Rainbow Phone Sock

After sewing a shirt for our dog, I wanted to make something from scratch without the help of printed patterns. Something I would use daily. A few weeks ago, I was putting my keys into my pocket, not realising that I also had my mobile phone in there. This ended up putting some scuffs and tiny scratches on my phone. So I figured what better way to protect my phone from stupid mistakes like these than to make my own phone “sock”. I started out with a rough design sketch on a notepad and came up with this rainbow design of five coloured rows.

A rough sketch on checkered paper that depicts a flat pressed phone "sock" if five coloured rows that make up a rainbow pattern. The colours start with red, followed by yellow, green, blue, and end in purple.
A rough sketch of a phone “sock” design consisting of five coloured rows to make a rainbow pattern. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

I have chosen those five colours because a week ago I bought a fat quarter bundle at a store that had exactly those colours. And I also like the colourful rainbow aesthetic. By the way, in case you didn’t know, a fat quarter is made by cutting out a quarter of a 1m x 1.10m fabric. So you end up with a piece of fabric that is 50cm x 55cm in size.

A hand holding a bundle of five fat quarters, each in a different colour.
A bundle of fat quarters, each in a different colour. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

I took measurements of my phone and made a simple prototype of the sock out of paper. This allowed me to verify my measurements without wasting any fabric.

A cut out piece of paper that is also folded to mimic the shape of the phone sock.
A somewhat incomplete paper prototype of the phone sock. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

I started by cutting little rectangular paper templates, which I would use as the pattern for my fabric pieces. I needed two rectangles of each colour, except for the bottom colour (purple), which just needed one larger piece. I added about 3mm tolerance to my measurements and included a 1cm seam allowance on each side of the rectangle.

A purple square of fabric with a paper template on top of it. The paper template has the exact dimensions that the fabric should be cut into. The fabric rectangles are a larger than the template and unevenly cut on every side.
The paper template on top of the fabric; ready to be cut. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Once I had cut out all the rectangles, it was time to sew them together. The plan was to sew the red and yellow colours together, followed by green, blue, and then purple. Then go backwards to end up with red again. I only had to make sure that all the seams would end up on the same side. Naturally, one of my seams ended up on the other side.

A hand holding the sewn together rectangles but one of the seams is on the opposite side of where it was supposed to be.
A sewing mistake where the seam allowance ended up on the opposite side where it was supposed to be. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This meant I had to rip out the thread with the help of a little tool called a seam ripper. This tool looks like a two-pointed fork with one tine being a lot shorter than the other. The longer tine is used to get underneath the thread so it can then be cut at the root of the fork. It takes a bit of practise and patience.

A seam ripper tool being used to rip the white thread on the green fabric. Part of the thread has already been ripped and the seam ripper tine is currently underneath another section of the white thread right before it is being cut at the root
The seam ripper in action. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

After this little setback, I sewed all the rectangles together without any further incidents and ended up with a single strip of rainbow-colored fabric.

The final continuous strip of rainbow coloured fabric. The strip consists of coloured rectangles that have been sewn together. The colours go from red, yellow, green, blue, and then a larger piece of purple. Then it continues in the opposite order to end up at red again.
All rectangles sewn together to form a single continuous rainbow coloured strip. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The strip had to be pressed flat with an iron. I decided to iron on some fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric as well. Interfacing is used to make a piece of fabric a bit more rigid so it can keep its shape. Think of the collar of a shirt. Interfacing can be made out of either knitted or woven fabric and comes in two types: sew-in or fusible. Sew-in, as the name suggests, needs to be sewn while fusible needs to be pressed on with an iron.

A picture showing the single rainbow coloured strip laying on the ironing board with the wrong side up to expose the seams. Fusible interfacing is laid on top of it leaving only 1cm on each side of the rectangle exposed
The fusible interfacing on the “wrong” side of the rainbow coloured strip of fabric. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Once the interfacing was pressed on, I put another piece of fabric over it as the lining. Think of the inside of your jacket, which might be made out of a thinner and more flexible fabric. This is known as the lining. In my case, I used a fabric of similar quality and thickness as the coloured one because I wanted the end product to be a bit sturdier. I folded the strip in half and sewed it together on the edges. I also added a rainbow-colored ribbon to pull the phone out without having to shove my fingers into the sock.

A picture showing a folded piece of fabric with it's lining on top, sewn together on both sides. A colourful rainbow ribbon is sewn into the upper seam.
The piece of fabric folded in half and sewn together on both sides. The rainbow coloured ribbon is sewn into the upper seam. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

All that was left to do now was to turn the whole thing inside out so that the lining would be on the inside of the sock and the coloured rows on the outside.

A picture of the final product. It shows the phone sock laying on the table while the coloured ribbon is being held by a hand on the outside of the sock.
The final product. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The phone sock was done. And to my surprise, my phone did fit inside. Hurrah!

A picture showing a phone inside of the phone sock and a hand holding it. The picture shows the top of the sock to showcase how snug the phone fits into it.
My phone in the phone sock. Photo by DANIEL DRYWA. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Overall, I am happy with the result. But I would try something different for the top of the sock. My technique was messy and used a lot more thread than necessary. I think I can do something a lot neater looking next time around.

As a little bonus, I did some napkin math to calculate how much this project has cost me to make in terms of materials used. It came down to roughly 0.70 GBP. Not bad at all.