Saturday, June 26, 2010

Leather case for iPhone 4

So this is an iphone 4. Since I can't bring myself to buy a case for my phones, I have figured out a few ways to make them. This one is from leather. I got this phone because of the materials really -- they had me at glass and stainless. That and the camera. The images it takes are really amazing actually. Apparently there is supposed to be a signal attenuation problem with the new iphone when it's touched in a certain place. I can't seem to really make mine do it, but with this case it becomes a non issue anyway.

This is a detail of the well-protected corner.

Here you can clearly see the way each stitch hangs off the edge. There is a tension line that is trapped there and used as a draw string.

There are actually two tension lines. One for the front, and one for the back. As I was working with the leather, it was clear that it was going to need some kind of non-stretch solution for the main dimensional elements of the case. I used two super-thin dyneema lines.

Here you can see the 3 dashes along the side where the two lines get woven into the leather. This is so they can be losened when the case needs to come off which is not very often.

The scrap shows the corners that had to be cut. 8 tiny pieces of leather each had to have a bevel to sit flat against the face of the phone.

As far as the sewing went, it was pretty fiddly. I used a darning foot which is a tiny round foot for the machine. It's normally used with those clampy wooden rings that we used to see in people's houses back when they made stuff -- sniff. Anyway, this foot works well for the leather because it's tiny, and doesn't actually make contact with the base plate of the machine. There is a gap that it leaves that is just about the right height for the thickness of the leather, so you don't have it pressing down super hard. I have an industrial machine, but i didn't even have a chance to use the motor. I just turned the hand wheel with my hand. Each stitch is hand-placed.


Josh said...

This case is awesome. I think my girlfriend would love it. Any chance you would sell it/one?

Tim Elverston said...

Thanks Josh,

I might, but they kind of take all day to fiddle around with and make. The labor doesn't translate well into money, thus they would be what most people would consider really expensive.

It has been a great great case. I love it. What might you want to spend, or trade?

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