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Friday, May 11, 2018

Hands-Free Phone Pouch

I'm really excited about today's free pattern! Not only is it useful for you, it's also going to be super useful for ME and all of my family! I think it would also make the perfect gift for family, friends, and teachers. 

It's a hands-free phone pouch!  Cool, right?  You can hang it all sorts of places using plastic linking rings like these (found in the toy department), or any other kind of metal ring, ribbon, elastic, or string you may have on hand.  The loops on top are for hanging onto just about anything, and the loops on bottom are for adding additional rings or toys for the little ones.  

I also love that the pouch is big enough to hold your phone either horizontal or vertical. It has a velcro flap to keep the phone inside and safe. Plus, the clear covering on the front is thin enough to be just as swipe-able as a regular phone case, so you don't have to take it out to use! 

I think we're all sold on it, so let's get started!

Materials Needed: 
1/3 yard of woven fabric (or scraps) 
1/3 yard clear vinyl* 
3 pieces of Velcro, approx 3/4" x 1" each
Iron, sewing machine, scissors, thread, optional rings

*Clear vinyl can be found at most fabric stores, often on the large bolts in the home decor section. It ranges from 4-gauge (thinnest) to 20-gauge (thickest).  I chose 8-gauge for this project but any of them should work. Just check to make sure you can swipe your phone through the vinyl before you cut and buy it! 

Note: The sizes in this tutorial are based on a phone that is approximately 6" x 3".  The finished view-able size of the pouch is 8" x 8".  If your phone or tablet is larger, you can still use the pattern. Simply determine how much larger yours is than the 6" x 3" phone, and add those amounts to the width and length of the pieces in the next step. (For example, if your phone is 1" taller and 1" wider, add 1" to the large rectangle measurements below.) The loops are the same for all sizes. 

You're ready to cut your pieces!  

Main Pieces:      Cut 2 rectangles of fabric that are 8" tall by 11" wide.
Loops:                Cut 4 rectangles of fabric that are 4" tall by 1" wide. 
Clear Liner:       Cut 1 rectangle of clear vinyl that is 8" tall by 11" wide.  

When you're done, your pile should look something like the photo above. 

 Now let's start with the construction!

Take one of the loop pieces and fold it in half the long way, and use an iron to set the fold. 

Open it up so you have a crease running down the center. Fold each of the long edges in to the center so the sides meet in the middle. Iron to set the folds. It should look something like the photo above. 

Fold the piece in half again, just as you did at the beginning.   The long raw edges should now be enclosed in the folds. 

Sew along the edge of it, close to the folds.  

Repeat with the other three loop pieces. Then set aside. 

Take one of your fabric pieces - the one that you want to be visible on the front of the pouch. Lay it on a flat surface.  Then take the clear vinyl piece and lay it on top of the fabric. They should both be the same size. Pin or clip them in place all around the edges.  

Note: I try not to use pins on clear vinyl because they leave holes, but if that's all you have it's okay. Just be sure to pin within 3/8" of the edge so the holes will end up in the seam allowances when you're done.) 

Baste the two layers together by sewing 1/8" from the edge, along the top, bottom, and LEFT side only!  Do NOT sew the right side shut. See yellow in the photo above. 

Lay your basted piece out on a flat surface.  Now you're going to mark placement for the loops.  Starting on the LEFT side of the piece, measure over 2" and make a mark. Then measure over an additional 4" from the first mark and make a second mark. Do this on both the top and the bottom edges of the piece, as indicated above.  

(You may have noticed these loops are not centered on the piece. That is correct for now. Trust the measurements.) 

Take one of the loop pieces and fold it in half, matching the raw ends. 

Pin the loop in place at the first mark you made, matching the raw edges. 

Your loop should be folded as shown above. 

Pin the remaining loop pieces at the remaining marks you made. It should look something like the photo above. 

Take the second large rectangle and lay it on top, facing downward, so the layers have right sides together. Pin or clip in place all around the edges. 

Sew the layers together using a 3/8" seam allowance, again sewing only the top, bottom, and left side.  The right side should remain open. (If you lose track of which is the left and right, the opening should be on the opposite end of the 2" loop.) 

Be sure to sew carefully so the loops stay in place, removing the pins/clips as you go.  (I usually would have basted the loops in place earlier, but I found they are easier to sew when the vinyl is sandwiched between fabric.)

After sewing, clip off the two corners that are opposite of the opening, to reduce bulk. 

