Cell Phone Corset

Hey cats, Karline here. A couple months back, I treated myself to the lovely little gadget at right. It tells me when to pay the bills, gives me directions when I get lost, and lets me to play Boggle with my boss. (I think she's better.) All in all, I'm quite enjoying it.

But ... I felt a little uncomfortable just tossing my shiny new toy in my purse. Or leaving it out for vicious bunnies to chomp on. It needs a little sleeve or something, I thought. Lined with microfiber, like the little cloth for cleaning the screen, to properly pamper and protect it. And a suitably sexy exterior.

Sexy? Well, that could be arranged...

To make your corset, you'll need:

  • Main outer fabric (I used taupe taffeta)

  • Contrast outer fabric (I used black silk)

  • Microfiber cloth for lining (I got mine in the auto care section)

  • Fusible interfacing

  • Cutaway stabilizer

  • Little grommets and tools to apply them

  • Ribbon or cord for lacing

  • Lacy trim for top

  • Embroidery design of your choice

Seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise noted.

Take your gadget's measurements, just like you would if you were making a corset for a person. My phone is 6 1/8" around the short way and 10 1/4" the long way around. Divide both measurements by 2, then add an inch for seam allowance, plus a little bit extra (half an inch, maybe?) for breathing room. This will give you the size of rectangles to cut out for the front and back of the case.

BTW, it's a good idea to have your gadget "try on" the corset regularly throughout this process, to make sure everything is going as planned.

Cut out a paper rectangle exactly to the size you've figured out. Mark horizontal and vertical center lines to help with placing the embroidery later. I marked the seam allowances, too.

Print a paper template of your embroidery design at actual size. If you don't have embroidery software, you can cut out a piece of paper the same size as the design to help with placement. Center the template exactly on your paper pattern.

Make sure the design you pick fits on your corset. Mine had an embroider-able area of about 2" by 4", so the peacock plume worked perfectly.

Embroider your outer fabric, using cutaway stabilizer on the back. Trim away the excess stabilizer.

Line up the paper pattern with the embroidered fabric, so that the center points of the template and the actual embroidery line up exactly. I used a pin stuck through the paper to help with this.

Pin the pattern in place and cut out the rectangle.

Cut out more rectangles the same size:

  • 2 of outer main fabric

  • 1 of outer contrast fabric

  • 2 of microfiber lining

  • 4 of fusible interfacing

Iron fusible interfacing on the back of all four outer fabric rectangles.

For the back flaps: Press under 1/2" on the short ends of each un-embroidered outer main fabric piece. Press in half the long way.

Trim folded-under edge to about 1/4".

Near the folded edge, mark equally spaced points where the grommets will go.

Stitch close to the top, folded edge, and bottom of each flap piece.

Use a small, pointy pair of scissors to poke a hole through each grommet point you marked earlier.

Gradually widen the holes until they're just big enough to get a grommet through. I'm using 1/8" grommets that only come with a single piece per grommet.

Using the prescribed grommet tools, apply the grommets to each back flap. You can find more grommet instruction here, but basically, the package should tell you what you need to know. It's not as scary as it looks.

Here are both back flaps, all full of hardware!

Lay your outer contrast fabric (in my case, the black silk) right side up on your work surface. Position the back flaps on top of it, right sides up, with a little gap down the middle. Make sure the whole ensemble is centered over the contrast rectangle. Pin in place.

Lay the embroidered front piece right side down on top of the stack, lining it up exactly with the back contrast piece. Pin everything together.

Stitch a 1/2 inch seam around the sides and bottom. Clip the corners.

Turn the whole corset right side out.

This is what it looks like from the back.

Lay the two lining pieces together and stitch a 1/2" seam around the sides and bottom. Clip corners and trim seams to reduce bulk.

Or, if the corset is running big, don't trim the seams. The extra fabric will help make it a little snugger.

Fold under the raw edge of the outer corset toward the inside.

Fold over 1/2" of the lining toward the outside.

Insert the lining into the outer corset.

Pin the lining to the outer corset around the top edge.

Hand-stitch the lining to the outer corset along the top edge.

Fold the flaps toward the back and lace up the corset like you would a shoe.

Hand-stitch the trim to the top edge of the corset case, starting at the edge of one back flap and running it around to the edge of the other back flap.

Ta da! Your cell phone corset corset is complete. Every phone needs a case, but not many people will have their phones dressed this stylishly. You and me. And I'm cool with that.

I just realized I'm a sucker for inanimate objects wearing or using things intended for humans. Couch-shaped pincushions? Get me every time. Putting that on the to-do list.

Show off a bit of pretty embroidery on the front of your corset. In addition to the peacock plume, I think Alice and the Christmas baubles would make great corset embellishments, and they'd fit nicely into the 2" by 4" embroider-able area on my corset. Or a zipper or an old-fashioned pointy hand thingy. Other designs, like the anatomical spine, anatomical heart, and even 8-bit invaders could work if you let a bit of the less important scribbles run off the edge. Obviously, someone's gonna do this with steampunk cogs. If you have the software and are into editing designs, pull out elements from a larger design like a phonograph or fleur de lis spray. And don't forget about minis! Let your imagination run wild -- there are so many designs that would rock for this.

Lacing up the back might not make your phone any skinnier, but it'll sure make it schmexier!

Now if only I would get around to making that corset for me...

Really, though, why buy an iPhone when you can knit an iPhone? If you're phone's of the masculine persuasion (or more specifically, the non-corset-wearing persuasion ... hey, no assumptions here!) dress it in a necktie. I do not have a tutorial for a couch pincushion, but if you do, please send it my way. I totally want to make one, and and I don't know much about making upholstered furniture, miniature or otherwise. Happy phone-dressing!

Want a printer-friendly PDF of this page? You got it, bud.
Suggested designs for this tutorial: 
Peacock Plume_image
Peacock Plume $2.99 - $3.99
2 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 2.64"w x 6.50"h | 1.54"w x 3.86"h | Hand Embroidery