DIY – Phone/Camera Case . . . made from Frogg Toggs Pouch

If you buy the ultralight suit or poncho from Frogg Toggs, I bet you find it difficult to toss the storage pouch. A few years ago I started using one to store maps in my car. A friend said she uses one for her microspikes. Previously I used a dry bag to make a phone/camera case (blog link) but it didn’t last as long as I would have liked. With it worn out it was time for replacement so as I dug through my supplies I found these pouches and decided to give it a try.

The poncho pouch is larger and has more usable fabric. The ultralight suit pouch has a snap on the back which you need to work around.

Supplies:

  • 2 Frogg Toggs pouches (or other fabric)
  • 2-4 Pieces of thin plastic (size of phone)
  • Magnetic closure (or velcro) (Amazon Link)
  • Double fold bias tape or something similar (Amazon Link)

Step 1 – Construct Top of Phone Compartment

My phone is 6.25″ x 3″, so I made a double layer piece 8.5″ x 4″ with 2 thin pieces of plastic sandwiched between. Stitch together.

Step 2 – Construct Top of Camera Compartment

My camera is 4 x 2.5″ x 2″. I cut the fabric 6.5″ x 3.5″. I didn’t double layer this section instead I rolled over the top and stitched at about 1/4″. I ran a gathering stitch along the bottom so I could factor in the 2″ depth of my camera.

Step 3 – Create Closure

I had some double fold bias tape so decided to use it for the closure (Amazon Link). I reused the magnetic closure (Amazon Link) from my previous case. Each piece is 4″ in length. Tip: it’s much easier to enclose the magnet in fabric than it is trying to sew it on to the fabric. I tested placement of the magnetic with my camera in the pouch then stitched the magnet in between the tape then stitched it to the front of the camera pouch. Be sure the bump of the magnetic is facing outward.

Step 4 – Finish Camera Pouch

Mount the camera pouch on the top piece of the phone pouch. You’ll want to adjust margins to allow for the depth of your camera leaving a little wiggle room so you can retrieve and replace camera without too much effort. You can see how the magnetic is sewn on as well as the gathered bottom. This fabric doesn’t unravel so I didn’t need to finish seams.

Step 5 – Create Attachments

Once again I used the double sided bias tape as well as velcro. I wanted a loop so I also added a piece of cord. For each pack attachment, I used a 7″ piece of bias tape with 1.5″ of velcro.

Step 6 – Create Back of Pouch

This piece started as double thickness 6″ x 8.5″. I sandwiched the magnet tab between the two pieces, as well as a couple pieces of the thin plastic. I then cut the flap at an angle.

Step 7 – Connect Attachment Straps and Loop

Stitch the velcro straps slightly smaller than the width of your backpack straps. For mine that was about 2.5″.

Step 8 – Complete Pouch

Attach the front and back pieces. Trim edges and round corners for best fit.

Step 9 – TEST!

This new design needs more trail time. I’ll report back after I’ve used it for a while.

Link to more of Jan’s DIY/MYOG projects

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DIY – Turning Socks into Mittens

There’s no getting around it. If you hike lots of miles, your socks are going to wear out. There are a few companies who offer lifetime replacement like Darn Tough, but really how many days, how many miles are reasonable life? I tend to get a couple years of wear out of most of my socks. Even at $15-$20 per pair, that’s a minimal replacement cost as compared to shoes. Inevitably I find myself with a pile of socks that for some reason I can’t bear to toss. Side note: “Bare means naked, but to bear is to carry something. A bear is also a brown furry animal.” The english language is very strange indeed!

I’d been searching for some soft wool mittens. I just couldn’t pull the trigger on the price. One day I took a pair of socks and made an X cut at the heel to stick my thumb through. I wore them like this for a couple of years always meaning to add a thumb. Finally this year, I completed the task. LOVE my reuse, repurpose, recycle project! 

While my toe socks wear out in the toes, my regular socks wear thin in the heals which make the rest intact to keep my hands warm. 

I used the top cuff of another pair of socks to make the thumbs.

Are they perfect? No

Are they functional? YES

Do I love them? YES

Links:

DIY – Down Skirt, Leg Warmers, Socks, Mittens

This project was made from a down throw I purchased from CostCo for $20. The throw’s construction was 5″ squares with dimensions of 12 squares by 14 squares (about 60″ x 70″).

The goal was to keep it simple. There are much more tailored options but my goal was simply to have an additional layer when camping in frigid conditions, and potentially for use when snowshoeing in cold but not wet weather. I also have an older style sewing machine with limited stitches.

The CostCo throw came with a nice stuff sack. Filled with my new down wear, total weight is 15.7 ounces or nearly a pound. How often will I carry an extra pound in my pack? Better to be pound foolish than cold. (Update: I’ve since revised the skirt and the total package now weighs 12.5 ounces)

Layout:

Blue was used for mittens

Prep:

  1. Using the measurements as specified in each section, determine your layout for the desired pieces.
  2. Mark that layout on the reverse side of the quilt. I used chalk.
  3. Sew parallel straight lines on both side of the chalk line. If you use the squares on the CostCo quilt, one line is already sewn. #11 needle worked for my machine and this fabric.
  4. Cut between the sewn lines. This will help manage the loose down. Keep vacuum handy!
  5. Finish the edges. I used a zigzag stitch.

