I have always hated any case that stays on my phone. I like the phone to feel like the designer wanted it to feel. I am up for a new phone in about 6 months so whatever case I bought would be useful for about 6 months. I decided to build my own. Since I was going to make my own I decided I wanted to incorporate my wallet into it. I don't need much in way of my wallet, just 4 credit cards, 3 ID's and my insurance card. The old case was a simple leather pouch with a little ribbon that pulled the phone up and out of the case. I liked the design so I thought I would improve it.
Step 1: The Mark I Prototype
I wanted to make sure I know what sizes of material I would need to cut. I made blacks from paper and staples to see about sizing. I tried a staggered approach to the tops of pockets, but decided against it. Overall it worked so well I decided to make another.
Step 2: Mark II Prototype
Well, the damn store was out of leather. I got felt instead. It was very cheap and would be very forgiving. I decided to go with a 3 tone design, to better highlight the pockets. For this build I added in a stopper to keep the cards from disappearing into the pocket. I also added in the ribbon phone pull. In the end the felt was stretchy and made everything a little loose. I used the pattern from the Mark 1 to duplicate the shape.
Step 3: Mark III Milestone
Different craft store had leather! Cost for the leather ended up being 8 bucks. I used upholstery thread and a set of needles I already had.
About sewing leather, it is difficult. maybe I got tougher leather, or bad needles but it is hard. The needles that were for leather were thick and blunt, they could not puncture the leather then could not be pulled through it. I tried pre punching all the holes with the leather awl on my swiss army knife, I think that's what that tool is for. However it did not work well. After breaking and bending all the "leather needles" I tried one of the larger regular needles and it worked! It needed to be sharp and thin. It was still not easy, but steady gentle pressure and lots of extra needles eventually got the job done.
I decided to add a little style in and do a cross diagonal pattern with the leather. I like it a lot. With the Mark IV I will make less severe angles cause I worry the cards will fall out.