Obviously, going travelling means sewing right? Well for me it did. When faced with the troubling prospect of organising and keeping safe all the different travel documents (passports, visas, car hire info, accommodation, tour bookings etc!) I was struck with the sudden realisation that we needed a document-holder-type-case.
Now, before jumping to a sewing conclusion, I did investigate potential purchasing options. There was a pretty one in Kikki K that I coveted for quite a while, but in the end could not justify the $80 price tag. Even if I would use it again. Even when I looked online, I was put off by high price tags or expensive shipping costs.
So, determined that I could make something just as good, I reviewed the sewing options by looking at the different cases and bags in iKat Bag's Zip a Bag collection. The Single Zipper Tape Pouch/Case seemed to be the best fit for what I was wanting. Namely that I would lay flat so I could get to everything, and also fold and zip to keep everything safe and sound.
I did make a prototype which was using what I had lying around the house and was pretty hideous. But, it taught me some valuable lessons about how everything went together and confirmed some of the things that I knew I needed. After thinking that we might be able to get away with using the obscenely ugly prototype for about a week, we realised that the amount we were going to have to pull the thing out to use it in our travels would be such that it was worth a second try.
So I went to Spotlight and splurged on some really pretty, heavy duty material and a new zip. Even with this splurging, the case came in under $20, so I'm pretty happy with that. I couldn't find a zip that was long enough to go all the way around (like in the tutorial), but I managed to MacGyver up a solution that works quite well. I possibly should have trimmed the bottom end of the zip, but it's extra length helps to distinguish between the top and the bottom of the pouch, so it stays for now.
Hidden inside the layers, is some plastic that I ripped off the cover of an old art book. Under the advice of a good friend, I cut it in two and sewed it in sections so that it would fold easily. All advice was that the plastic would be too hard to sew through with the fabric and interfacing, so I glued it with basting spray. Then I went with my gut and tried to sew it anyway. I did succeed, so that plastic is going nowhere.
On the inside, each of the pockets has two lines of top stitching to make it pretty, which I used the shiny gold thread that I'd used in mum's confetti bunting for. The metallic thread was as tricky to sew with on fabric as it was on the cardboard. I did try to use it for the outside of the pouch as well, even so far as to try two strands of it at once for reinforcement, but to no avail.
I'm still so happy with how things turned out and that we have this great travel wallet for all the documents for the future. Totally worth the money on the fancy fabric.