May 19

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)

  • Anne

    Thank you so much – I really need this and was trying to figure out the easiest way.
    Great photos, and layout. I really appreciate the print options. First Class!

  • Lynda

    Thank you! Great and easy pattern…..Wonderful for gift idea…;)

  • Robyn

    Thanks for visiting the blog, Lynda!

  • I have tried and tried to follow the directions and, for the life of me, can not figure out how you got so many of the pleats out of fabric with that measurement. I added 4″ when I cut it out, just to be safe, and I can only get 5 pockets (10, total). Could you clarify for me how deep the pockets are and how far apart the pockets are (top of one pocket to the top of the next).
    I would appreciate any help you can provide. It would help my fried brain! 🙂
    Thanks so much!

  • Hi Laura,
    Thanks for your question. I’m afraid it’s been a while since I did this project and I don’t really remember much off the top of my head, but from looking at this post again, I believe that the pocket depth is 1.5″ (see fifth photo down in the tutorial) and it’s 1″ from the top of one pocket to the next. I know this project is kind of confusing — it was so many measurements! I’m sorry that it’s not more fresh in my mind and I do hope you can manage to make it work out.

  • Thanks for your quick response! It helps a lot! And yes, there are lots of measurements! I appreciate your help! I’ll try to remember to send you a picture of my finished product, if that’s ok.

  • Please do!

  • Connie

    Perfect for all of those pesky loyalty cards, now if I could figure out how to put a zippered pouch in the center I’d be all set. Any ideas???

  • Connie,
    Well, this one is pretty snug, so you’d definitely have to make it a bit wider to accommodate a zipper pouch. I’m assuming you mean a little pouch that sticks out like a divider in the middle? Maybe you could make a small zippered pouch — a really simple, thin one and then for the lining of the card holder, divide it in half and add seam allowance. Then sew the pouch in between the two halves, right sides together — sandwich it in there. But the overall card holder would have to be much bigger so that it could wrap around the pouch. It would be pretty cool, actually. I could try to do one for this weekend’s blog project and then you’d have a tutorial.


  • Laura,
    I just wanted to tell you that you aren’t nuts. I was just doing another version of this using my own tutorial and I only got 5 pockets, also. The first time around, I wasn’t starting with an exact length of fabric — just kind of did it as I went and then tried to figure out how much fabric I used, so maybe I just made a mistake. So this time around, I’ll have 5 pockets. I’ll be posting a new tutorial and this one will have some sort of pocket included.

  • J Piedra

    i am not a seamstress, can somebody make me something like this please, i dont need it to fold i just need a straight sheet that i can glue to my current cloth pouch. i have 6″ x 6″ to work with i need two beige color,

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