Today I’m going to show you how I made my new armband case for my touchscreen phone.
So remember last year when I made myself an iPod armband so I could listen to music while sewing/running/etc? Well, this is what it currently looks like after a year of use.
This particular type of elastic, while comfortable, just hasn’t worn very well. So I decided to make myself a new one, but decided that as long as I was doing that, I might as well see if I could figure out how to make touchscreen access easier. I started experimenting with things to see what I could still use my touchscreen through – starting with putting my phone in a sandwich bag. The screen still worked, so I figured vinyl would work as well.
I went to Joann to get vinyl. At my local store it’s in the back where the upholstery fabric is on rolls on the wall. They actually had several thicknesses of vinyl. I got the 4mm thick kind – the thinnest one they carried. It looks like this:
Want to make your own armband? Here’s what you’ll need
- Fabric and vinyl (you might want to lay the vinyl over your particular device to test before buying)
- Small strip of 1/2″ double fold bias tape
- Measurements for your device
Let’s talk more about measurements. Measure your device as you intend to use it with the case. In other words, if you already have a protective case you don’t plan to take off while using your armband, measure with the case in place.
Cut these pieces:
- Vinyl should be the same length and width of the face of your device plus seam allowances. Mine is approximately 2.75″ x 5″, so I cut my vinyl to 3.25″ x 5.5″ – giving myself quarter inch seams.
- Fabric should be a long rectangle. The length of the rectangle should be (Length of device)2 +depth of device + seam allowance. So mine is 5″ long and 3/8″ deep, so I cut my fabric to be (5)2 +3/8 +1/2 = 10 7/8, which I just rounded off to 11″
(*Special note – I constructed mine out of charm pack squares, so I did not have anything 11″ long. Therefore I sewed several pieces together to get my 11″ length. But for purposes of this tutorial we’re going to pretend it’s one piece of fabric. Also I made several of these, so the fabric doesn’t match in all the pictures. It’s OK, I made them all the same way.)
- Fabric width should be the width of your device + (depth)2 + seam allowances. So mine was 2.75 + (3/8)2 + 1/2″ = 4″
- Elastic length should be the circumference of your arm – the width of your device. No seam allowances since it’s supposed to fit tightly. In fact you might even want to cut an extra 1/2″ off.
Arrange your materials like in the picture below. The vinyl should be lined up with the top edge of the fabric. Fold the bottom part of the fabric up so it lines up with the top edge as well.
Sew one side shut. (Right side of the picture below. And remember the seam you see on top is because I stitched several charm pack pieces of fabric together to get my long rectangle).
Fold the elastic in so that it matches along the other edge. You may want to pin it, but remember pins leave marks in the vinyl, so if you do, pin in the seam allowance.
Sew down the other edge of the pouch.
Turn the pouch right side out. The vinyl will not be attached at the bottom – so I can still stick my finger in between the vinyl and the fabric.
The back side will look like this.
Unfold your bias tape. Place it around the top edge of the pouch, with the right side facing the vinyl. Fold the short edge to the wrong side of the fabric at the beginning of the bias tape, and overlap that edge at the end.
Sew along the fold line closest to the edge. I find this easiest to do by putting my needle inside the pouch, as shown below.
Fold the bias tape toward the outside, pinning if necessary. Keep the short raw edge folded under to the wrong side and stitch around the bias tape again to secure in place.
Stitch across the bottom of the vinyl to close the pouch.
Slide your device inside and have fun wearing to listen to podcasts, books or music while sewing or otherwise moving around. All with easy access to your touchscreen.
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