Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Camera Strap Slipcover Tutorial (with ruffles and lens cap pocket)

I finally have a good camera! And with that good camera comes an ugly neck strap.  I have seen adorable covers all over etsy and various places, so I decided to go through my fabric and whip one several up!  I had so many ideas and lots of fabric, so I quite possibly got a bit carried away.  Want one? Here's how.
All you need is fabric of your choice (how much depends on how big your strap is, and any extras you are adding), elastic (if you want a little pocket for your lens cap or extra memory card), fusible fleece (completely optional...this tute shows what to do with it, but I have more without it than I do with), coordinating thread, and a sewing machine.

You will need to start by making a pattern for your strap.  Take it off of your camera, fold it in half and lay it on paper (mine was 12x12) and trace around it.  You will want to go around the folded end, each side, and down to the leather part that holds your strap together. Draw a line connecting the two sides where the leather would be.  Then measure and draw a line 5/8 inch around each side, Cut out, and you have a pattern. Easy.  (Sorry I don't have pictures of this step-I made my pattern when I made my first strap cover.)

I marked my pattern.  I don't really have a good reason for doing this, other than catering to my obsessive compulsive personality.
Next, fold your fabric and place the pattern on top of it. I only fold mine to where there will be enough fabric cut that I need, and don't end up with a hole in the middle of my piece of fabric.
Like so:
Now you can either use a straight edge and rotary cutter to cut around your pattern (which is what I do), or you can grab a marker, trace around your pattern, and cut it out with scissors.  Either way- cut it out. :)

When you unfold it, it should look like this.  My fabric ended up being about 26 3/4 inch x about 2 7/8 in.  Your size will depend on the size of your strap.  You will need 2 of these. One for the front piece, one for the back piece.  I used the same fabric, but you can use two different ones. Either way turns out cute!

Next you will cut a piece of fabric for the pocket.  I like for my pocket to match the back peice of fabric, because I put it on the back so it won't interfere with my ruffles.  Don't mess with the ruffles, folks.
I cut a piece of fabric that was 6" wide x 5" tall.

Now time to cut ruffles...if you want them, and you know you do.  Be careful. Ruffles are addictive.  I'm entering ruffle rehab on Monday.
I cut two strips of my fabric. You want them both to be about twice as long as the finished ruffle will be.  Once you gather it, it will shrink up considerably.  I like my ruffles fluffy, so I always go with 2 to 2 1/2 times the length I want it to be when finished. One strip is 2" wide, and the other about 1" wide.
Now head over that your sewing machine and set it to the zig zag stitch function. 
Down the each side of both strips, zig zag stitch-WITH a back stitch at the beginning and the end.
This is what it will look like when you are done.  This is important because it will keep the edges from fraying.
Now you will need to go to the straight stitch, and set it for the longest stitches that your machine will allow.  This is a basting stitch.
Now, down the middle of each strip, sew a basting stitch, leaving long strings at each end.  These are the only way you can pull your fabric, making it ruffle. DO NOT back stitch on either end, or you won't be able to ruffle it.
See the two strings? There is one on the top and the bottom of your fabric.  Grab ahold of the bottom one.
*Gently* start pulling the fabric and moving it along the thread.  You don't want to break the thread. Gently work it down, little by little, until you have a ruffle.  You may have to do this from each end.  Do not clip the thread until it has been attached to the strap cover.
Do this to each fabric strip, and you will end up with fluffy little ruffles.  Ruffles make me happy.

Now. On to the pocket.
Take your pocket piece, and (wrong side up) fold over the top between 1/4-1/2". You dont' have to be precise on this. Iron it to help it hold it's place.

Next, grab a piece of elastic (mine is 3/8", but It shouldn't' matter what size you use). Fold the fabric over again, this time over the elastic.  Fold it over enough so the elastic has a little wiggle room.
Slide the elastic out and iron again. (and try to not be distracted by my ironing board cover that the Brawny Man gave me.)
Now, with a regular straight stitch, and backstitching at the start and finish, stitch a straight line close to where your fold meets the rest of the fabric.
Now it's time to slide your elastic through. The easiest way I have found, is to fold the end of the elastic over just a bit, and stick a safety pin through both pieces, off to one side (so that the elastic is somewhat inbetween the sides of the pin).  Close the safety pin, and stuff it into one side of the little pocket you just made.
Work it through a little at a time, until you have it through.  Ditch the safety pin.
Flip the fabric over and fold over the opposite end, and iron.
Now, place a pin through your elastic on one end, and bunch the fabric up on the elastic.  You don't want the elastic to be stretched, It will need to be as wide, or a little wider than the main pieces you cut earlier.
Take your back piece of fabric, and pin the top of the pocket to it.  Be sure to go through the elastic, and line up the edges.  Leave a couple of inches below the bottom of the pocket.
Line up, and pin the bottom corners.
The going across the bottom of the pocket, pin it down.
Sew a straight stitch across the bottom only, close to the edge.
It will look like this. Don't worry about the sides, we will catch them when we sew the front and back piece together, and obviously we will leave the top open.

Now we will attach the front and back pieces.

