Project reviews

Zippered Smartphone Bag Project Review

On laundry day, I need to carry my keys, smartphone and laundry coins in addition to my laundry basket. I prefer wearable hands-free options like small cross body bags. My March 1, 2023 blog post featured one option for a cross body smartphone bag. I’ve kept my eye out for other options and this post will review one from ProperFit Clothing. This is a zippered smartphone bag project review.

The link to the ProperFit Clothing Crossbody Phone Purse paid PDF pattern and video tutorial is:

Crossbody Phone Purse Pattern

For the purposes of my review, I’m going to summarize the basic steps, tell you what I did differently (if anything) and share my general thoughts about sewing the project.


Bags may be a single compartment or have many pockets or sections. Pockets and/or sections help protect the items in the bag from damaging each other and make it easier to find items when they are needed. The ProperFit Clothing Crossbody Phone Purse is 5” wide by 8” high by 3” deep (12.7 cm wide by 20.3 cm high by 7.6 cm deep) and features three zippered sections and 4 card slots.

Step 0 Gather Materials

The video tutorial recommends canvas, denim, and twill for the exterior, light weight fabrics like cotton, polycotton or nylon for the interior, 1” (2.54 cm) wide webbing and hardware for the cross body strap and ½” (1.27 cm) wide straps and hardware for the strap anchors. Foam and bias tape are also used. I used lightweight canvas for my exterior, quilting weight cotton for my interior and ¾” (1.9 cm) wide hardware. I sewed matching ¾” (1.9 cm) wide straps instead of using webbing and leather tabs. Fusible fleece replaced foam in my bag.

Step 1 Straps

I cut 3” (7.6 cm) wide strips of canvas that were 64” (162.6 cm) long, 5” (12.7 cm) long and 5” (12.7 cm) long. Pressing them in half lengthwise, folding the raw edges to the middle and pressing them again and then sewing along the long edges created a ¾” (1.9cm) wide strap and two ¾” (1.9 cm) wide tabs.

Strap & tabs
Step 2 Main Panels

I cut 8 card slot panels, sewed pairs together along the indicated marks, then turned and pressed them to create 4 card slots. Sew the card slots to the divider panel according to the instructions.

Divider with card slots

I cut an extra main panel piece out of polyester to reduce wear on my divider panel. Match the other main panels according to the instructions. I used fusible fleece instead of foam. Make sure to cut your fusible fleece smaller than the main panel pattern piece to reduce seam bulk later. I omitted the headphone cable port in the back panel and repeated these steps for the front pocket panels.

3 main panels & front pocket panel
Step 3 Side Panels

Match the zippers, side panel interiors and side panel exteriors and sew according to the instructions. I basted the side panel interiors to the side panel exteriors to prevent shifting of the layers in later steps.

3 side panels
Step 4 Front Section

Match the front pocket panel to the front pocket side panel and sew as indicated. A Teflon foot is used in the video tutorial and mine worked well for this project. I used the two-step method to apply bias tape to the seam allowance. Sewing my front pocket to my front main panel wrinkled the zipper tape at the corners. I’m not sure if I misunderstood the instructions or if this was by design. Resewing the panels didn’t improve the situation so I left it as is.

Front section
Step 5 Main Sections

Sew the main zipper panels to the main panels as indicated. See photos of my divider section and back section below.

Divider section
Back section

I had to hand-crank my canvas tabs due to the thickness of the folded tabs. Four layers of a thinner material (eg quilting weight cotton, broad cloth, polyester) or two layers of canvas would be much easier to sew through.

Step 6 Final Assembly

Sew the divider section to the back section according the instructions. I hand-cranked my sewing machine due to the thickness of the layers. Omitting fusible fleece from the seam allowance would have made it easier to sew these steps. My D-rings didn’t line up the first time I tried this step.

Miss-aligned D-rings

I ripped the stitches and resewed the layers. This time, I sewed the D-rings first, then the middle of each side and lastly the corners. I’ll be using permanent sewing glue to finish the seams with bias tape. My canvas is fraying already and the seam allowance is took thick to sew on my bias tape.

Sew on the front panel according to the instructions. I switched to a narrow zipper foot as my bulky project made it difficult to maintain the correct seam allowance with my Teflon foot.

Narrow zipper foot used for final seam

Sewn bias tape on the seam allowance, turn your bag right side out, sew your hardware onto your strap and clip your strap to your D-rings.

Here are some photos of my finished ProperFit Clothing Crossbody Phone Purse:

Front view
Rear view
Side view

This zippered smartphone bag project is an advanced beginner to intermediate project. Project difficulty is increased by the small size of this zippered smartphone bag, the close proximity of the two longer zippers, and the curved corners. I spent twice as long sewing this project as expected due to these factors. Substantial hand-cranking was required due to applying fusible fleece to my seam allowances, adding an extra divider panel and doubling the fabric for my card slots. Overall this was a more challenging project than the video tutorial suggested.

My finished zippered smartphone bag is the size I expected it to be. It looks amazing! It’s more spacious than my InSewingTimes smartphone bag and easily holds my smartphone, keys and laundry money. I look forward to using it on laundry day.

Have you tried this project? Did you like this zippered smartphone bag project review? Comment below and/or Pin me for later! Subscribe so you don’t miss a post!


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