Turn the pouch right side out. It should look something like the photo above. 

If you seem to have lost your loops, don't panic!  They are still in there.  You may have simply pulled out the vinyl in the wrong place.  Flip it back wrong side out and try the other way.  You know you have it correct when you have clear vinyl, then two layers of fabric in back, all showing the right side of the fabric, with the four loops pointing outward as shown above. 

Using a lightly warmed iron (as low as it will go), carefully iron the fabric side (back) of the pouch to make nice creases at the edges. I'm pretty sure the vinyl is not heat-safe though so be super careful not to directly touch the vinyl with the iron or let it heat it up much! You are lightly ironing the fabric, not the vinyl! 

You are now going to finish the raw edges: 

With the vinyl side still facing up, pull the vinyl layer back out of the way.   Take both layers of fabric and fold them toward the front 1/4" and use the iron to set the fold.  Then fold the fabric layers another 1/4" and iron to set the fold, pinning as you go. When you're done pinning the fabric layers, they should look like the photo above. Please note that this includes both layers and there should be no raw fabric edges remaining! 

Now do the same to the vinyl layer but do NOT use an iron!  Simply fold the vinyl 1/4" to the inside and use your fingers to make a crease and set the fold. Then fold another 1/4" and again crease it with your fingers, this time using clips or pins to hold the hem in place.  

When you're done, the opening of the pouch should be folded all the way around, with no raw edges remaining. 

Sew around the pinned/clipped edges, close to the inner fold to secure the hem.  You could use clear thread for the vinyl if you want, but I just used my regular thread color all the way around. 

When you're done sewing, check to make sure you can still open the front of the pouch to use the vinyl pocket! 

Now you're ready to create the flap that closes the pouch and keeps your phone safe.  

Lay the pouch on a flat surface and measure over 1.5" from the opening.  This is where you will create your fold to make the flap. See above and below. 

Fold all the layers inward 1.5" and use your fingers to create a nice crease in the vinyl. Make sure the layers lay neatly.  At the end seams, you may need to tug and fold a bit to help the fabric/vinyl seam lay flat. Don't go on until your flap lays neatly. 

Take one of your 1" x 3/4" velcro sets and put it on the INSIDE of the pouch, centered from top to bottom and butted up against the edge of your fabric hem. See photos above and below. 

Sew the velcro in place. This is what it should look like on the inside. This velcro is to hold the layers together at the opening. 

Take two more velcro sets (also 1" x 3/4" each) and this time you are going to put them on the OUTSIDE of the pouch, directly on the vinyl to hold the flap in place.  Notice the placement in the photo above.  One set of velcro should be about 1/4" from the top and the other should be 1/4" from the bottom.  See the next two photos below for clarification if needed! 

The velcro on the right will be about 1/4" from the edge.  The velcro on the left is placed at the spot where it matches up when the flap is closed. On mine that is about 3/4" from the edge of the other. See below. 

Make sure your velcro pieces hold the flap closed, nice and flat!  If you're having trouble aligning the velcro pieces, you could even glue them in place before sewing. Just be aware that glue can gum up your sewing machine needle. 

When all your velcro is sewn in place, you should have one set keeping the pouch closed, and two sets keeping the flap closed. This is what it looks like when it's opened up. 

You're done!  You can add linking rings or ribbon, or whatever you want to the loops! These plastic linking rings make it really easy to hook on just about anything. If you don't have kiddos around, you could also use metal rings. 

-OR-  If you want to make fabric straps to thread through and tie instead, you could cut strips that are 1" wide and whatever length you want. Then sew them just as you did with the loops earlier in the project. Be sure to fold each end in 1/2" first though, so you don't have raw edges. 

As promised, the view-able area of the pouch is 8" x 8" and my phone can be viewed either vertical or horizontal! 

Hook them around the headrest posts in the car. It also works for rear-facing babies! 

This is one happy kiddo!  I'm guessing his siblings are all going to want one when they see it.

This is my personal favorite!  Not only will it keep my phone right there for entertainment or looking up new recipes, it's also free from potential spills and splatters while I cook.

And as promised, it's also still swipe-able!  Score! 

Now it's YOUR turn to make a hands-free phone pouch!  I would love to see all the uses you find for it. Please come share your photos with us in our patterns group on Facebook when you're done!  I would even love to add more photos to the blog here to inspire other readers.  Shopping carts, baby carriers, high chairs, swings...  what else?

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 


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