)

Time for us to join the bodice and skirt pieces together at the waist line. Please notch the Center as well as sides of Skirt portion, the seam will be joined at Center Back of the bodice. 

Did you notice the gap or the excess of skirt fabric in above picture, once they are all pinned up to matched notches! you can gather or pleat as per your wish! I have chosen to pleat and have pleated at opposite direction to get box pleat at both Center Front and Center Back

Finished Outfits Back & Front View on the Wrong Side

Finished Outfits Back and Front View on the Right Side 

Now it is time for us to make the Tie Straps and add them to the dress

Fold the Tie strap into half along its length and then sew the seams, use a safety pin and turn them over the Right side, you get a 

Slide these straps through the button hole and there you have it! Back to School Dress - Adjustable Summer Dress !

Action Shots!

Before adding the flower!

To add bit of zing to it decided to add flower and headband and a belt!! 

Close up of the flower !

Look who is all Dolled Up!!!

Had already made 2 dresses in this style and here are the snaps of them

In Bright Cheery Yellow Printed Cotton ! with brownish silk belt and ties!

The below one was the first dress i made in this style , fabric is Teal Blue Cotton with floral prints and has a brownish green silk fabric strap and belt!

Hope you liked this Tute, for more Sewing and Pattern Making Tutorials, please check out Tutorials page of Adithis Amma Sews and do leave your valuable feedback.

You can mail me @ adithisamma[@] OR lakshmi.aditi[@] Do not have a button yet once i have it, will share it with Jill !  And here it is!!

Thanks once again Jill for having me here, and giving space on your blog for this big a post!