I’m not a huge fan of the “bodysafes” or fanny packs that Americans are always told to wear to avoid being pick-pocketed when going abroad, mostly because anytime you whip it out to pay for anything it blatantly reinforces with a proverbial blinking arrow sign that you are a tourist, and thus potentially putting you at a greater risk for being targeted. I wore a bodysafe on my first trip abroad several years ago, and I found it uncomfortable and inconvenient, so I’m always interested to hear of alternative ways people stay secure, sans bodysafe.
Taking a cue from Marcy’s 10 Packing Tips for European Travel, I made a lightweight, flexible 2.5″ x 4″ wallet, just big enough to hold my credit card, ID, & Euros (paper & coins), and one that I can keep nestled down in my front pocket (covered by my top and layered by my crossbody camera bag). It’s similar to my Mini Felted Clutch, only smaller and less complex. This baby came together easily in about an hour (The most difficult part was trying to remember how to thread my sewing machine and wind a new bobbin). I can’t wait to put it to work on our trip!
- 4″ x 7″ wool felt or faux leather (material that won’t fray).
- contrasting thread
- one 6mm antique brass button ball head screwback stud available through BagPurseFrames on Etsy
- pen with contrasting ink to fabric
- ruler or measuring tape
- 1/8″ hole punch
- sewing pins
- sewing machine
1. Begin by laying your 4″ x 7″ fabric piece in front of you, so that the short end is closest to you. Find the center of the short side by measuring 2″ from the edge and trace a 1-1/2″ half circle shape onto the edge of the fabric. I used a 1-1/2″ spool of thread as my guide. Carefully cut out the half circle with a scissors.
3. On the opposite edge to the half circle edge, find the center of the short edge by measuring 2″ in from the edge. Using your ruler draw diagonal lines from this center mark to the marks you made in Step 2 that are roughly 1″ from this edge. Cut along these two lines to create a point.
4. With your sewing machine, stitch along top flap as shown above with an 1/16″-1/8″ seam allowance. This is purely decorative.
5. Fold the edge with the half circle cutout upward creasing the fabric at the 2.5″ mark you made in Step 2, and secure with sewing pins. Sew along the sides of the wallet at 1/16″-1/8″ seam allowance where the fabric is doubled up, removing pins as you sew.
6. On the inside of the pointed flap, measure and mark 1/4″ down from the flap point. Use hole punch to create hole.
7. Lay flap down onto wallet (like you’re closing it), and make a mark through the hole you just created in step 6 onto the fabric layer below (about 1/4″ below the half circle cut out). Use hole punch to punch through the mark. Unscrew screw back, place screw through the back of the new hole, and screw the ball head on tightly.