Projects and Tutorials / Shabbat

Tutorial: Cut-and-Sew Cell Phone Sleeping Bag – Fabric Panel

Cell phone sleeping bag Sew Jewish
If you’re like me, it’s easier to take time away from your cell phone if it’s out of sight. Hence, the cell phone sleeping bag, especially useful for tucking your phone away for Shabbat and Jewish festivals. As far as my internet research can tell, the idea of a sleeping bag for your cell phone originated with San Francisco-based conceptual artist Jessica Tully for Sabbath Manifesto and the annual National Day of Unplugging.

Shabbat cell phone sleeping bag cut and sew fabric from Sew JewishA friend asked me to teach a class on how to make a cell phone sleeping bag, which inspired me to design a version with distinct Shabbat feel. The result is this cut-and-sew project: a fabric panel pre-printed with a Shabbat evening scene of rolling hills under a starry sky, now available in the SewJewish Etsy shop.

It’s easy to sew up. Just cut out the front and back pieces and follow the simple instructions printed on the fabric panel (you’ll need to add your own ribbon or cord for closing).

And, to make the project even easier here’s a tutorial illustrating the steps.

Sew your own cell phone sleeping bag and give your phone, and yourself, a break!

You’ll Need

Cut-and-Sew Shabbat Shalom Cell Phone Sleeping Bag fabric panel
Sewing machine/Needle
28″ (70cm) ribbon (1/4″ or 6mm wide) or cord (about 1/8″ or 3mm wide)
Safety pin




Cut out the front and back pieces.
Shalom cell phone sleeping bag sewing tutorial

Place the pieces together, printed sides facing each other. Transfer the yellow lines marked “X” to the wrong side of one of the pieces.

Sew around the sides and bottom edges using a 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance, but don’t sew above the marked line.

Fold top edge along dotted line - cell phone pouchFinish the top edges of the front and back pieces one at a time: Fold the top edge down along the dotted line so the printed side of the fabric faces out. Press.

Press side edges to wrong sideFold in along the two side dotted lines. Press.

fold top along solid line - cell phone sleeping bagFold the top edge in again along the solid line.

Tip: If you’d like a bag that’s taller than 6 1/2″ (16.5cm), adjust where you place the fold.

Sew sleeve of pouchSew the folded top to the pouch 1/8” (3mm) above the lower fold to form a sleeve for the ribbon or cord. Keep the other side of the pouch out of the way while you sew.

Finish the top of the other side in the same way.


Finish raw edges with zigzag stitches*Extra credit: Finish the raw edges with zigzag stitches.

Turn the bag right side out. Press — put a clean cloth between the iron and the fabric to protect the fabric.

Thread ribbon or cord through the sleeves - cell phone sleeping bagCut two 14” (36cm) pieces of ribbon/cord. Use a safety pin to help insert the ribbon/cord through the sleeve. Insert the pieces from opposite sides, and knot the ends of each piece together.

To close, pull the ends of the strings.

Shabbat Shalom Cell Phone Sleeping Bag Tutorial - Sew Jewish

Check out the SewJewish Etsy shop for the Cut-and-Sew Shabbat Shalom Sleeping Bag project.

If you would like to purchase multiple copies of the panel, the fabric is available by the yard by special purchase. Great for sewing classes. Contact me by email at maria.bywater{at}

Maria BywaterMaria Bywater is the author of Sew Jewish: The 18 Projects You Need for Jewish Holidays, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations, and Home. She teaches hands-on Judaica sewing workshops.