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Little Cell Phone Wallet

I love the idea of the Valori Wells sewing cards - so simple and cute.  I got the Birds Eye View Quilt one which I haven't made yet and also the Little Cell Phone Wallet which I whipped up the other day.

I love it!  I made it from a Duckcloth linen (I think...its certainly heavier than the normal quilting cotton I use) piece which I picked up at the craft fair this year.  They had a basket of remnants and offcuts which were all $4 or $8 depending on size.  I also got the webbing for the strap at the fair - we don't get a big range of that sort thing down here and am now seriously wishing I had bought a lot more...

The sewing card picture uses various different fabrics inside and out, but I wanted to keep it simple and just use the (lovely) one I had.  

I absolutely love the final product.  Am thinking of sending it to my sister for her birthday but I kind of don't want to (I want to keep it for me!!!).  However, I should probably be a bit more objective and review the pattern rather than just raving about the finished product (have I mentioned I love it?!!).  So here goes with a bit of a review:

The pattern cards are a great idea, but the Little Cell Phone wallet has a few omissions / areas where it could be improved.  Firstly, the attachment of the straps was a little unclear to me.  As the picture below shows, they are attached to the back pocket.  I have done a fair bit of sewing and so didn't fall into the trap of attaching them too close to the edge, but I think someone who hadn't done a lot of this sort of thing might.   I think including their placement on the card diagrams might have been a good idea... 

Similarly the instructions for attaching the magnetic snaps are awful.  Well maybe not awful, because she doesn't know which kind you would buy, but perhaps in the wrong place.  You get right to the end of the instructions and it says "attach the snaps...according to the manufacturers directions".  I read all the way through and realised I needed to deal with snaps a lot earlier than this but a novice sewist might be a bit stumped about when to do these things.  My snaps are the ones with prongs on the back which you insert from the right side to the wrong side (preferably on a piece of fabric which is interfaced or at least has been reinforced at the point where you add a snap with an appropriately sized square of interfacing).  You then put a washer over the prongs and push them down to lock the snap in place.  How anyone could even try and do this once the thing was sewn together I don't know.  I realise there would be other types of snaps which might be sew on once finished, but perhaps a note a the start about deciding when this should happen and about trying to use the interfaced piece where possible would be of benefit.

Another issue is that my cellphone doesn't actually fit...I can't blame a pattern designer for having a largeish phone, though I don't think an iPhone will fit either, and they are pretty common.  It does fit on the inside biggest pocket so that's no drama, though perhaps a note about measuring things and advice on extending them would be good.  Not sure how you would fit that on a card though :)

I think I might modify this design a bit to have a zip pocket on the back for change and then keep the phone inside, or perhaps lengthen the back pocket and therefore the overall length.  A few other issues as follows:
  • I had to adjust the snap placement as they would have been way to close to the top / bottom of pieces for me to easily sew the seam (not an issue if attaching at the end...) and also for the top stitching to occur (see below).
  • The picture on the card shows the pockets inside are top stitched about 1/8th inch from the top edge.  This isn't included in the instructions except for the back pocket, but I think that's just an instructions sequencing issue.
  • This was very tricky to turn and you had to be careful to turn at the right point or you ended up with pockets inside and had to do another half turn to make them on the outside (that's probably not clear in words).  Again no big deal but a newbie might have issues.
So it sounds like I am totally bagging the pattern out but on the whole I enjoyed making it, I love the end result and I was easily able to adjust as necessary for the stuff I have noted above.  It was super quick to make and pretty simple once you read the instructions a few times to make sure you understood how the layering thing worked.  It is a total contradiction to what I have said above, but the simplicity of this was great - a lot of bag patterns are soooo unnecessarily complicated and take ridiculously long to make.  I get that some of the things I have mentioned here are not explained in great detail to achieve this simplicity and fit the thing on a's just observations I have about it really :)


  1. I'm getting ready to make this... Yours looks great! Thanks for the tips :)

    Question, since you used the thicker duck material, did you still use interfacing? I was actually going to try one in cotton first with interfacing, but was confused about whether to put the interfacing on BOTH of the main pieces or not?!?

    So I thought something like duck might be easier if I didn't need interfacing..

    1. Hi! Am glad the post was useful :) It's a great result despite the drawbacks which I mostly attribute to the brevity of the pattern.

      I did use interfacing on mine, but it was a fairly flexible dress making interfacing because that's what I had to hand - so not super stiff. I did both pieces suggested by the pattern (pocket and *one* of the main body pieces). I felt the result was good but perhaps wouldn't have wanted any less - I would have been annoyed if it was floppy.

