Saturday, 10 December 2011

Mobile Phone Case (with window) - Tutorial

My DH has given me an early Christmas present, a new mobile phone. Now I have to admit, I like my little gadgets, and I have had a good play with it already. Being a busy and forgetful person, I tend to attach my important stuff – cellphone, keys, memory stick, tuning key for the drumset – even an eraser and a sharpener at some stage - to a lanyard or how I like to call it a ‘hang it around your neck thingy’. Anyway, new phone with touchscreen would surely get scratched soon, so after checking in the shops (“this phone is new to the market, there are no cases available yet”) I browsed the web for a tutorial on quilted cellphone cases. All I could find was pouch style cases, but I don’t want to have to take the phone out to use it so I tried to make a case I could leave on with windows for screen and camera. In case anyone else wants to make one, I documented my progress and here is my ‘tutorial’:

Fabric Mobile Phone Case (with window) - Tutorial

You need
approx. 7 x 7’’ fabric each for outer and inner (this could be pieced if you like, however, due to the window you will see little of this. Consider choosing something to go with your 'dress code')
approx. 7 x 7” heavy interfacing (like for handbags), possibly iron-on
matching binding
small piece of Velcro or string / ribbon / elastic and button
optionally 30 – 40” cord, string or similar

First, measure your phone height A and width B, then add the depth to that = B1. For my prototype I added a little flap go from front to back, so I added 1” to A = A1 – I would not bother with that again. 

You now cut from each of outer, interfacing and inner:
·         2 pieces each A x B1 plus a generous ¼ “ seam allowance all around

Iron interfacing(s) to wrong side of your inner(s).

Front piece: On the wrong side of your outer front piece, draw the size of the window you want to leave open for the screen.

Go ¼ “ in from this and using your sharp scissors, cut it out.

Now place fused inner and outer back pieces together, right sides facing, and sew the seam of your window. I went around it twice, because there will be strain on the seam.
This is actually the back piece, I forgot to take a photo of the front but you can see that I (try to) sew on the line
Turn your outer fabric through the window. You will find there is too much bulk from the seam allowance, so carefully cut it back close to the seam.
Smooth outer and iron to interfacing.

Back piece: If you want to also leave a window for the camera on the back of your phone, draw this on the wrong side of your outer back piece BUT mirror image it – meaning if your camera is top left when you look at the back of the phone, draw the window on top right . [Note: I forgot to mirror image this, therefore ended up with the window on the wrong side of the piece and had to turn my outer into the inner fabric – duh!]
(the mysteries of blogging - why does this photo imports on its side???) You can see the camera is on the left, so the marking on the wrong side of the outer fabric should have been on the right.

 To turn the outer fabric through the small camera window, cut an X into the square you have sewn and with the help of an icecream stick or similar gently poke the outer fabric to the other side. Again, cut bulk back, smooth and iron outer to interfacing.

Optionally you could now decorate the pieces to your heart's delight with fancy stitches, hand embroidery etc. etc. I chose to go for plain simply because I wanted to get on with (have always loved instant gratification projects!).

Put front and back pieces together, wrong sides facing. Sew with 1/8” seam. Try the fit with your phone, if there is too much room, just make the seam allowance bigger.
I added binding to the back before sewing both pieces together
From the front
Bind all raw edges with the method of your liking (I chose machine stitching)

Closing: I hand stitched two small pieces of Velcro to the flap and the back after finishing the binding (clever people would probably do that some time before and by machine :-)). Next time I would use a ribbon, string or elastic and attach a small loop to the front when I add the binding and just put a little button to the back.
‘Hang it around your neck thingy’ / Lanyard or neckband: I simply attached a lanyard to the phone and added a button hole to the top of the flap [note to self: Next time try out button hole stitch first as you don’t know what you are doing!!!]. Instead someone clever might want to attach cord / string or similar to the sides of the bag, either sew on with or after binding, or maybe use some small rings. I would be keen to see what others come up with!
Oops, I must have done the button hole before the binding - never mind
If your phone has buttons hidden by the fabric, you could stitch some designs on it to remind you where they are hidden. You could also add a small opening for the charger.

Happy Stitching!


  1. So now I'll I need is a touch screen phone and I'm good to go ;) Must tell hubby that's what I want for Christmas and then I can make myself one of these.

  2. Tell him to blame me for the suggestion lol. Should work for most phones when the user is too lazy to take it out the case like me :-)


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