Sunday Project, Part 1

I was going to make this just an easy Sunday Project, complete in one post, but I realized that, to do this the way I want to do it, I’m going to need some more time for some handwork. So I’ll come back and finish it on Wednesday. Sorry about that. But it will be more interesting than if I didn’t do any handwork.

So anyway–I’ve been needing to make a new case for my iPhone for a long time because the last one I made is starting to look a little hinky. It’s made from re-felted felt, and it’s starting to get those icky balls of fuzz on it. See?

Re-felted wool felt iPhone case

I wanted a leather case. I have tons of salvaged leather–from skirts and jackets and vests from the thrift, from old purses from garage sales, from a fabulous-but-torn leather bomber jacket I found years ago hanging out of a dumpster–I’ve used that for tons of book covers and still have some little pieces left. 

Scrap leather

Now, I know most people carry their phones either in their hands or in their pockets, just hanging out all loose and cool. Not I. Oh, no! Nononono. I learned the hard way years ago at Art Fiber Fest in Portland, when I had my little orange camera, which I adored, in its camera case clipped to the waist of my jeans, and, one morning when I stopped at the little cart to get a latte, it fell to the ground. From my waist, in its case. I didn’t think anything of it until later that morning when I took out the camera and found, to my horror, that the screen was shattered. In the case!

So of course I keep my iPhone in a padded case, and of course I have to make them myself. And of course I figured if I like to do this, other people would like to do it, too. So here’s how I make these cases–no patterns, no measuring, because I *hate* measuring.

You’ll need the outer fabric (I used scrap leather), some batting (you can use felt; I use quilt batting), lining fabric (sturdy silk is nice–it makes it easy to slide the phone). You’ll also need glue, fusible webbing (and an iron), scissors or rotary cutter and mat, heavy-duty thread and needle, magnetic closure set (from the craft store). You’ll need your phone handy to check periocially to make sure it fits snugly but not so tight you can’t slide it in and out easily.

Leftover cowboy pajama fabric

Years ago I found this cotton fabric at a garage sale–the woman said she’d had it forever and just hadn’t gotten around to using it. It reminded my husband of fabric from when he was a kid, so I made him a pair of groovy pajama pants from it. I had some left over and liked it with the old leather. It was giving me ideas already.


Get out all the wrinkles before you start--you'll be glad you did




Iron the fabric. Lay your phone on top of the batting and cut the batting just a little larger. You want it to completely protect your phone when it’s in the case but not be so big you end up sewing through it.

Lay the phone on top of the batting

Trim around the phone with the rotary cutters.












Next you’ll iron fusible webbing to the back of your lining fabric, which will be a little larger than the batting. I don’t cut and measure, so I put a piece of waxed paper over the whole thing and iron over it.

Sandwich: fusible webbing face up, fabric face down, waxed paper large enough to cover it all

Peel off the fabric, iron it to the batting, miter the corners and turn the edges to the back and fuse them.

the back








This will be the inside. You’ll need the outside–leather in my case–to be big enough to wrap so you can stitch it, plus the flap that will fold over. Before you attach the inside to the outside, figure out where you’ll put your magnetic clasp and install the female half. I glued a piece of leather over the back to stabilize it.

This is the inside. I glued a leather scrap over it.

Then I used Tacky Glue to glue the inside to the leather. Let it dry, and then start stitching up the case, regularly checking the fit of your phone. Catch the lining fabric in some of the stitches for added stability.

Main stitching is finished; now for handwork

Here’s what I’ve done so far. It needs more hand work, and I’m thinking about cutting the side part into fringe. We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll show you the result on Wednesday.










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