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 fiancĂ© 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!

Duffel style bags

Over the last few weeks I've been working on a new project:

Duffel style bags!

 With monogrammed letters to personalise them

And fully lined with lots of useful pockets and clips..

I"m very pleased with the results of my personalised mini duffel style luggage sets!

I'm now putting the finishing touches to the PDF tutorial for all of these bags - and it will be available  in a couple of days!

So if you'd like to make yourself a set - watch this space!

In the meantime why not check out some of my other tutorials

Tutorial now available here: