Though I’ve been blogging really since I started sewing, I’ve never had a proper camera for it. Now as I’ve considered wanting to be more serious about blogging and pursuing other opportunities connected to that, we decided to invest in a camera recently.
Ah, but when you get a camera, then you have a whole host of stuff that you need for it. I’m trying to keep it simple, but I knew a camera bag was at the top of the must have for my camera list.
I followed the pattern to the letter, deviating to add my own touches on the flap and the strap. I quilted the flap, following the angle of one side of the flap and then coming back and quilting lines at random radiating from one point in a contrasting color.
The strap I pieced together from 2 colors of denim, deciding to do some reverse applique with the lining fabric just for fun on the darker denim pieces. The pattern tells you to cut a strap 60″ long with the caveat that “you might want to trim down the strap, especially if you’re short…” I’m 5’2.5″–not ultra short, but certainly not tall either, but if I had kept the 60″ length, the bottom of the bag would rest at my knees. What I ended up doing is taking a measuring tape and putting it around my shoulder until the length was at a comfortable place.
All total, I shortened the strap by 9.5″.
The feature that made me buy the pattern and certainly the best thing about this pattern is that it has nice thick foam in between the bag and the lining to protect your gear. That part was well thought out. The foam as noted in the pattern requires the most muscle. As excellent as it is at giving the bag shape and providing a ton of support for your camera, it’s not for the faint of heart. I previously mentioned that the spray glue needed to keep the foam intact is rather toxic in nature.
I will differ on opinion with the pattern. The pattern says that you need to cut the foam for the bottom of the bag in one piece instead of two. You actually don’t have to do this. The cool thing about foam is that you can join two smaller pieces together if needed. Just spray both sides of the joining pieces with spray glue, stick them together and cover the seam with a fabric bandage, adding glue enough for the fabric to stick together if needed. You won’t be able to feel the seam and it will not fall apart on you. So if you find yourself in a position where you don’t have a big enough piece of foam to cut a whole bottom, know that you can fix that.
I did have a bear of a time trying to put in the top zipper with all that supportive foam. The pattern calls for you to sandwich the zipper between the lining and outer fabric and stitch around. The opening at the top of the bag is actually quite a bit larger than the width of a standard zipper. I decided that trying to deal with the foam by itself was hard enough than to add the extra difficulty of trying to squish said foam into a smaller space than it naturally takes up all while trying to put in a zipper.
To combat this perfect storm of tough sewing, I interfaced two pieces of my lining fabric and sewed them on either side of the zipper and treated the zipper as just a top insert. Nancy Zieman shows you how to do a variation of that in this excellent tutorial. This allowed me to get a perfect zipper installation without fussing with the foam.
That being said, the foam proved to be my Waterloo–I could not figure out how to get everything stitched together while under the machine. I ended up putting in the zipper by hand which was easy enough until I got to the back side of the zipper insert. My stretch denim flap had stretched out a little when I quilted it, forcing me to ease everything together as best as I could. There were so many parts of this bag that I was really pleased with and could truly see how far I’ve progressed as a sewist since the first bags I made as a beginner, but this flap situation was not one of them.
I love the piping!
Even with all my difficulties, I ended up with a cute bag that fantastically pads my camera. Melissa has a quick free tutorial on her website to make foam cozies to wrap your body and lenses in to go inside of the bag for added safety. I made mine out of a corduroy and minky scraps. I’m thinking if I were my camera, I’d be rather cozy in this getup.
Overall, this was a good pattern that yielded a bag that I very much needed out of materials that I already had. I took the bag over to my parents’ to take a picture of my Dad’s camera with the bag. He works in television and has been around cameras all day long and in his spare time since before I was born. He not only thought the bag would do a great job of protecting a camera, he was jealous of my DIY sew, having just spent $60 on a new bag for his camera. So, it’s Dad-approved and cute. What more could you ask for?
My full review is here.