How to Make a Field Notes & Passport Wallet

Open showing field notes

How to Make a Field Notes & Passport Wallet

I need to keep much better track of the mileage I drive for business – I always plan to write it down when I get into the house. But I’m pretty sure I miss some impromptu trips that are not on my calendar. So I need something in the car. I can set the trip meter, but if I don’t write it down…. And I plan some international travel later this year, and remain optimistic that it will actually happen! With the Field Notes & Passport Wallet, I can slip in my passport, driver’s license, a couple of credit cards and some cash to lighten my load.

I looked for something that meets all my needs, but couldn’t find anything that was just right. And I really, really wanted my logo on it. But I can sew! And Kraft-Tex is a lightweight, washable, durable material that requires no edge finishing – a real step-saver. If you are new to Kraft-Tex, this article is a good primer. Enter the Field Notes & Passport Wallet!

Field Notes & Passport wallet ready for a trip!

The main thing that the wallet has to hold is a 3 1/2 X 5 1/2-inch field notes notebook. You can get them with plain, ruled or gridded pages. A passport is slightly smaller, so I knew that would fit. By expanding the height to 6 1/2 inches, I could also include a pocket for currency and a few more pockets for cards and receipts. Add a sleeve (not a floppy loop) to hold a pen, and my needs are met.

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Open showing field notes

To make it distinctive, I wanted to put my Flying Goat Studio logo on the cover. I had already digitized the design in Bernina Embroidery Software to stitch on other items, such as my art booth apron. I love how it turned out! But I had to make some adjustments how the design would stitch out to stagger the needle points. With a row of close stitches, such as satin stitch, the needle creates holes in nonwoven materials such as Kraft-Tex, leather and vinyl that can cause the material to tear. So test, test, test before stitching!

Field notes & Passport wallet cover

Other unique cover possibilities include appliqué, painting, stamping and other surface design techniques.

How to Make a Field Notes & Passport Wallet

Supplies Needed for Wallet:

  • 1 Roll Kraft-Tex (I used Hand-Dyed Kraft-Tex in Linen.)
  • Sewing Thread (Any color – but remember that your stitches will be visible.)
  • Rotary Cutter, Rulers and Mat (If you have a rotary blade dedicated to paper, then use that one.)
  • Quilters Clips or Small Binder Clips
  • Supplies Needed for Optional Machine Embroidery:
  • Sewing Machine Set up for Embroidery
  • OESD Stabil-Stick or Similar Stabilizer
  • Machine Embroidery Thread

From Kraft-Tex, cut:

  • 1 @ 9 X 6 ½ (Outside Cover – you can start with a larger piece, then cut to size after embroidery to fine-tune motif placement.)
  • 2 @ 4 X 6 ½ (Inside Pockets)
  • 1 @ 3 ½ X 6 ½ (Optional Right Pocket)
  • 1 @ 3 X 6 ½ (Double Left Pocket)
  • (Optional) 1 @ 2 ½ X 4 ½ (Pen Sleeve – requires that your machine can sew through up to 5 layers of Kraft-Tex. Most will handle it easily, but test first! If you wish, you can adapt the pen sleeve using quilters cotton.)

Construction:

  • Following the instructions for your stabilizer, hoop the stabilizer, then score the paper covering to expose the sticky side. Position the Kraft-Tex on the sticky surface and press down to adhere. When the Kraft-Tex is secure, stitch out the design. Then remove from hoop. Cut away excess stabilizer, leaving at least a ¼-inch margin around the stitches. Press. (Skip this step for a plain cover.)
Field Notes & Passport Wallet Step 1
  • Place the 3 x 6 ½-inch piece of Kraft-Tex on top of one of the 4 X 6 ½-inch pieces, aligning one of the long edges. Stitch center as illustrated below. This is your left inside pocket. Set aside.
  • Fold the 2 ½ X 4 ½-inch piece of Kraft-Tex in half lengthwise. Then stitch close to one short edge to create the pen pocket
  • Place the cover of your notebook wallet (9 X 6 ½-inches) face down so the inside of the cover is facing you.
  • Then line up the Left Inside Pocket that you stitched earlier along the left edge of your cover. You should have 3 layers of Kraft-Tex on the left edge. Secure with clips.
  • At the right edge of your cover, align the other 4 X 6 ½-inch piece, matching outside edges. To add the optional 3 ½ X 6 ½-inch pocket, place it on top, lining up the outside edges. Then secure with clips.
  • On the right side edge and ¼-inch from the bottom edge of the cover, insert ¼-inch of the long raw edges of the pen sleeve between the outside cover and 4-inch pocket. Then secure with clips.
Field Notes & Passport Wallet Step 4
Field Notes & Passport Wallet Stacked for Stitching
  • Stitch the perimeter of the wallet 1/8-inch from the edge, but make sure to secure the edges of the pen sleeve between the layers.
Finished outside of the Field Note / Passport wallet
Finished inside of the Field Notes / Passport wallet
  • To secure the stitches, pull the top thread ends to the back. Tie off with their corresponding bobbin threads using a square or surgeon’s knot. Then dab the knots with a touch of seam sealer or super glue.
Knot your thread ends on the inside

Now you’re ready to travel because you can keep track of all the details with your custom Field Notes & Passport Wallet!

Field Notes & Passport Wallet

Browse through more Kraft-Tex projects on Create Whimsy.


Closed wallet with both Field Notes and Passport
Open showing field notes
Open wallet showing field nots and wallet
Open showing passport and field notes
Finished wallet open
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