Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just in case...

Recently I got a new mobile phone but as per usual with consumer electronics, it didn't come with a case for protection.

Most of the time this isn't an issue, as many of my handbags have a phone pocket to prevent it getting scratched or knocked. But I found that often when I am just dropping kids to school or doing a quick errand, I don't take a handbag. Also, the bag we take to the pool or the beach doesn't have a phone pocket.

A case was needed. So rather than go out and give yet more money to an overseas company, off to the fabric stash I went...

I have some of this lovely Michael Miller print (Gothic Flower, if you're interested) and thought it would be a good choice, as the back of the phone has a lime green print.
 I also had some wadding left over from another project so I decided to make a padded pouch with a soft lining for the best protection - not only against scratching, but also against dropping. (Not that I would do that. Not again anyway.)

I measured my phone and added 3cm to both sides and one end, to allow for seams and padding, then made a paper pattern. (The phone is 6cm x 11cm, so I made the paper 12cm x 14cm.) Once I had that drawn, I added the same size rectangle again to one end, so that I could cut one long peice that would fold to be the case. I also made a smaller rectangle (8 x 12) pattern for a flap.

I used the pattern pieces to cut the flap, the outer fabric, the wadding and some fleecy knit fabric (for the lining), and then layered the outer fabric on the wadding. (Because of the bold pattern in the fabric, I placed the pattern piece carefully to make sure the print would be symmmetrical on the finished case.) I used the straight lines of the pattern to lightly quilt the outer fabric to the wadding.

 With right sides together, I folded the long rectangle in the middle (becoming the seamless bottom of the case) and sewed the side seams, clipping the corners, on both the quilted outer fabric and the lining.

(For this item, I treated the fleecy side of the knit fabric as the right side - so the fluffy stuff would be against the phone.)

For the closure, I sewed the flap piece in half , moved the seam to the centre and then pressed the seam open.

Then I stitched across one end, clipped the corners, turned it right side out and pressed again. (The open end will be inside the seams of the case once it's put together.)

 Time to assemble. 

I left the lining wrong side out, but turned the outer right side out. (Use closed scissors, a knitting needle or a pen to press out the corners.) I put the outer section inside the lining.

Once the tops were matched up, I slipped the closure flap down in between the lining and the outer, in the centre of the back of the case. (I made sure the centre seam of the flap was towards the lining.)

I pinned all arount the top of the case so it wouldn't slip while I was sewing. Sewing the case together was the hardest part. (If you've ever made dolls clothes, you'll understand - narrow openings do not fit onto the arm of an average machine.) I sewed aroung the top of the case, stitching the outer, lining and flap together.

I left an opening at the front for turning.

Then I turned the whole thing in the right way through the opening at the top. I used closed scissors to push the corners out again.

Then I pushed the lining down inside the case outer and topstitched around the opening of the case, tucking the edges under where the hole had been left for turning.

I finished it off by adding some velcro dots to keep the flap closed (but not too firmly - I still need to be able to answer the phone quickly)...

and a matching vintage button to finish it off and use as a pull for the closure. Ta Da! A cosy case for my new phone.

This pattern would also work for an MP3 player or a slim digital camera.

 P.S. “Necessity does everything well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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