I got so carried away writing a nonsensical story a couple of weeks ago that I didn’t provide any explanations on how to make my Handmade Passport Holders. I understand it’s a very straightforward process for some of you who’ve sewn far more challenging projects but I’ll bear in mind a friend of mine who’s just purchased her first sewing machine and anyone out there who recently took on sewing and would like a quick and easy project to build up their confidence. Besides, my friend Caroline wanted a replica of the Holiday Passport Holder so that gave me the perfect opportunity to create an easy 10-step tutorial.
Apparently American passports are a tiny bit larger than Europeans’ but the measurements below will ensure a comfortable fit for European passports and a snug fit for American passports.
You will need:
-2 fabric pieces: cut 21cm (8 ¼”) X 15cm (6”) – One piece is for the outside, the other for the inside or lining.
-2 smaller fabric pieces: cut 8cm (3”) X 15cm (6”) – These are the pocket pieces.
-2 pieces of interfacing (thick preferably unless fabric is already thick): cut 21cm (8 ¼”) X 15cm (6”)
As you can see in the picture above, I’ve chosen three different cotton fabrics for my design. It’s entirely up to you!
Step 2 – Interfacing/Fusible pieces
Iron-on interfacing is perfect for this project. Take your two large fabric pieces (21cm X 15cm) and lay them on your ironing table, wrong side on top. Now place each piece of interfacing on top of each fabric piece and press all over until they glue together.
Step 3 – Pockets
Take your two pocket pieces. On the long side, fold over the length by 1,5cm (1/2”). Press
Double up your hem on the inside (still the same hem of 1,5cm which you fold again on the inside). Press again. This will prevent the edges of the fabric from fraying when you start sewing.
Step 4 – Sewing the pockets’ hems
Now you can finally start sewing. Let’s start with the hems for the pockets.
Put one of your pocket pieces with the right side on top. Sew with your presser foot on the edge of the fabric. I’ve adjusted the machine needle one step to the right to make sure the hem I did in Step 3 is nicely covered underneath. Repeat for the other pocket.
You should get nice straight lines this way.
Step 5 – Basting the pockets to the lining/Inside fabric
Take your piece of lining/inside fabric, showing the right side, and place the pockets on top, on each side, right side also showing on top. Put a couple of pins to hold them in place.
We will baste the pockets to the inside fabric. Again I’m sewing along the edge of the fabric but this time I put 2 needles to the right so that I’m even closer to the edge when sewing.
Step 6 – Sewing the Outside and Inside fabric pieces together
Put these two fabrics right side together and pin. We will sew again with the presser foot along the edge of the fabric but this time, keep your machine needle centred/as usual (you can see the 2nd sewing line which is more on the inside – this represents a seam allowance of about 0,5cm/1/4”). But before you start…
…make sure NOT to sew around the whole perimeter! You want to leave enough space to turn the fabric on the other side. Clip your corners when you’re done.
Step 7 – Turn the pieces on the right side
Use a dull coloured pencil to get your corners all nice and pointy.
Step 8 – Iron/Press
Give the whole thing a good ironing. You will see that the part you’ve not sewn yet will stick out.
Turn those unsewn edges nicely and iron again so that this part is now flat and ready to be closed.
Step 9 – Sew all around the edge of the perimeter
I don’t use a presser foot for this part as pictured. However if you don’t have a similar foot, use your regular foot placed on the edge of the fabric and turn your machine needle all the way to the right as we did in Step 5. It will work just fine this way.
You may want to use topstitching thread for a nicer and more noticeable effect (I didn’t as I didn’t have any).
Step 10 – Final Press
Give it another quick press et voilà!
Now you’re ready to travel the world in style 🙂