Sometimes I over think things.  I started running last year using the Couch to 5K program.  I used an app on my  Itouch which guided me through timed walks and runs while listening to my favorite music.  I usually carried my Itouch in my pocket if I had one or in my hands.  (By the way, that’s a 1st gen I touch. I bought it used at Best Buy.  Who knew?  I got a great deal on it a few years ago. It holds a lot of music and I can sync my calendar to it.)
I’ve thought (and thought…and thought…) about what I wanted in an Ipod carrier.  And then I thought (and thought….and thought….) about how I would sew one up.  I thought for so long that it took me over a year to sew one!
I wanted:
  • a clear window that would allow me to skip through songs
  • protection from wet weather
  • a flap to secure the Ipod
  • a pocket for a key
  • a pocket to store ear buds
  • an adjustable strap
I had envisioned adjustable velcro straps, pockets, vinyl windows….and made it all so complicated that I couldn’t even start this simple project.   (I bet my fellow sewists can relate!)
And then I found this wonderful tutorial on Favecrafts and realized simplicity in design is always best!
Amber of One Shabby Chick created the tutorial for the Ipod armband shown above. She has an amazing blog and Etsy shop.  She has graciously allowed me to use her tutorial as the springboard for mine.  When I read through her tutorial I realized the beauty in the simplicity of the design and how easy it was to construct.  I even over-worked her tutorial, starting with an inside pocket (for the key) and an outside pocket (to store the ear buds.)  After making several versions, I honed in on what I really needed and wanted.

Some of the modifications I made:

  • I added a pocket made out of 20 gauge vinyl so that I can use my Ipod buttons without removing the Ipod.
  • I use a laminated cotton (my lovely Sisboom fabric) for the lining.  This allows me to place the Ipod inside if it is raining for weather protection.
  • I chose not to use the elastic and button closure because the Ipod felt very secure in the pocket.

Check out Amber’s Ipod tutorial on Favecrafts.  Her version, made out of quilted fabric scraps, is adorable.   Then take a look at mine and create the Ipod armband that will work for you!  Mine is created for an Itouch.  You may need to adjust your size up or down depending on your device.

Maiden Jane’s Ipod Armband Tutorial


  • Home dec or canvas fabric for outside, 4.5″ x 11″
  • Fusible fleece, 4.5″ x 11″
  • Laminated cotton, 4.5″ x 11″
  • Vinyl, clear, 20 gauge, 4″ x 5″ (cut down to a smaller size later)
  • knit elastic, 2″ wide
1. Cut the outside fabric, fusible fleece and laminated fabric to:  4.5″ x 11″. Note:  I made this for the Ipod 3!  If you have a newer Ipod, I would recommend laying out your Ipod and making sure there is at least a 1/2″ extra on the width and add for the height, as well.
2. Iron the fusible fleece to the back side of the canvas/home dec fabric.
3. Place the laminated cotton, right sides together, on the canvas/home dec fabric and pin.
4. Sew around the four sides using a 1/4″ seam allowance leaving a 2″ opening for turning.  Trim corners.

5. Turn right sides out.  Press from the canvas/home dec side, pressing in the seam allowance at the opening.

6. You will be folding the entire rectangle in half so that the lining is on the inside and stitching it together along the left and right side.  Before you do that, add the clear vinyl pocket. You can cut your vinyl so that it fits just above the fold to about 3/4″ below the top.  Mine is 3.25″ x 4.25″. Stitch around the perimeter of the vinyl on 3 sides.  Note: A Teflon foot or roller foot makes sewing vinyl easier. You can also use a longer stitch and help guide it through if you don’t have a special foot.

7. Cut the elastic.  Amber’s instructions say to measure your arm’s circumference.  Take that measurement, divide it in half and then add 2.5″.   I am very fussy about how tight things are on me and had to adjust the length of the elastic.  I would recommend using the calculation above, basting the elastic into the armband and trying it on – with the Ipod in the case.  I ultimately used a length of about 9.5″.

8.  Fold the rectangle with the cotton laminate fabric on the inside and your vinyl pocket on the outside.  Pin together on the sides.  Add the ends of the elastic in to each side so that the elastic is centered on the folded rectangle pocket.  Stitch through all layers on the left and right side of the armband.   Here’s a view of the back.  When you stitch on either side, you have to make sure to tuck the elastic back so that the elastic is stitched close to the edge. Stitch again along the sides to reinforce the elastic.

I love how quickly and simply this armband can be made!  The Itouch goes in upside down so that the ear buds can be attached.  That actually makes it easier for me to change a song if I choose to do so.  If I have my Itouch in the clear pocket, the key and an ID can go on the inside.  If the weather looks threatening, then I can put the Itouch in the inside, laminated pocket.  Ear bud pocket?  I don’t need to store those until after I am done running.  At that point, the Itouch comes back to the studio.  The ear buds can be placed in either pocket and I’m ready to go for my next run!


Thanks, Amber, for kick-starting my brain!