- sewing machine
- scissors or rotary knife
- heavy wool fabric
- strap material — leather or canvas
One thing I’m typically seen lugging around is a camera. Most camera bags are overkill, especially when you just want a bit of protection walking around, or you’re packing a camera in another bag for a short trip. I picked up a nice looking, heavy wool remnant from the Pendleton outlet last weekend, so I figured I could try my hand at a simple camera wrap. Now I’ve got just the right amount of walk-around camera protection without the “tourist look.”
Making a structured camera with soft fabric is kinda crazy unless you use a stiff liner, so I was aiming for more of a protective wrap. This way, you can relax about making things exact and just enjoy sewing what is essentially a pocket with a flap. You have options for an enclosure; just make sure it doesn’t involve any metal that would mar your camera. I went with a simple strap closure that ties into itself.
1. Start with the pencil and paper and loosely trace the dimensions of your camera. If it’s small and square, easy! If it’s got an external lens, you’ll have more facets to your pattern. I traced the bottom of mine for the lens profile and used that pattern for the bottom and top but added extra for the flap. I traced the back for height and then just measured what a front panel would be and cut a long rectangle to fit.
2. Add about 1/4″ to your traced pieces to compensate for sewing the panels together and to add some wiggle room for you camera. Cut your paper template pieces out and then use them to cut your fabric panels. *Note: If your lens is off-centered, be sure to flip your bottom template over to cut the top panel of fabric.
3. After the fabric was cut, I carefully sewed all pieces together inside out. Sew any raw edges over to prevent fraying. Remember to leave openings for your strap, too. Once all panels are sewn together to your liking, turn the pocket outside in and test with your camera. Since I was using some loosely drawn templates, I did have to tighten the fit with another line of stitching on one edge.
4. For a closure, I’d envisioned using a piece of leather to wrap around the camera and tie into itself. Measure a strap piece long enough to wrap around your camera a couple times and tie to itself. Since I didn’t flip my pattern for the top and bottom flaps (see the *note above), I had a bulge in my bottom panel. Rather than re-sewing another wrap, I found this to be the perfect attachment point for the strap. You could sew your strap on the back, or just find a messed up piece on your design like I did and rivet it in place. If you do use a rivet or another hardware attachment, make sure the rivet cannot touch your camera. Since my rivet uses the outer fabric goof, I was safe.