Tomorrow is National Stitch Day, as organised by the Embroiderer’s Guild, and it fell to me to arrange something to do. So, I and other members of our Guild will be sitting at the cafe outside C&H Fabrics in Guildford stitching and inviting people to join in. I’ve made a phone case and some packs to give away, including instructions, so I decided to put them on the blog as well for you to have a go too.
To make your own case you will need some felt in 7 colours, including scraps in black and white.
Stranded cotton in toning colours
Scrap paper a pencil a ruler to make the pattern
To start with you need to make a pattern, so measure round your phone’s width and length with the tape measure. My phone is 15.5cm around the width and 29cm around the length. To work out the size of your pattern divide each measurement in half, giving me 7.75cm rounded up to 8cm wide and 14.5cm long rounded up to 15cm. Add 1cm seam allowance to the width giving 9cm and 0.5cm to the length giving 15.5cm. Draw the pattern out on the scrap paper, drawing in the seam allowance as well, then cut it out. To round the corners draw round a penny at the 2 bottom corners.
Now you have your pattern you can sketch your monster on the front, keeping within the seam allowance. If you google monsters or check on Pinterest you can find loads of inspiration, or you can copy mine.
Pin your pattern to the front fabric and cut it out.
The next bit is slightly complicated to explain. As you can probably see on the picture above there is a flap drawn over the monster’s eye. To get the pattern for the back I cut out the flap and laid it down above the pattern mirrored and then drew around it to get a pattern for the back, which included the flap. Lay this pattern onto your back fabric, pin and cut out. I recommend not cutting the flap to shape at this stage, but leaving it long until the end! You can see this in one of the pictures above.
The next step is to cut out monster shape from the front. It will be missing a bit as you’ve cut the flap, so pin it onto your monster fabric and cut around the side that is complete, then unpin it and reverse it to do the other side. This also means you get a symmetrical monster.
Now you need to cut out 2 white eyes – they needn’t be the same size, but one should be bigger than your button, so it shows underneath. Also, cut 1 black pupil, a selection of spots in a contrast colour, spikes and as many white teeth as you like. I put sequins in the kits I am giving away to use instead of the spots.
Lay out all your pieces on the front adjusting them until you are happy with your monster. Take the flap of paper you cut off and lay it over your monster to work out where the button eye will be. If you look at my finished case at the top you will see that the button eye is above the other one. This is partly deliberate, but also so that the monster wasn’t too far up the case, leaving lots of yellow underneath, although I could have filled that with something like some writing.
Taking a single strand of toning thread stitch the body down first with a small running stitch. At the top position the spikes underneath the body and make sure they are stitched down firmly as you go round. Next sew the black pupil over the white eye. The mouth is stitched with 3 strands of red using a stem stitch (sorry, no picture), catching the teeth in as you go. Finally, sew the circles down with a star stitch. Leave the button for now.
You’re nearly there now. Pin the front to the back. If the two don’t match exactly you can trim them a bit, but don’t go mad or your phone won’t fit in. Now, using 2 threads of stranded cotton in a colour that contrasts with both the back and front buttonhole around the edge. To make your stitches even you can mark on the front with a pencil at 0.5cm intervals 0.5cm in from the edge.
Don’t expect to get all the way round with one piece of thread. If you try you will get in a knot and your thread gets worn, so weave your thread through the back of the stitches on the inside, making sure they are firm – you don’t want your phone to fall out! At the end finish off in the same way.
At the top corners I went into the same hole 3 times, and the bottom, where it is curved I went into the same hole 2 times.
You can now see where your flap folds over onto the front. Position your button over the other piece of white felt and make sure it is in the right spot for the flap and sew it on using black thread. Finally, carefully cut a buttonhole in the flap remembering that felt has a tendency to stretch, so err on the side of caution – you can always make it bigger. Now you can trim the flap down to size, and you’re done!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and if you have a go do share them with me. I’d love to see your version. If you don’t fancy a monster, what about a robot? Or it could be a flower with a loop of ribbon instead of a flap. I’m sure you’ve got your own ideas.