Handmade Review: The Passport Wallet from Fat Quarter Bags and Purses

I am all about the fabric scraps. I have a lot of them (I think they’re breeding down in the fabric bin, frankly), I long to use them all up, and I’m always on the lookout for useful ways to do so.

So I was stoked to receive a copy of Fat Quarter Bags and Purses and see that there was a project in there that looked quite useful, indeed, and would do its fair share to use up some of my cutest fabric scraps.

And that’s how my kiddos and I are now well-armed with passport wallets for our road trip to Canada this summer!

This project is one of the quickest and easiest in the book, although it does call for a couple of special materials. Fortunately, those supplies are easy enough to substitute. I didn’t look, for instance, for the specific type of interfacing that the tute calls for–I just dug through my stash and found the stiffest that I own:

fabric and scissors on cutting board

I used something different for each of the passport wallets that I sewed, and the stiffer it was, the more I liked it. If you don’t have interfacing, I think you could substitute vinyl or pleather, or possibly even plastic sheeting.

I don’t have clear vinyl at all, so for the windows in the passport wallet, I used a plastic laminating pouch that I laminated closed and cut to size. A clear plastic zip-lock style baggie would work for this, as well.

materials for homemade passport

Small projects like this are especially nice because I can use cute fabric for the outside and blah fabric for the inside. The inside of my own passport wallet (the one with Rainbow Dash on the front, if you must know) has fabric from the navy cargo pants that I thrifted last summer and then cut down into shorts.

See? I apparently cannot simply toss any kind of scrap fabric!

The kids’ wallets came out a little better, as I made an effort to find inner fabric that actually complimented the outside fabric on their passport wallets. No force on this earth, however, was going to make me make all-new double-fold bias tape just for this project, so I got grosgrain ribbon and they both got stash pink cotton double-fold bias tape (I buy it from this etsy seller):

inside of homemade passport

I am not the world’s best bias tape sewer (as that top photo clearly shows), but I made do!

passport holder on sewing machine

Our passport wallets turned out perfectly, and I think they’re just the thing that I was needing for our next trip out of the country, as our passports bumped around alarmingly in my backpack all around Greece last year, and it was not optimal.Β  This time, I’ll know where the dang things are, and they’ll be right there where I left them, inside the pretty ponies!

handmade passport holder
If you don’t need a passport wallet, yourself, but you’ve still got some fat quarters or other stash fabrics breeding in your fabric bin, Fat Quarter Bags and Purses does have quite a variety of projects to choose from. There’s a tote bag, beach bag, and backpack, as well as storage bags and bags for kids to take to sleepovers or swimming, but I’m partial to the tinier projects, the bottle carrier or the glasses case or the envelope clutch. They’re all more reasons to use up my cutest prints!

I received a free copy of Fat Quarter Bags and Purses from a publicist because I can’t write about a book if I haven’t used it to make myself look real darned cool at Passport Control!

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