Project reviews

Custom Phone Case Review

In January 2019, I received the gift of a new smartphone. It has a silicon cover on the back and sides and a screen protector for the screen. I still worry about dirt and damage when I carry it in some of my bags and purses (those that don’t have a dedicated smartphone pocket) and when it’s stuffed in my jacket pocket. In the wintertime, I’m also concerned about the effects of sub-zero temperatures on the battery life. I like to use a fabric case with my phones for these reasons. My new phone is larger and thinner than my old phone, so re-using the old case isn’t an option. I decided to review the “Sew With My Saturday iPod or Phone Case” tutorial on the “Not Just A Housewife” blog because it includes pattern making for a custom fit.


The online tutorial for this project is available here:

iPod or Phone Case

Note this pattern is for personal use only.

Here are my thoughts on this project.

The tutorial begins with photos and a description of the author’s inspiration. Next is a list of the materials that are needed. Fabric dimensions are not included as they will vary according to the size of the device you are making the case for.

Step 1 is creating pattern pieces based on the dimensions of your phone (or device). The tutorial’s author used the same design process that I would have if were creating this pattern myself. First sketch out the dimensions of the device then add the seam allowances. I find this pattern design process intuitive and it’s described in a way that novice sewers should be able to follow along. If your phone has a silicon cover, bumper case, or other case that you’ll be using simultaneously with the fabric case, leave it on when you are creating your pattern pieces.

phone and custom pattern pieces for Custom iPod or Phone Case (project review by Sewn By Tanya)
Phone & pattern pieces for a custom phone case

Step 2 is cutting out the fabric and applying interfacing. You will need two exterior pieces, two interior pieces and two tab pieces. The tutorial photos show both tab pieces being cut from the exterior fabric. I wanted my case to offer a little more protection from the cold, so I interfaced the exterior fabric and applied fusible fleece to the interior fabric.

Cut fabric and fusible fleece for Custom iPod or Phone Case (project review by Sewn By Tanya)
Cutting materials for phone case

Step 3 is creating the tab. This step includes attaching one half of a piece of hook and loop tape. I used sewn-on hook and loop tape, but self-adhesive hook and look would work just as well. Alternatively one could use sew-on-snaps. The booklet that came with my phone recommended keeping it away from magnetic fields, so magnetic snaps may not be the best idea or this project.

Finished tab for Custom iPod or Phone Case (project review by Sewn By Tanya)
Finished tab for phone case

Steps 4 and 5 are creating the back panel and front panel, respectively. The panels are pressed before proceeding to step 6.

Front and back panels for Custom iPod or Phone Case (project review by Sewn By Tanya)
Front & back panels for phone case

Step 6 is sewing the front panel to the back panel. I think the directions in the tutorial make it easier to sew cases for small devices. Usually I complete the exterior, then the interior and then sewn the exterior and interior together. That method makes it easier to match your thread colors to the exterior and interior fabric individually. To accomplish this, I sewed the exterior pieces together, changed my thread colour and then sewed the interior pieces together (making sure to leave an opening for turning).

Step 7 is trimming the corners and turning the case right side out. Since I was using fusible fleece, I pressed the edges along the opening before I turned the case right-side out.

Right-side out Custom iPod or Phone Case (project review by Sewn By Tanya)
Phone case turned right-side out

Step 8 is finishing the case. The case is pressed and the turning gap is stitched closed. I sewed it by hand using the ladder stitch. The other half of the hook and loop tape is sewn into place. Top-stitching the opening is an optional step. I find it helps keeps the layers from shifting and gives my sewing projects a more professional look. I used a 1/4” seam allowance for the top stitching.

Here are some photos of my completed phone case.

Smartphone and completed Custom iPod or Phone Case (project review by Sewn By Tanya)
Completed phone case & the phone it was made for
Phone inside completed Custom iPod or Phone Case (project review by Sewn By Tanya)
Phone inside the completed phone case

I liked how my new phone case turned out and I think this tutorial would make great gifts. I didn’t make an allowance for the fusible fleece so my case fits a little more tightly than if I’d only used fabric and interfacing. The fusible fleece also made it harder to turn out the corners of the interior. If I was going to make another device case using this tutorial and fusible fleece, I would position the turning gap along the exterior bottom and add another 1/4” to the height and width of my pattern. This would make it easier to turn out the interior and make the case fit a little more loosely.

Do you use a fabric case for your smartphone or device? Comment below and/or Pin for later.


Sewn By Tanya Project Review - Custom Phone Case by Not Just A Housewife
Sewn By Tanya Project Review – Custom Phone Case by Not Just A Housewife

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