      I think you should definitely use interfacing with normal cotton. If you have really stiff interfacing (the stuff that holds a crease almost like paper or card) then you could get away with only one body piece and the pocket piece. If I were making it cotton and had less stiff interfacing I would do both I think. I would also make sure that the side you are going to put the snap on is the interfaced side, if you only do one of the main pieces.

      Interfacing would generally be a good thing I think - easier to mark pattern markings onto an interfaced piece and would also be good if you used a contrasting fabric inside which might potentially show through to the front if you are using cotton?

      Thanks for the comment and good luck - if you have a blog or flicker account send me another comment with a link to a pic when you are done so I can send you suitable compliments? :)


      p.s. don't forget to double check the strap orientation - I didn't so mine are round-the-neck oriented when I wanted over-the-shoulder..doh!

  2. Thanks for the additional tips. I ended up enlarging my pattern by 10% because I have an iPhone with an Otterbox and I knew it wouldn't fit in the original sized pattern. I also messed up the first time I sewed everything together. I ended up not turning out the pocket with the strap (the directions were lacking here for a newbie). When I fixed everything, it came out great. I will try the magnetic snaps next time. One cool thing I did was to sew a little flower pattern on the strap. I made the strap a lot longer than was called for in the pattern too. I didn't want a neck strangler... I don't have flickr, but I have a Facebook page called Starfishy Designs if you want to check out some pics! Thanks again!!!

    1. I checked it out on Facebook - it looks great and I love the leaves on the strap! I know what you mean about the instructions for turning being lacking. Good call on the upsizing of the pattern too - it's good to know 10% is enough to fit the usual smart phone size in. I also liked the loop handle purse on your facebook page - I have a free pattern for one of those I downloaded from somewhere but haven't got to that yet!

  3. I know it's been ages since you did this pattern...but I am completely clueless as to when to turn. I've tried it out twice now and still get the pockets on the inside. I would be eternally grateful for any help!

    1. Hi - you are a no-reply person so hopefully you will see this here! From memory I had to turn it twice but at the same point in the pattern. So I turned it once and got to one place, then again and got to where I needed to be. The first turn has to be through the pockets only, then you flip the whole thing and it's all where it should be.

      I really hope that makes sense - if not, you could send me some pictures and I will dif out the pattern and see if I can work out what is going on. I do remember having a very big "what on earth?!!" moment - and so did someone else who commented above so you are definitely not alone :)

  4. I was so happy to find your posting, I too felt the instructions were just too brief. I finally took the suggestions here, and did a 'practice' wallet that worked out great. 1) I increased the pattern 10%. I think my iPhone would have fit in the original size, I have a pretty thin case. 2) I used Pellon 808 interfacing on the main, back pocket, and pocket 1. It is a good stiffness, and looks very professional. 3) I had a LOT of problems with the snap. I was in a hurry, so I used the Dritz Easy Attacher. It wasn't long enough to get it into the center of the wallet, and the prong thing kept moving as I struggled with folding the fabric on the sides to fit under the arm. I was able to install the front snap (I added a button on top of it to pretty it up), but not the back snap. I would add the zipper as suggested, because the phone fits great inside the front. 4) I didn't put handles on, I put a swivel clip on a small matching tap in the middle of the back pocket. I then put a d-ring on my pants with no pocket, made a 10" strap on a d-ring for turning it into a wristlet, and made a 55" strap on a d-ring for putting over my head. This gives me ultimate flexibility.

  5. Great review, I had some of the same issues with the pattern- the phone pocket being a little too short for my iPhone 4S, for example. As for the snaps, in her pattern, I believe she is using regular snaps, not the magnetic ones, so they can easily be applied last (which is my preferred time to do them anyway, so I can check to make sure they are where I want them as opposed to where they are supposed be) without any trouble. I used 3/8" nylon webbing like I make cat collars out of and it's a nice sturdy strapping. All that said, I'll be giving my newly made purse away because it won't work for me. I do love the smaller version of this pattern, the little credit card holder, I use mine all the time and generally don't bother with my purse at all.

    Again, thank you for your review, even if I'm extremely late reading it!

    1. Thanks Susan! I just realised I hadn't replied to this :) I like the sound of the webbing - makes things like this look lots more professional I think!

      I am wondering if I could adapt this pattern or combine it with the credit card holder one to make something like these - with or without the strap.


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