Skirt:

Materials: 12 squares (60″) x 7 squares (35″)

My objective was a long skirt I could wear in combo with my leg warmers around camp or in bed on especially cold trips. I also wanted the option to wear it occasionally for cold hiking or snowshoeing. I elected to keep it simple by making it a straight skirt with an adjustable elastic waistband. I wanted the width sufficient to tuck around me when sitting around and wide enough for my hiking stride. Weight 8.85 ounces. (Update: I’ve since shortened the skirt significantly by removing two rows at the bottom, and also removed about 18″ from waist by making two long darts and turning the skirt into more of an A-line pattern. The revised weight is 5.6 ounces.)

Instructions:

  1. Measure for length and width. Add 1-2″ for seams. Size over your clothing with adequate room to pull up over your hips.
  2. Cut using the factory finished edge as hem and side seams (depending on your personal dimensions).
  3. Sew side seam and top stitch to make a flat seam. Use french seam if you want to hide raw edges if you didn’t use factory finished ends.
  4. Make a casing for the elastic at the unfinished edge. Leave 1/2″ opening to thread elastic.
  5. I used round cord elastic with a toggle to adjust waistband.
  6. Pockets:
    1. Use the leftover fabric from making the diagonal cut for the leg warmers.
    2. Select your size preference. I used the angled 2×2 squares.
    3. Finish the edges.
    4. Decide where to place on skirt. I placed on sides one square down from waist.
    5. Top stitch pocket in place.

Leg Warmer/Sock Combo:

Materials: 10 squares (50″) x 14 squares (70″)

My objectives were slippers/socks and leg warmers to wear in bed or around camp in cold conditions. I wanted the ability to get up in the middle of the night without removing socks or having to put on overshoes. I also wanted something I could wear over my tights when hiking if it was really cold but dry. These are designed with an open toe that tucks under the foot for socks or slides up to the ankle when used with shoes. If I want to wear them walking on snow, I can use a shower cap or bread bags as moisture barriers. Weight 5.25 ounces.

Instructions:

  1. Measure for the largest circumference area of your lower leg/calf over whatever you’ll be wearing. I measured over my jeans just to ensure I had plenty of space.. Add about 5-7″. For me that was about 25″. Finished width is 23″.
  2. Measure length from below knee to floor and from heel to toes. Add another 5-7″. For me that was about 35″. Finished length is 33″.
  3. Measure largest circumference area of your foot between arch to toes. Add another 5-7″. For me that was about 15″. Finished width is 14″.
  4. Fold the fabric inside out for each leg.
  5. Starting at the finished edge end, draw a diagonal line from the smallest width to the largest width. In my case from the 15″ (3 squares) to the 25″ (5 squares).
  6. Pin on the discard fabric area, otherwise down may leak through the pin hole.
  7. Sew along the diagonal line (start at the factory finished end).
  8. Cut about 1/4 – 1/2″ from the sewn line. (Keep the piece you cut off if you’d like a pocket on your skirt)
  9. Finish the cut edge. I used the zigzag stitch.
  10. Flip the leg warmer, finished side out, and complete a modified french seam if you’d like to hide the raw edges.
  11. Make a 1/2″ casing on the largest width end for the elastic. I double rolled to hide the raw edge. Begin and end on both sides of the seamed section leaving about 1/2″ to pull through the elastic. I used round cord elastic. Package doesn’t indicate diameter.
  12. Test fit and either finish with a toggle adjustment or fixed length by tying knot.
  13. Measure from the floor over the top of your foot (at your arch). For me that was 8″. Cut a section of the round cord elastic. Attach to each side of the toe end of legging. Looks like a stirrup. I knotted each end of the elastic and attached with a zigzag stitch (stitching over vs through so I could adjust).
  14. Test fit by tucking the last section (about 5″) under your foot. Place elastic over your foot to hold it loosely in place. Adjust knot/length as necessary.

Mittens:

My objective was a warm-up around camp mitten, definitely not intended to hike in. I wanted them to be roomy enough I could hold a cup. The design is a lopsided balloon. Weight 1.2 ounces

Materials: 2 squares (10″) x 7 squares (35″)  NOTE: If I had more fabric, I would extend the 10″ length.

Instructions:

  1. Along the 7 square factory finished edge, about 1″ from the edge, attach elastic cord leaving about 1″ on each end. I used a wide and long zigzag stitch.
  2. Bring the ends of the long piece to the center creating essentially two sections 3.5 squares each. You should be looking at the inside of the mitten fabric.
  3. Create a pattern with plenty of room for seam allowance and down puff. I used about 1″.
  4. Trace onto the folded sections. I use chalk. Place the baby finger side of pattern on the fold. This will not be cut nor sewed.
  5. Pin the pieces together outside the pattern area. Otherwise, the pins will create holes in the fabric allowing down to escape.
  6. Test that you can easily insert hand through the opening.
  7. Starting about 1/4″ away from the elastic cording, stitch around the hand shape.
  8. Leaving about 1/2″ margin, cut around the shape being careful not to cut tail of elastic.
  9. Finish the cut edge. You can finish all the way to cuff. Just don’t catch the elastic cord.
  10. Pull the elastic cord on both ends exposing about 2-4″ length. Finish the straight stitch from the 1/4″ above cord to the cuff. Be careful to go over the cord but not through it.
  11. Put hand in glove and adjust elastic to desired fit. Tie a square knot. Turn glove to finished side and refit hand/wrist. Adjust elastic as needed. Tie several knots leaving about 1″ tails for future adjustment.

Function is more important than fashion!

Hard to tell in photo, but I have a leg warmer on my left leg with the the sock portion pulled up into walking position.