When I was a little girl, my father used to give me weekly allowances. They weren’t much — 50 cents here, a dollar there — and my mother gave me a little coin purse to keep all my changes in one place. It was the old-fashioned kind we Japanese call, “gamaguchi,” which loosely translates to “frog mouth,” because it opened up like a mouth of an amphibian. I loved carrying it around everywhere and although there was hardly anything in it (I was a big spender then), having it made me feel like a grown up!
I’ve always wanted to replicate the coin purse I once had as a child, but was never able to find the perfect purse frames (they were either not available or too pricey) until I visited Japan last November. Every craft and fabric stores there carried them in all sizes and colors, and I snatched up several medium-sized ones for my future sewing endeavors. I finally had the time to sit down to make the coin purse the other day, and here it is.
There is a pattern and a brief instruction in the package, but those of you who don’t read Japanese can find a wonderful tutorial posted on the Purl Bee blog. I ended up making my own pattern because the one included in the package seemed a little too small. I’m glad I enlarged it a little because I can now fit everything, including my cell phone, in my gamaguchi wallet. I also added a fleece batting to give it a little more durability.
I used Amy Butler’s Belle Coriander Pine fabric, with the blue-green geometric patterned one I purchased from a local fabric store. I love Amy Butler!