Loyalty/credit card holder – pleated method

This slim card holder is perfect for either credit cards or those store loyalty cards that seem to build up in your purse. The latter are used less frequently, so it can be nice to keep them separate from your wallet if you’re tight on space.I used a pleating method to make the pockets rather than a bunch of separate pockets.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Courtside stripe

Lucky Red

Elastic beading cord or really thin elastic

Craft Fuse interfacing

Cute li'l button
1/4 yard of each fabric; a few inches of thin elastic or elastic beading cord; a cute button; Craft Fuse interfacing (8″x8″ piece).

The pattern

From the outer fabric, cut a square 8.25″x8.25″.
From the lining, cut a rectangle 8.25″x26″ (I’ve left you a little leeway here).

The process

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your outer piece and set this piece aside for a bit.
Mark a line 3/4″ from the top edge. I also have a line marking my 1/2″ seam allowance, but you can ignore that.
For each pocket, you will start by measuring from the fold in the pleat above (or for the first one, from the 3/4″ line you marked in the step above). Mark and draw a line 2.5″ down and 4″ down. The 2.5″ line will be where you fold to make the bottom of the pocket and the 4″ line will form a fold that will be the top edge of that pocket. See two steps down…
Just a quick glance at the layout and spacing we’re going for.
So once you’ve drawn those lines two steps above, fold the bottom line up like in the photo. The overall pleat should measure about 1.5″. Press. (That top edge where the top of my thumb is was the 4″ line. That bottom fold underneath where the 1.5″ measurement on the ruler was my 2.5″ marked line.)
Keep doing this until you get something like the image at left. I have placed pins to hold the pleats, but you should be pressing them well as you go. This is poly fabric, so it doesn’t press as crisply as cotton might.You should have a few extra inches at the bottom. Just make it match your outer piece’s length (8.25″) and cut off the rest.
My fabric marker really spread and got messy on this fabric, but in the end it all came out. Please ignore the smudges.The top pleat in this photo is top-stitched. I did this for aesthetics and also to make the tops of my pockets crisper.
To top-stitch each pleat, secure the pleats above and below with pins.
Then fold your fabric so the top of that pleat is accessible and top-stitch. I like to top-stitch with a longish stitch length. It just looks neater that way. After you top-stitch a pleat, secure it back the way it was with pins and continue on the next pleat.
Then baste along the side edges to secure the pleats.
Find the center point and stitch in the direction of the pleats all the way up the middle.
Here, I need to insert a step I did sort of after the fact, so there is no photo: Lay your outer piece right-side up and mark halfway down the left side. Take a few inches of thin elastic and form a small loop. With the loop facing to the right, baste the elastic to the fabric.Place your lining and outer fabrics right-sides together and stitch a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around — but leave a little bit open on either the top or the bottom to turn it right-side out through. (In the picture, I’m showing the ends of the elastic. Sort of a useless photo!)
Trim each seam allowance except the one that has the hole, and trim the corners diagonally to reduce bulk. (Again, ignore my messy fabric marker.)
Turn it right side out through the hole. Gently push the corners out. With your lining up, your elastic should be on the right side. Spray with water to remove fabric marker and press the whole thing nice and smooth.
Turn in the seam allowance of the hole when you press.
Top-stitch the whole thing quite close to the edge. I didn’t account for this step when I made mine and it made my pockets a tight squeeze for the cards, so I left you a bit of wiggle room when I gave you the measurements.
Sew a little button to the front of the wallet level with the elastic. Sew the button just through the outer fabric, not the lining.

Other views

(Click for bigger views)