We celebrated Father's Day today and
the husband got his camera strap:
Recognize that ikat fabric? This blog is named after it.
Ikat is woven - not printed - which is so fun.
Love textured fabric.
We've had our Nikon D40 for a while now, and the black-
and-yellow strap isn't very exciting. I'd seen many, many
tutorials on how to make a camera strap slipcover, but I
thought that, for a few minutes more, a person
could do a full strap.
sat on it forever spent some time shopping around
for the materials. Had a little bit of help from lovely Erin
from House on Hill Road (thank you again, Erin!) who
makes very cool camera straps. She recommended ebay
but I'm not a big online shopping fan, and I didn't want
to buy materials in bulk since I was
planning to make just one strap, so I waited.
You'll never guess where I finally found what I was looking
for: the pet store! The kids and I make regular visits to
the pet store because it is like a free, mini zoo-trip.
After some price and quality comparison in different
retailers, I settled on these small dog collars from Target,
for less than $2 each. The nylon straps on my camera are
1/2" but dog collars are either 3/8" or 5/8". The latter are
too wide, and the 3/8" ones are a surprisingly good fit.
Worked on two straps simultaneously - one in that bumpy
ikat fabric and one in lovely smooth Orla cotton. Because it's
futile me trying to make just one of anything, isn't it?
- One piece fabric 20.5" x 4"
- One piece craft fuse (aka iron-on craft interfacing) 20.5" x 1.5"
- One piece heavy stabilizer (aka heavy weight sew-in interfacing) 20.5" x 1.5"
- One piece thickish, stiffish material 20.5" x 1.5". I used natural canvas/ duckcloth. I included this because I really, really need my straps to not feel like flimsy ribbon. But that's just me - you can leave this out if you like.
- Some vinyl. I used upholstery-grade vinyl that was black on both sides.
- Two 3/8" dog collars. The thing in the picture is a dog harness, which was a costlier alternative. I found the cheaper-and-just-as-good Target dog collars later.
- Using a seam ripper, unpick the stitches to release the buckles and straighten out the collars.
- Cut each to 13" (or longer) and leave the sliding adjuster and plastic loop, as shown. You'll have an extra snap-in buckle that you won't need, so put this in your miscellaneous notions box for a future project.
- You can seal any fraying ends the candle method in this post.
- Fold the fabric piece in half lengthwise and iron to get the mid-line.
- Place one long edge of the fusible interfacing along the mid-line and iron it onto the fabric.
- Fold the fabric lengthwise so that the right sides are together and sew along the edge of the interfacing as shown. Start at one end and stop after about 4" and backstitch.
- Repeat for the other end so that you leave most of the middle section unstitched. This will facilitate turning in the next steps.
- Place the canvas and sew-in interfacing together and stitch along both long edges to make a single stiff piece.
- Trim a little more than 1/8" off the width so it will fit inside the fabric casing without bunching.
- Turn the fabric strap right side out through the middle opening.
- Insert the stiff piece from Step 4 into the opening, pushing the respective ends in both directions
so that it lies nice and flat. Take your time to
really smooth it out so that all the inner fabric
seams don't bunch up around it.
- Tuck the seam allowance of the middle opening inwards
and top-stitch the middle opening shut, beginning your
stitching at one end of the strap and sewing through
the entire length to the other end.
- Top stitch the other long edge, as well, so that you have two neat lines of top-stitching like this:
Now, on hindsight, I decided that a few extra parallel
lines of stitches along the middle of the strap would
make the layers really flat and smooth. If you want to,
do that now. Of course this picture doesn't show it,
since I added this in at the end, which you can see in
later pictures. So you can scroll down to there and
then come back here to continue.
These are appalling instructions, aren't they? Sigh.
Ahem (whistling). Well, moving on.
- Cut one piece of vinyl to the shape of the end piece. I used my Nikon strap as a guide or you can use my printable pattern.
- Cut a second piece of vinyl in the shape of a rough square that is bigger than the shaped piece. Trim the top and bottom edges of this square so they exactly match the shaped piece, as shown.
- Place the two pieces wrong sides together and line up their top and bottom edges.
- Insert about 1/2" of the fabric strap between the vinyl layers and continue top-stitching around the rest of the vinyl. Again, reinforce your stitching in the sections where the fabric strap is enclosed
to give you this.
- Repeat with the other two pieces of vinyl, the other nylon strap and the other end of the fabric strap.
- Trim the excess vinyl away. Here's why I like the black-backed vinyl - gives such a nice uniform black edge.
And here are two pictures to show you what I mean
by sewing parallel lines along the middle of the strap.
You can see the bumpy surface in the strap in the left
picture, which is smoothed out by the extra lines in the
right one. Picky, I know. But I always felt that a project is
worth doing properly or not at all.
Sorry, Orla strap - our little camera is already
proudly wearing ikat. You need to be adopted
by another camera who will love you.
So folks, ikatbag is turning one next week. How has
one year just flown by? And where do all you
wonderful readers come from? I appreciate all your
comments, which I usually read at unearthly hours when
my youngest screams me awake (which is also why
I usually fail at trying to type responses to all of
them, bah). Thank you for the early-morning
entertainment and company - you don't know how
much more pleasant it is to read your thoughts while
feeding little Kate, than to just sit there, bleary-eyed
and praying for sunrise.
Well, come celebrate with me in the next few weeks!
There will be giveaways, more tutorials and printable
thingybobs and something else rather fun a little later.
To kick it all off, I'm giving Orla away so some other
camera can play dress-up. Any takers?
For a chance to win this Orla camera strap
(no, you cannot beg for the ikat - that's mine!
All mine! Ha ha ha ha!), leave a comment on this
post by midnight of Friday 26 June and I'll do a
random drawing on Saturday to pick
the winner. Some rules:
- International readers- welcome! I know there are cameras all over the world.
- You MUST leave an email address on either your blogger profile, or on your public-access blog. Or leave your email in your comment itself. Or email me after leaving your comment so I have your email address.
- Please say something interesting in your comment. You know, like what project you're working on, what sort of tutorial you'd like to see, what your favorite crafting medium is - stuff like that. "Pick me!" and variations thereof don't count. Remember, you are my only hope for keeping awake at 4 am when on catering duty!
A little reminder: go ahead and make as many of
these as you like for gifts. Please don't make them
to sell- be fair to all the hardworking craftspeople
out there who sell camera straps and who worked it
out all on their own without a tutorial.