Lay then on top of each other, wrong sides together.
Line up, and pin along one side.
Sew another straight stitch 1/4 inch or a little more from the edge. Don't forget your back stitch!
Snip off the extra elastic from the side you just stitched.
Open it, lay it wrong side up, separate the two little pieces there, and iron them flat. They will look like this:

Turn it right side up, and get your large ruffle.  It needs to be the length of your main piece, so if it's too short, just scooch your ruffles out, or if it's too long, ruffle them up more.  Start pinning it to the main piece.  You want to make sure it lines up with the side that is sewn together already (if your ruffles are wide like mine) and leave room along the other side for the hem without running over the ruffle.
The, line up the smaller ruffle along the center of the wider one. Use the stitches in the middle to help if you need to.
Stitch along the center stitching that is already on the ruffles.
Remove pins
If you want to use the fusible fleece, now is the time. Follow the directions that came with it.  (I have 4 with, and 5 without...I really don't have a preference either way. With it makes it feel more sturdy and durable, but without it is easier to turn right-side out, and to get on and off.)
Fold the ends of your strap in about 1/2 to 3/4 inch, and pin.
Sew one or two lines across the hem. Which ever blows your skirt up. 

Fold it, right sides together, line up edges, and pin into place.  If you are worried about your ruffle, push it off to one side. Mine did fine.
Sew just like you did the other side.  When you are done, do a zig zag stitch along side the straight one-just to reinforce it. Snip off the extra elastic.
Start turing it right side out.  I usually use my fingers like this, but if you have lining in it, it is easier to shove it through with something.  I used a wooden spoon like I saw Tidy mom use in her tutorial. Great tip!
Yikes. Maybe I'll get Photoshop and learn how to use my camera someday.
Viola. Camera strap slip cover. Now, slip your strap in, and you're good to go!
Much better.
There's that cute lil pocket. Stick a lens cap, memory cars, chap stick...whatever you want in there.
Slides right in...
and out of sight. No more lost lens caps.

Here are some more I made.  Have fun, use your imagination, and make some camera candy for yourself :)

I added a layered knit flower to this one.
And I made some Kanzashi flowers to add to this one.

Have a blessed day!


Slipcover Girl said...

Those are super cute! Love the ruffles!

Kenzie said...

OMG! Those are amazing! I made one last month and I love it! I love all the patterns and colors you used, they are gorgeous! Now I am tempted to make another one!

Chris said...

Oh my WORD. This is the best tutorial I've seen. So detailed! Your camera straps are absolute perfection! Thank you so much for sharing!

Tricia said...

This was a fantastic tutorial! I think that I may just try it this time. Like right now, try it. Thank you for sharing.

amycornwell said...

They are all SO cute! Thanks for the ideas. I did a tute for this too but definitely not as cute. LOVE them all!

Erin said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I am a non-sewer so I love that you showed how to do the ruffle and the pocket!

Thank you for taking the time to share! Found you thru link party!

Valerie said...

I agree with Chris... best tutorial for a camera strap... ever! I love all your cute variations, too! Congrats on getting a new "big girl" camera! :) I am filing this at

Char @ Crap I've Made said... me if you get a sec!

Sara said...

Great job! I have most of those fabrics in my stash and a few camera strap cover too! I even think we have the same sewing machine. I would love to know how you made the flower on that last one!

Chel said...

is there a tute for those kanashi flowers? I love them!

Jess @ Just a Blink said...

Sweet tute! So glad Just a Girl featured you!!

Natalie@Endless Crafting said...

Great tutorial! I am so doing this!

Kat @ Black Kats Design said...

Wow! How cute and you made it look very easy. I appreciate all the pictures. Now I really have to make one!

I’m hosting a new link party “Cheap Thrills Thursday”. It’s for creative ideas that cost under $20. If you have a project you’d like to share, I’d love for you to stop by and join in Thursday!


Misty said...

I just got a new camera....I need to make myself one of these *adorable* camera straps!! Thanks for sharing!

Farmgirl Chaos said...

Thanks for sharing this tutorial! I ordered a camera strap over a month ago, and have yet to see it. I think I will be making my own! :)

Mag said...

totally love yours.......

Anonymous said...

LOVE this! I featured you on my blog!

Tamara said...

I FINALLY DID IT! It's adorable!!!! Thank you for the tutorial!!!

Angie said...

Yay! I would LOVE to see it!

Thanks to everyone for the sweet comments!

Pretty Things by Laura H said...

I have made your fabulous strap cover and I have pictures of it on my blog. I hope you like it. Thank you!

Biz said...

I linked up with your tutorial today!
Thanks for such great instruction!

Anonymous said...

thanks for a great tutorial!

Danielle Bartran said...

I love this. I think I'm going to have to attempt this during naptime TODAY!!

Cindy said...

What a cute project, and thank you for such a complete tutorial. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. The bestie and I are making these today for our mothers and mother in laws!
New follower :)
Chelsey Whisler

Laura @ live.laugh.photograph said...

hi!! I just found you through searching google on how to make a camera strap cover... I am so glad I found your blog! I just got my sewing machine yesterday and this is the first project I picked. Your tutorial is super easy to understand! Thank you sooo much!!

Lindsay @ Diary of a Crafty Lady said...

I just made a few of these, and I LOVE them!! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. If you want to see my blog post about it - check it out here:
Feel free to grab featured a button from my sidebar if you would like:)
Hope you are having a great day!

Michelle Watson said...

Just found your blog-thanks so much for the tutorial. Love your ideas.

Monica said...

I LOVE these camera straps! Such great instructions, too! Thanks! Can't wait to make on of these!

Suzie H said...

VERY cute camera strap covers! This is a great tutorial, easy to follow. I have already made one for my mom, and now I'm going to make one for me and my sister-in-law. Thanks for sharing!

Marissa said...

I LOVE this, but wonder what the dimensions would be for a Nikon camera strap. I would like to make one for a gift.