I've decided to try my hand at holster making. A few days ago I was near the Tandy Leather Factory in Columbus, and Scott, the manager couldn't have been more helpful--when he found that I live too far to make attending classes feasible, he sat down with me and gave a 20 minute lesson on sewing leather, complete with demonstration on scrap leather, using the tools I was about to buy.
I bought what he said was the bare minimum tools. After practicing on scraps, I decided to make a case for my phone. We have a box of old phone and PDA cases--I salvaged a clip from one of them and made a first attempt. I wasn't quite paying attention, and folded the first version wrong--the case worked, but looked ugly. On this version, I tried filler pieces on the sides, a technique needed for certain holster designs. Looks OK, but it is longer than the folded version. It is likely to last longer than the phone does. Order of assembly is important--this would have been significantly easier if I'd sewn the leather covering the clip before I sewed the rest together.
Rather than using flaps, snaps or buckles to secure the phone, the thick, stiff leather holds it in place. Since none of the phone sticks out, the hole in the bottom is necessary to push it out of the case.