Do you look at things around your home, at your office, pretty much anywhere, and wonder how you can quilt-ify it?
I know I do!
The idea for a camera strap cover is one you have probably seen before, but this is my quilt-ified version. I’m also having fun in this version playing with some different types of fabric. I found a beautiful piece of buttery, mocha leather recently and I’ve been doling it out for special projects here and there – the bottom of a zipper bag (the top of the bag was equally soft Liberty of London), straps for an organizer bag, and now the pocket of this camera strap project.
Here are a few tips for working with leather:
- One and done. You get one chance to sew a seam with leather. There are no do-overs with leather because once you poke holes in it, you can’t seam rip and repeat, the holes in the leather won’t close up.
- Use a walking foot. When in doubt with slippery, thicker, or fabric that might stick to your sewing machine table (as I found happens with leather), use your machine’s walking foot. It will make a huge difference.
- Needle Sense: Make sure you are using a new sewing machine needle. Leather is thicker and will benefit from a nice, sharp machine needle. (Janome makes leather needles to make the job even easier!)
- Clip It! Use clips instead of pins to keep your layers aligned when prepping for sewing. As with the first tip, you can’t use pins to keep your layers together because the holes will be permanent.
- Keep it Cool! When you iron, use very low heat and a pressing cloth. Do not apply your iron directly to your leather!
Quilty Camera Strap
This is a fun, quick project and you can customize it anyway you like. This was my interpretation. You could easily make this with just two panels of fabric (one front and back).
You will need to measure your camera strap and if you want a pocket for your lens cap, then also the dimensions of your lens cap. Which ever of the two is wider in width, this will determine the width of your camera strap.
My lens cap is the wider of the two coming in at 3 1/4 inches, square. This means my pocket needs to be 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches to allow for the seam allowances.
*All seams on this project are a 1/4 inch.
My camera strap was 23 1/2 inches long. With this in mind, my project requires the following:
- Finished front and back fabric measuring 23 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches (x 2)
- Fusible stabilizer 23 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches (x2)
- Fabric for pocket, in this case I used leather 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches
- Binding (optional) 2 x 10 inches (x2)
I used an improv quilt method to create my front and back camera strap pieces. For the back I pieced together long 1 inch strips of fabric.
For the front, I pieced together 2 inch strips of fabric on the diagonal. I also added in two strips of leather just to add texture and tie in the pocket to the rest of the strap.
Because I used a quilty approach to make the front and back straps, I then trimmed my pieces to make sure they were 23 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches.
Then I attached the fusible stabilizer to the wrong side of each strap.
Since this was quilty, I wanted to do a little embellishment. I used a few of the stitches on my Skyline S5 machine to do a little quilting.
And a little more…
Next, the pocket.
Fold down the top edge of your pocket, along the 3 3/4 inch side to create a finished edge, and topstitch.
The pocket should be placed to one end of what will be the front of your camera strap.
Pin your front and back pieces together, with the pocket sandwiched in the middle. Sew the length of one of the long sides.
Open up your straps and press your seam open. Take care with your iron temperature setting if you used leather.
Finally it’s time to finish the ends with binding. You can certainly just fold up the end and stitch along one side but I liked to use an accent colour and binding added a nice finished touch.
I made my own binding. I cut two strips 2 inches x 10 inches (you’ll trim to fit).
Fold in half, wrong sided together, the long length and press. Open up the binding and then press each edge into the centre.
Use clips to hold binding in place.
Top stitch in place.
Fold the two sides right sides together again, and stitch along the long side to close.
Turn right side out and press. Slide over your existing camera strap to create a personal and one-of-a-kind cover with a secure pocket to keep your lens nearby.
What are your thoughts on improve quilting? Do you mix fabrics (cotton, leather, other) when you sew? What project are you working on right now?