After a year of blogging, I’m sure it’s blatantly obvious that I like girly things… and photography tools are no exception. So when I saw these fantastic camera straps at Bloom Theory I knew I HAD to have one… until I saw the price tag and realized while I work an 8 to 5, supplement that with an Etsy store, I still can’t justify dropping $150.00 on a camera strap.
To my surprise, I’m not the only one who wanted the Bloom Theory look without the Bloom Theory Price tag. While browsing Pinterest the other day I came across a tutorial from one of my favorite bloggers (Kevin and Amanda)… It gave awesome detail about how to stylize your camera strap on your own. Being an avid sewer I thought I’d give it a shot, making a few tweaks along the way.
- Sewing machine
- Thread to match primary slipcover fabric
- Thread to match any adornments (buttons, ribbon, etc.)
- ½ yard camera strap fabric* (I used a scrap of lightweight, linen suiting I had laying around)
- Any embellishments you want.
Embellishments I used:
- one 3 pack of $1.50 rhinestone buttons (on sale for 50% off – originally $3.00)
- one pack of $4.00 quilt binding
- one spool of $2.00 ribbon
- one package of $8.00 low-loft blanket batting (on sale for 40% off) – used this to pad my strap… those lenses get heavy!!!
*In selecting a fabric to use, I would highly highly recommend selecting something lightweight that breathes. While a fabric like houndstooth or plaid flannel might look really cool, think of doing a shoot on a really warm, humid day and having that wrapped around your neck… yuck. Go for a light summer fabric or a cotton.
Go For It:
- Since I have a Canon strap, my measurements are going to be partial to that (sorry Nikoners) but for anyone covering a different kind of strap, simply measure the length and width, add one inch to each measurement and cut two strips that size from your primary slipcover fabric. **For my Canon strap my measurements were 24” x 1.75”, so I cut two strips of 25” x 2.75”.**
- Press the ends of the fabric with a quarter-inch seam, making sure that all ends are equal, and hem these ends. Don’t forget to back-stitch at the start and end of every hem.
- Now things get tricky. If you want a padded neck strap – which I needed because my neck gets really sore after carrying around heavier lenses for long periods of time – you’re going to need to cut your batting the same width and length as the fabric. After you open the package and unroll the batting material, you’ll notice it’s really thin. I cut two really of these thin sheets for my camera strap.
- Next, you’re going to stay-stitch the two batting pieces to one strip of fabric, and set that piece aside.
- Now, take the piece of primary fabric *without batting* and embellish as you wish. To achieve the sort of tuxedo look that I did, I first sewed one strip of the quilt binding down the center of my primary fabric. Next I made a bow out of the ribbon using a tutorial from Ten Cow Chick and sewed it towards the bottom of the strap cover. Finally I sewed my three rhinestone buttons beneath the bow almost like tuxedo shirt buttons. Just remember that whatever thread you use to sew these embellishments on, will be noticeable. I used an “invisible” poly-thread. It’s pretty expensive but it’s something I keep in my arsenal when I want buttons like these to stand out and not be cheapened by a colored thread.
- Now you’re ready to sew your primary pieces together (in my case the gray suiting fabric). Line up the two strip of fabric and pin them* with the “RIGHT” sides facing one another. (And by “right” I mean the two sides that will eventually be the outside to your camera strap cover… so when pinning you should essentially be pinning it inside-out).
- Hem one side of the fabric with a quarter-inch seam.
- Remove the pins and hem the other side also with a quarter-inch seam.
- Flip your cover right-side out and slide it onto your camera strap. Viola! If you’re having difficulty sliding it on, I used a giant safety pin and attached it to the end of my camera strap before wriggling it into my slipcover, so I had something rigid to grab hold of when sliding it through the cover.
*If you made a bow, I would also recommend pinning it down to the fabric so you don’t accidentally end up sewing it within the seams (like I did) and end up having to rip everything apart and redo. The second time around I pinned my bow forward onto my primary fabric so the loose ends didn’t get stuck in my seams.
Other ideas for embellishments:
- Raw-Edge Roses
- Ruffy Flower
- Tulle Flower
- Japanese Fabric Flowers
- Or head over to Bloom Theory for inspiration or Kevin and Amanda and and try her ruffled camera strap slipcover!